Arts and Culture | Local

Kol Simchah choir marks 20th year of concerts

A choir started over 20 years ago by the late Karla Ember at Congregation Ner Tamid continues to perform at concerts and Shabbat and holiday services.

“There have been many changes in content and personnel over the years, but Congregation Kol Simchah, successor to Congregation Ner Tamid, carries on,” says David Vernon, congregation treasurer and a member of the choir. The Kol Simchah choir rehearses most Wednesdays, and three weeks in the winter and three in the spring, presents concerts at senior living and elder care facilities.

“We bring a little Jewish music and a little nostalgia to our elderly, mostly Jewish audiences,” says Vernon.

This year’s winter concerts began with The Forum on Dec. 6 and Atria Bell Court Gardens on Dec. 13, and will conclude at Atria Campana Del Rio on Dec. 20 at 6:45 p.m. The December shows focus on Hanukkah music, says Vernon, while the May shows include festival music (psalms used in the liturgy for Passover, Shavout, and Sukkot) and numbers from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

The choir sings at Kol Simchah’s Sabbath services on first and third Fridays at St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church, as well as at services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Along with well-known liturgical music, says Vernon, the services include unique pieces composed and arranged by music director Maya Kashtelyan, formerly of the Belarus Conservatory.