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ASU Herberger College Celebrates Jewish Music Heritage

January 22, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz.  –  The ASU Herberger College School of Music, the ASU Jewish Studies Program and the Bureau of Jewish Education present a series of concerts, recitals, films, an exhibition and lectures entitled: Ways of Happiness, Paths of Peace: Bernstein, Bloch, and Music of the Jewish Tradition March 31–April 26 at various valley locations, including the ASU Tempe campus. 

“This series provides an exceptional opportunity to explore one of the great musical traditions,” says David Schildkret, chair of the ASU Choral program.  “We focus on two extraordinary composers whose work should be better known.  Bloch’s Sacred Service has never been done in the Valley, and Bernstein’s legacy as a composer is only now being recognized for its tremendous importance to American music.”

The series presents the music of Bloch and Bernstein in the context of the long history of Jewish music.  The series culminates April 26 at ASU with performances of Leonard Bernstein’s first major work, Jeremiah Symphony,and Bloch’s monumental Sacred Service.  All events in the series, with the exception of the Lyric Opera Theatre performances of Candide, are FREE and open to the public.  Visit for a complete schedule of events. 

OPENING CONCERT:  Sing Joyfully: Music of the Jewish Tradition

  • Saturday, March 31, 7:30 p.m. Katzin Concert Hall, 40 E. Gammage Parkway, Tempe
    The program explores music inspired by Jewish worship and daily life from the Renaissance to the present.  Featured performances include the premiere of Yiddish Choruses by Jody Rockmaker, ASU associate professor of composition.  Works performed include: Salamone Rossi; Eric Whitacre, and Judith Zaimont; in addition to pieces by Ernest Bloch and Leonard Bernstein.  The concert is performed by the ASU Chamber Singers, ASU faculty members: Judy May, mezzo-soprano; Robert Barefield, baritone; Thomas Landschoot, cello; Robert Hamilton, piano. David Schildkret, chair of the ASU Choral program, conductor.

FILM:  Bernstein: Reaching for the Note

  • Thursday, April 5, 7 p.m. Bureau of Jewish Education at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, Assembly Hall A, 12701 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
  • Monday, April 9, 7:30 p.m. Recital Hall, 40 E. Gammage Parkway, Tempe
    Originally aired on PBS American Masters series, this film directed by Susan Lacy, is an in-depth look at the life and career of Leonard Bernstein, one of the great figures of twentieth-century music. David Schildkret, chair of the ASU Choral program, presents the film and answers questions.

INFORMANCE:  I Hate Music!  Chamber and Vocal Works by Bloch and Bernstein

  • Thursday, April 12, 7:30 p.m. Beth El Congregation, 1118 W. Glendale Avenue, Phoenix
  • Monday, April 16, 7:30 p.m. Har Zion Congregation, 6140 E. Thunderbird Road, Scottsdale
    A critical look at the intimate works of Leonard Bernstein and Ernest Bloch.  
    The program includes ASU faculty members: Judy May, mezzo-soprano; Thomas Landschoot, cello; Robert Hamilton, piano; and David Schildkret, chair of the ASU Choral program, commentary.  

SYMPOSIUM:  Bernstein and Bloch: Contexts and Conversations

  • Thursday, April 19, 7:30 p.m. Recital Hall, 40 E. Gammage Parkway, Tempe  
    Topics: Liturgy in the Bloch Sacred Service, Barton Lee, ASU Hillel; Bernstein and Lamentation, Marvin A. Sweeney, Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University; and Ernest Bloch and Leonard Bernstein: Composers of Jewish Identity, David Schiller, University of Georgia.  Joel Gereboff, chair of the ASU Religious Studies program moderates the symposium and David Schildkret, chair of the ASU Choral program, responds. 

OPERA:  ASU Lyric Opera Theatre presents Leonard Bernstein’s Candide (Chelsea version)

  • April 20, 21, 25 & 28, 7:30 p.m.; April 22 & 29, 2 p.m.  Evelyn Smith Music Theatre, 40 E. Gammage Parkway, Tempe.  Tickets are $7-$22. or contact the Herberger College Box office: 480-965-6447.
    Music by Leonard Bernstein; lyrics by Richard Wilbur, Stephen Sondheim and others. Graham Whitehead guest directs and William Reber, ASU Lyric Opera Theatre artistic director, conductor.


  • Tuesday, April 24, 7:30 p.m. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Avenue, Tempe
    Concert-goers are invited for a behind-the-scenes look at the preparations for the final series concert.  David Schildkret, chair of the ASU Choral program, answers questions following the rehearsal.

FINAL CONCERT:  “From Sorrow to Happiness:  Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony and Bloch’s Avodath Hakodesh (Sacred Service)” 

  • Thursday, April 26, 7:30 p.m. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Avenue, Tempe
    A pre-concert talk takes place at 6:45 p.m. in the Gammage lobby.
    Performed by the ASU Chamber Singers; Symphonic Chorale; Choral Union, Symphony Orchestra and ASU faculty members: Carole FitzPatrick, soprano; Robert Barefield, baritone;David Schildkret, chair of the ASU Choral program, conductor.

EXHIBIT: Teach Them Diligently to Your Children: Jewish Ritual and Music” 

    • March 20—June 20, ASU School of Music Library, 40 E. Gammage Parkway, Tempe
      Prayer books, ritual objects and memorabilia from ASU libraries and private collections are displayed.

The School of Music in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University is ranked 19th in the country and eighth among public institutions by U.S. News & World Report. More than 100 music faculty artists and scholars work with approximately 800 music majors each year in research, performance and scholarly activities. It presents approximately 700 concerts and recitals each year. To learn more about the School of Music, visit

Media Contact:
David Schildkret
ASU Choral Program Chair
(480) 965-3879