Mother’s Day Concert at Mishkan Torah
On Mother’s Day, the Mishkan Torah Synagogue in Old Greenbelt presented an afternoon concert titled “Generations United.” It featured fourteen classically trained performers who have all been involved with the synagogue, and the program included performances by a mother and daughter, two fathers and sons, and a father, mother, and son combination. The following is a selection, with biographical information from the program booklet.
Pianist Don Anderson plays Etude-Tableau, Opus 39, No. 1 by Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Anderson has performed with the U.S. Army Chorus and the Washington Opera as well as local synagogue and church choirs.
Baritone Mishkan Torah Cantor Phil Greenfield sings “Where’er you walk” from Handel’s oratorio Semele. He says that this is a particular fitting piece for those mothers in the audience: “Where’er you walk / Cool gales shall fan the glade / Trees where you sit / shall crowd into a shade / Where’er you tread / the blushing flowers shall rise / and all things flourish / Where’er you turn your eyes.” The pianist is Andrew Kraus who is assisted by his wife Christine Kraus.
Greenfield has been Mishkan Torah’s cantor since 1981.
Bassoonist Darelynn Fung performs the Bassoon Sonata by Paul Hindemith.
Darelynn Fung and her mother Diane Fung perform a bassoon duet by O. Blume. Both mother and daughter studied bassoon at Ithaca College in New York under Edward Gobrecht, and they are dedicating this piece to him. The composer is little known, including his first name.
Darelynn Fung (right) is an instrumental music teacher at Greenbelt Elementary School and Berwyn Heights Elementary School.
Soprano Nadine Wobus sings “Supper Time” by Irving Berlin.
“As a professional singer and pianist, Nadine has performed in nightclubs in New York City, resorts in the Catskills, and the halls of the Kennedy Center.” She is also a board-certified music therapist and a member of Mishkan Torah for more than 30 years.
Wobus is accompanied by Joshua Rosen playing trumpet.
Joshua Rosen plays his Concerto for Horn in E Flat Major which he composed a couple of months ago.
Rosen is the son of Jeffrey Rosen, chief organizer for today’s concert. He is “a second year student at the Chicago College of the Performing Arts of Roosevelt University where he studies French horn performance and education under long-time Chicago Symphony Orchestra French horn principal Dale Clevenger.”
Don Juran “has been a chorister, composer, and occasional soloist,” and he founded the Mishkan Torah Choir in 2001. He introduces the next piece by saying that Sir Arthur Sullivan (born May 13, 1842) is 170 years old today.
Baritone Don Juran sings “If You Give Me Your Attention” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Princess Ida.”
David Charney introduces Beethoven’s Sonata No. 22 in F, Opus. 54. He says that Beethoven wrote this not widely known sonata in 1804. There are two movements. The first has two components contrasting each other, and the second is a perpetual motion: “It almost sounds like a train without brakes.”
Below listen to David Charney playing the second movement of Beethoven Sonata No. 22.
David Charney “graduated from the New England Conservatory with a degree in piano performance” and has been a piano teacher. He is also a piano tuner and technician and is “the man who has kept Mishkan Torah’s pianos tuned for well over a generation.”
Tenor Adam Juran says he wants to dedicate this piece to an old acquaintance of his who was a Mishkan Torah member and passed away about a month ago from cancer. Juran sings “Lenski’s Aria” from Tschaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin.”
Adam Juran is Don Juran’s son. He studied music at Cornell University and has performed with several opera companies in Washington, D.C. and New York City.
From left, Don Juran, bass, Phil Greenfield, baritone, and Adam Juran, tenor, sing “Rise Up, My Love,” with text from “Song of Songs” setting by Don Juran. This piece is Don Juran’s 40th anniversary gift to his wife Carol in 2009.
Flutist Rachel White performs a sonata by baroque composer George Frederick Telemann.
White is an elementary school music educator for Prince George’s County. She is the choir director and a youth advisor for Mishkan Torah.
Mezzo-soprano Yael Fischman sings “Ich ging mit Lust durch einen grunen Wald” (“I walked with joy through a green wood”) by Gustav Mahler.
“Cantor Yael Fischman leads Shabbat services at the Riderwood Jewish Community Center, tutors Bar and Bat Mitzvah students, and works part-time at Temple Emanuel Early Childhood Center in Kensington, MD as a substitute teacher. She earned her diploma of Hazzan and bachelors of Sacred Music at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.”
Tenor Benjamin Greenfield sings “Von Ewiger Liebe” by Johannes Brahms.
Benjamin Greenfield is Cantor Phil Greenfield’s son and is “currently the tenor soloist at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Baltimore, MD and the High Holiday Cantor for Temple B’nai Abraham in Elyria, Ohio.” He is not feeling completely well today so his father substituted for him earlier in the program.
Jeffrey Rosen introduces “Am I Alone and Unobserved?”: “Reginald Bunthorne from Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Patience’ is an aesthetic poet and a poser. He generally walks around the countryside pursued by twenty lovesick maidens. He is modeled on Oscar Wilde and he is a complete fraud and a total fake—my kind of man.”
As Publicity Chairman at Mishkan Torah, Jeffrey Rosen is the mastermind behind today’s concert and the Master of Ceremonies as well. He “has been writing and performing at Mishkan Torah for over twenty-five years, last appearing as Haman in the Purim Spiel ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Purim.’” (See my post about the Purim Spiel here.)
Before the final item on the program, the pianist Andrew Kraus is recognized. Kraus “holds degrees from Boston University (B.M.) and East Carolina University (M.M.)” and “has worked with singers and instrumentalists throughout the Washington, D.C. area.”
The closing piece is “Au Fond du Temple Saint (Duet)” from “The Pearl Fishers” by Georges Bizet. From right are Adam Juran, Benjamin Greenfield, Phil Greenfield, pianist Andrew Kraus, and flutist Carolyn Sonnen. This is a duet but as Benjamin Greenfield is not feeling well, Adam Juran joins them.
The flutist Carolyn Sonnen is “a musician and board-certified music therapist living in Annapolis.” She is Cantor Phil Greenfield’s husband and Benjamin Greenfield’s mother.
After the performance, Andrew Kraus thanks his wife Christine for helping out on Mother’s Day.
From right are Cantor Phil Greenfield, Carolyn Sonnen, Jeffrey Rosen, Adam Juran, and Don Juran.
Darelynn Fung embraces Jeffrey Rosen.
Andrew Kraus and his wife Christine Kraus