Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Are you a Cantor?

I recently sang a wedding that had a mix of conservative and orthodox Jews in attendance. They played American music and I was hired to sing the traditional Jewish music. They had supplied me with a list of songs, some of which were a mix of Israeli and Carlebach tunes. I came prepared with some of my own Carlebach tunes some of which the band was unfamiliar but read the sheet music fairly well. The crowd seem to enjoy the set of songs I had chose and B''H the dancing was quite lively. I got many compliments, a lot more than usual, perhaps because they typically didn't get that Jewish flavor at these types of weddings. One older man asked me " are you cantor?" I replied I was not. "Why not"?! He insisted. You have the voice and the power etc. I said for starters there aren't that many posistions and they don't pay all that well. His reply was that his synagogue paid their cantor x amount of dollars. I said what kind of synagogue is it? He replied, a conservative one. I explained I couldn't be a cantor at a conservative synagogue but he argued that there were places that did play well for the high holidays etc. .I'm starting to play around with the idea that if I put in the effort maybe I could be a hotshot cantor but do I really want to go down that road? I might have to move etc. .


JamesEJ said...

Very nice. You sound like a guy at our shul. We are Reform/Conservative mixed, and one of our members just left for Rabbinical school - he has a beautiful voice. For most cocservative shuls, his sexual orientation would be an issue, but not after listening to him.

FrumWithQuestions said...

I don't think you should be a cantor. Ask yourself if you think that you want to get paid to daven on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. I was always against it. I think its one thing if you are a chazzan in your own shul but another if you are going to get paid to daven in another.