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HaZamir international teen choir launches local chapter

Robert Lopez-Hanshaw directs Tucson’s new Ha’Zamir choir branch. (Photo: Debe Campbell/AJP)

HaZamir Tucson is launching as a new branch of the International Jewish Teen Choir, a musical youth movement of 41 choral chapters across the United States and Israel. An inter-congregational group of local Jewish teens will cap their year of practice with a festival in New York where 450 teens will participate in an ensemble in the spring, says Robert Lopez-Hanshaw, musical director for the new group.

HaZamir engages hundreds of Jewish teens annually. They meet weekly to rehearse high-level Jewish choral music. HaZamir’s mission is to prepare the next generation of Jewish choral singers, composers, and conductors, building an inclusive community across denominations, providing a platform for contemporary and classical Jewish choral music, according to the foundation’s website. The 26-year-old organization is supported by the Zamir Choral Foundation.

Weekly practices will be Sundays, 1-3 p.m., hosted at Temple Emanu-El. Tuition is $575 per student, which does not include festival travel costs. Late registration fees apply after Sept. 26. Local donors and grants are being sought for scholarships and travel subsidies, says Lopez-Hanshaw.

An information and registration session is Sunday, Sept. 1, 1-3 p.m. The meeting will include an introduction for parents, a visit from a HaZamir alum now studying at the University of Arizona, and a rehearsal. For further information, contact Lopez-Hanshaw at 327-4501 or