Cantor Perry Fine of Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston led a fascinating free two-part series, called “Miriam and the Women Sang: Biblical Poetry and the Creative Musical Spirit,” at the Morris County Library, 30 E. Hanover Ave., in Whippany. Cantor Fine’s classes, which were coordinated by NCJW, West Morris Section’s Our Jewish World, were held Thursdays, Oct. 27, at 12:30 p.m., and Nov. 3, at 2:30 p.m.
Said Cantor Fine, “Join us
as we explore together some of the great poetry of the Bible and how composers over the centuries have set those words to music.” The classes were open to the public.
Among the topics the cantor addressed are:
* What are the earliest biblical songs?
* How did these melodies make their way into Jewish tradition?
* How did composers, both Jewish and non-Jewish, find inspiration in these texts?
Cantor Fine is now in his 23rd year in the Cantorate. He has been singing Jewish music ever since his days as a boy soprano soloist with Hazzan Hillel Lipsicas’s High Holiday choir in his hometown of Baltimore. A graduate of the University of Michigan and the Jewish Theological Seminary, his recordings include settings of the Yom Kippur Service for the Milken Archive Series of Jewish Music and music for the Friday Night Live Service.
Cantor Fine is one of the co-founders of Voices in Harmony, an interfaith choral ensemble, now in its 16th year, and more recently, co-founder, with Cantor Sharon Brown-Levy, of Voices of Livingston, now joined together as Voices in Harmony of Essex County. In April 2009, Cantor Fine was awarded the Conservative Movement’s Nathan H. Winter Award for Professional Excellence. For the past 15 years, Cantor Fine has served on the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary, teaching Biblical Cantillation to budding cantorial and rabbinical students.