Click logo to go to Homepage

2004 COURSES (TENTATIVE)

Sunday | Evenings | Yiddish Culture | Music | Children | Teens

Yiddish, Theatre, Dance & Culture
Beginning Yiddish
Intermediate Yiddish
Advanced Yiddish
Poetry of Itzik Manger
Yiddish Humor
Food Songs/Reisin &Greenblatt
Papercutting & Amulets
Music & Words
Jewish Theatre Lab
Jewish Dance
History of Jewish Dance
Teaching Dance (Friday)
Teaching Yiddishkayt(Friday)

Klezmer Music & Song
Instrumental Technique
Ear Band
Ensembles (all levels)
Soft Instrument Ensemble
Fidl Kapelye (String Band)
Electric Guitar Klezmer Band
Yiddish Song Interpretation
New Yiddish Songs
Ask Dr. Klez
Individual Lessons
Jamming
New Jewish Music (Friday)
Khazones Workshop (Friday)

Children's Program
Youth Orchestra
Singing
Drama
Dance
Yiddish
Papercutting & Amulets
Teen Program
Youth Orchestra
Electric Guitar Klezmer Band
Music & Words
Dance
Papercutting & Amulets
Teen Dinners


NOTE: For convenience, courses and activities of interest to all, including non-musicians, are titled in Green; Music courses are Red.


SUNDAY PROGRAM

Jam Session
Music Screening / Warmup: An open jam session will be facilitated by the KlezCalifornia teachers. During this warmup, teachers will help direct participants to specific courses based on skill level.

Dance Warm-up

A beginning dance warm-up will take place for those who can't wait another second to start the simkha.

Video

(TBA)

Q and A

Teachers and staff will be available to answer any questions about courses or programming.

Opening Celebration: Catered Dinner and Dance Party

Dinner Party where we'll have introductory announcements, followed by dancing to music performed by our world-class teachers. (Guest tickets available.)

EVENING PROGRAM

Opening Celebration: Catered Dinner and Dance Party (Sunday 5:30 - 10:00 pm

Dinner Party where we'll have introductory announcements, followed by dancing to music performed by our world-class teachers.(Guest tickets available.)

Staff Concert (Monday 7:30 - 10:00 pm)

Come to an evening of music performed by our magnificent teaching staff. (Guest tickets available.)

Song and Dance Party (Tuesday 7:30 - 10:00 pm)

An evening filled with Yiddish song and dance, led by Adrienne Cooper and Steve Weintraub. (Guest tickets available.)

Lecture on Yiddish Theatre (Wednesday 7:30 - 9:00 pm)

Professor Joel Schechter will present an introduction to "Yiddish Theatre in America: From Boris Thomashefsky and Molly Picon to Mel Brooks," with films showing the actors. (Guest tickets available.)

Student Concert (Thursday 7:30 - 10:00 pm)

Our last night is a joyous celebration with performances by the participants of KlezCalifornia, including theatre course production of Mazl and Shlimazl; Children's Shpiel; New Jewish Music Contest; class performances, and individual student performances. Presentation will continue Friday Second Period (11:00am - 12:45pm). (Guest tickets available.)


Go to top of page

YIDDISH, THEATRE, DANCE and CULTURE

Papercutting and Amulets, Claire Sherman 1st Period

Come learn the Jewish folk art of papercutting. The amazing thing about papercutting is that you can create beautiful art work even if you don't know how to draw, or “can't draw a straight line.” On days one and two of this course we will use x-acto knives and scissors to make royslekh, (circular or rose shaped paper window decorations for the holiday of Shavuos), and other papercuts such as mizrakhim, with one or more folds. We will also delve into micrography, the Jewish folk art of creating pictures or patterns entirely of tiny words. The last two days we will explore the folklore of Jewish amulets. Students will create amulets out of Fimo (a polymer clay that bakes in a toaster oven). Techniques for working with Fimo will be taught, including Seminole patchwork, and millefiori, a Venetian glass-working secret.

Music and Words: A Hands-On Seminar for Teens and Adults, Deborah Strauss 1st Period

Stories by Yiddish writers can be an invaluable resource for giving context and insight into Eastern-European Jewish music and culture. In this hands-on seminar, we'll look at a selection of stories about music and bring them to life using the varied talents of class members. This class is open to instrumentalists, singers, actors, dancers, Yiddishists, and storytellers of all levels. Knowledge of Yiddish is helpful, but not required.

History Of Dance In Jewish Culture, Steve Weintraub 1st Period

A jog through Jewish history, as we follow the uses and varieties of dance experience that Jews have embraced. The course will include biblical words for dance and description of dance events; Jewish Renaissance dancing masters and pageantry; the folk development of Yemenite, Khassidic and Yiddish dance styles; and the emergence of Israeli dance.

Beginning Yiddish Language, Harvey Varga 1st Period

An introduction to reading, writing and conversation. No previous knowledge of Yiddish required.

Yiddish Dance, Steve Weintraub 2nd Period

Much of klezmer music was created to be dance music. We will cover steps, figures and styles for many of the dances in the klezmer repertory: freylakhs, bulgar, sher, and zhok or hora, to name a few. Particular attention will be paid to how to lead the various figures and dances successfully.

Intermediate Yiddish Language, Eli Katz 2nd Period

The class is geared towards people who have already studied Yiddish and have a handle on basic conversation. Focus will be on speaking in class, while simultaneously exploring aspects of grammar and structure of Yiddish.

Advanced Yiddish Language, Eli Katz 3rd Period

The class is geared towards students who are conversational and have studied at least one year of college Yiddish or have comparable fluency. The class will work with readings and discussions of those readings, as well as exploring topics and questions that arise during the class.

Yiddish Humor, Naomi Seidman 3rd Period

This course will focus on the connections between Yiddish and Jewish humor, from traditional Ashkenaz to the contemporary American-Jewish comedic scene. We will analyze the comic workings of texts from Mendele Moykher Sforim and Sholem Aleykhem to Woody Allen's Yiddish-infused sketches. The course will also explore the function of Yiddish in Freud's analysis of humor.

Poetry of Itzik Manger, Naomi Seidman 4th Period

This course will explore the folk ballads and midrashic poetry of Itzik Manger, who has been called "the last of the Purim players." Manger's poetry combines the traditional rhythms and motifs of folk-literature with a wry, startlingly modern, and often bawdy sensibility; we will investigate both Manger's premodern influences, including Yiddish "women's literature," and his modern affinities. We will read from Khumesh-lider, Megilleh-lider and other collections. Poems will be available in Yiddish and English translation.

Yiddish Food Songs / Songs of Reisin and Greenblatt, Adrienne Cooper 4th Period

Yiddish Food Songs -- Songs redolent of the tastes and social settings of Jewish cooking (2 Days).
Songs about bread, noodles, kasha, borsht, tsimmes, kikhelakh, homentashen, matso, potatoes, brisket, mamalige, chicken, gefilte fish, latkes, kugl. And drinks: wine, whiskey, beer, coffee, seltzer, and a glass of tea. And, of course, dessert! Food is such a powerful identity marker that when you remember what you fed your children, and what your grandmother fed you, and your celebrations, and what went on around your table, you are reinforcing who you are. And sometimes you are reinforcing who you are in the face of those who want to annihilate you and your culture and your traditions, and everything about you. And sometimes you are just reinforcing joy and nurture. A workshop you can taste.

The Songs of Avram Reisin and Aliza Greenblatt: Of their Time and Place" (2 Days).
A lecture demonstration (with group singing) of the songs of two of the great modern voices in twentieth century Yiddish song. Reisin gives nuanced voice to the concerns of the urban middle-classes and the poor, men and women trying to make their way in changing societies, in time of war, in the throes of love, and in crises of faith. Aliza Greenblatt, the mother-in-law of Woody Guthrie, brought a modern poet's sensual imagery into the Yiddish vocabulary of love and longing.

Fun Blat Tzu Bima (From Page to Stage) A Jewish Theatre Lab, Corey Fischer and Harvey Varga 2nd and 3rd and 4th Periods

Corey Fischer, of TRAVELING JEWISH THEATER, will direct a week-long theatre laboratory in the creation of a bilingual play based on the Yiddish short story, Mazl and Shlimazl, by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Working from a new adaptation that the lab will create, participants will have an immersion experience in "theatre-making:" improvising, acting, singing, dancing, building sets, masks and puppets, and finally performing the new-born play on Thursday night. The core performance team, limited to a small number of actors (register early!), will become a tuned ensemble and take on the major roles in the play.

The design/construction team, under the guidance of Harvey Varga, will create the visual environment: set, masks, puppets, and costumes.

Those who want to participate at a less than full-time level will be welcomed to join the cast as chorus members or musicians. Participants in the core teams, as well as those in the choruses, will have a rare opportunity to join in the act of collaborative creation, the kind of process to which the TJT has been committed for over 25 years. In bringing this new event to KlezCalifornia, we invoke the spirit of the legendary Yiddish Theatres, from the Vilna Troupe to the Artef.

Teaching Dance Workshop, Steve Weintraub FRIDAY WORKSHOP 1st Period

For those who find themselves leading dancing at a simkha, party, workshop, etc., we will learn how to lead Yiddish dances. How to engage your audience in participating and how to instruct so those may follow.

How to Include Yiddishkayt in Your Curriculum, Gerry Tenney FRIDAY WORKSHOP 1st Period

We will look at materials and songs that could be used in the classroom to enhance yiddishkayt. Yiddish books, such as Di Drie Beren ("The Three Bears") and translations of Yiddish stories, will be discussed. Songs such as Bulbes ("Potatoes"), which teaches us the days of the week, will be taught.
Go to top of page

KLEZMER MUSIC and SONG

Ear Band: Melody, Accompaniment, Rhythm Section, Cookie Segelstein, Joshua Horowitz, Stuart Brotman 1st Period
Just as an ensemble must seamlessly integrate the resources of individual players to produce a combined sound, Josh Horowitz (accordion), Cookie Segelstein (violin) and Stu Brotman (bass) present a team-teaching model to KlezCalifornia's Ear Band. The class will be in two sections. The first will be individually-led smaller groups, with players divided into musical functions (melody, accompaniment and rhythm). In the second section, all players will come together and work as a full-sized band, led by all three teachers. The music in this ensemble will be taught by ear. Best suited for intermediates and above.
Electric Guitar Klezmer Band (For Teens of All Ages), Jeff Warschauer 2nd Period
For electric guitar, bass and drums. Other loud instruments and singers welcome, too. Bring your own amplifier.
Ensembles: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, Music Staff 3rd Period
Ensemble classes will work on specific tunes as well as the rudiments of creating a klezmer ensemble, what parts different instruments play, etc. Students will be placed by level of proficiency and instrumentation.
Fidl Kapelye, Deborah Strauss 3rd Period
For all bowed string instruments (violins, violas, 'cellos, basses) and tsimbl. We will focus on learning music by ear and playing in a fluid, dynamic and interactive way. Singers also welcome.
Soft Instruments Ensemble (Singers Welcome!), Jeff Warschauer 3rd Period
Tired of not being heard (and maybe not even hearing yourself)? This is an ensemble for intermediate and advanced players of plucked string instruments, violin, flute, small accordion, tsimbl or other soft instruments. We will learn how to use a wide dynamic range (with a special focus on articulation) to create arrangements of great variety; from quiet sensitivity to driving and foot-stomping intensity. Players of louder instruments who bring along either mutes or exquisitely developed senses of restraint are welcome as well. Singers are welcome too.
Instrumental Technique and Repertoire, 4th Period
Students will develop technically and stylistically on their instruments at their level. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the presence of these fine artists by visiting more than one class, to be exposed to the wealth of interpretive skills.

  • Clarinet and Other Winds, Peter Jaques. "Learning how to learn." Open to all wind instrument (clarinets, saxophones, recorders, etc...) players of all levels, a class to explore sources of klezmer music and ways to use them to develop interpretations and performance skills.

  • Bowed Strings, Beginning-Intermediate, Deborah Strauss. Open to violinists and bowed string players of all levels. We will focus on the style, rhythm and phrasing of traditional Eastern European Jewish violin. Be prepared to sing, dance, and do some work outside of class. Cassette resource tapes will be distributed. In addition, all students are encouraged to record each class, so please bring a cassette player/recorder.

  • Bowed Strings, Advanced. Cookie Segelstein. For more advanced and professional bowed string instrument players. Focus will be on finer points of rhythm and phrasing in klezmer music.

  • Trumpet and Brass, Stephen Saxon. Playing brass in a klezmer band: Primarily intended for brass players and those who work with them, this class will include traditional and modern roles, choices of equipment, specific technique and styling, etc. Be ready to play, of course, and we'll be doing some listening as well. Since Stephen has extensive professional experience as a singer, instrumentalist, composer, arranger, music copyist (the transcription and preparation of sheet music), conductor, cantor and computer networking engineer, just about anything is fair game. Final curriculum will depend in part on the attendees and their specific needs and interests.

  • Accordion and Keyboards, Joshua Horowitz. This class will emphasize "speed-learning" for playing new tunes. Josh will show how to extract accompaniment figures from melodies, how to improvise instantaneously, and how to provide fills where no one else would dare. Participants will come away with a practical approach to learning which will be useful for years to come.

  • Drums and Percussion, Kevin Mummey. Mostly we'll focus on playing, both kit and percussion. Klezmer drummers benefit from the dearth of "rules" to follow -- in fact, our role is still evolving. We'll listen to some traditional approaches, and work with adapting them to modern equipment. We'll also try out some percussion approaches from within and without the Jewish musical world that can work. We'll work on some of the common challenges facing drummers in the klezmer scene (also titled "You Can't Please Everybody"). Odd time signatures, dynamics, and the use of additional percussion will also be a focus. Come ready to play. Non-drummers are welcome.

  • Bass, Stuart Brotman. Bass line construction for bass instruments. An opportunity to develop ensemble skills by following a melody player through dance styles including hora and bulgar, and ritual and listening music, such as kale bazetsens and doinas. Guitars welcome.

  • Plucked String Instruments, Jeff Warschauer. For guitar, mandolin and other plucked string instruments. Learn specific plucked string techniques for playing solo, in an ensemble, and for accompanying Yiddish song.

Ask Dr. Klez, Joshua Horowitz 3rd Period
Ever wonder what chord you should play at the bridge? What to do when your sound system crashes? Why Germany is the home of the largest klezmer scene? How to arrange a tune? This is the class where you can ask virtually anything! Josh Horowitz will lead this exciting class, which is a variant of the master class concept taken to its extreme. Questions are pooled at the beginning, then selected quickly on-site. The immediate needs of the participants govern the class, forming a powerful session, which can also be observed by teachers as a new model. Bring instruments and your most pressing questions.
Yiddish Song Interpretation, Adrienne Cooper 1st Period
A Century of Yiddish Song in America: From the streetcar to the theater, from the picket-line to the movie palace, American Yiddish sung in the idiom of Tin-Pan Alley, new media, the remembered cadences of the Russian revolution and the Polish shtetl. You'll hear recorded examples, view film excerpts, and learn to sing Yiddish and "Yinglish" versions of the great American Yiddish repertoire.
New Yiddish Songs, Adrienne Cooper 2nd Period
"Naye kveytn af an alter boym (New blossoms on an old tree)": Look who's writing new Yiddish songs! A workshop in which you will learn new songs in Yiddish or on Yiddish themes by lyricists/composers from New York, Kishinev, Kazan, and Toronto. Alongside veteran contemporary songmakers Beyle Schaechter Gottesman, Josh Waletsky, and Michael Alpert, there is an explosion of beautiful and original work by lyricists and musicians, among them young adults who grew up in the klezmer and Yiddish song revival.
Individual lessons, Staff by private arrangement, All Periods
For private lessons, please arrange with individual teachers. Availability and cost are at discretion of individual teachers.
Jamming, Ad hoc, All the time
A room will be available for jamming.
New Jewish Music Workshop, Daniel Hoffman FRIDAY WORKSHOP 1st Period
Just what is New Jewish Music? This composition workshop will focus on utilizing traditional elements of Yiddish music in the creation of new compositions. The stylistic limits of traditional melodic ideas, phrasing, modes, harmony, and rhythm will be explored in terms of finding new approaches. Workshop participants will be encouraged to experiment with incorporating music from other genres.
Khazones Workshop Stephen Saxon FRIDAY WORKSHOP 1st Period
This special session will focus on traditional cantorial singing, as well as using this traditional style in liturgical, paraliturgical or non-liturgical settings. The instructor will share a variety of musical, spiritual, technical, and real-life lessons he has learned through being a cantor and professional musician over the past 15 years. Some general topics to be covered include the role of traditional nusakh, some nusakh specifics, becoming comfortable with the text, implied and explicit harmony, improvised cantorial singing, and much more.

Go to top of page

CHILDREN'S PROGRAM


(ages 5-11) Gerry Tenney, Director

Drama, Children's Program Staff

In four days we will produce a shpiel (play), filled with Yiddish words and song. No previous acting or singing experience needed. You can also participate by doing art or production assistance. Last year's shpiel, Kapores, was a big success; let's make this one be better. We will perform the shpiel Thursday evening.

Dance, Children's Program Staff

Much of Klezmer music was created to be dance music. We will cover steps, figures and styles for many of the dances in the Klezmer repertory selected for their appeal to "little feet."
Youth Orchestra, Peter Jaques 2nd Period
Klezmer music for teens and children who play an instrument at beginning level or higher. Peter Jaques, a wizard on the clarinet, and clairvoyant with young people, will teach freylakh tunes to our future klezmorim. We will play with written music and by ear. (Teens at intermediate or advanced levels are welcome in adult ensembles.)
Singing, Children's Program Staff
Lots of fun songs mostly in Yiddish, some in Yinglish, and even in English. The most fun way to learn Yiddish.

Yiddish Language, Children's Program Staff

Lots of games and creative ways to begin to learn mameloshn (Yiddish). Nu, maybe you've learned something new already.

Papercutting & Amulets, Claire Sherman 1st Period

Come learn the Jewish folk art of papercutting. The amazing thing about papercutting is that you can create beautiful art work even if you don't know how to draw, or “can't draw a straight line”. On days one and two of this course we will use x-acto knives and scissors, to make royslekh, (circular or rose shaped paper window decorations for the holiday of Shavuos), and other papercuts such as mizrakhim, with one or more folds. We will also delve into micrography, the Jewish folk art of creating pictures or patterns entirely of tiny words. The last two days we will explore the folklore of Jewish amulets. Students will create amulets out of Fimo (a polymer clay that bakes in a toaster oven). Techniques for working with Fimo will be taught, including Seminole patchwork, and millefiori, a Venetian glass-working secret.

Go to top of page

TEEN PROGRAM


(ages 12 -17)
Teens are welcome in most adult-level classes, including both culture and music courses.
Several activities especially for teens are planned (contingent on the number of teens attending).

Music and Words: A Hands-On Seminar for Teens and Adults, Deborah Strauss 1st Period

Stories by Yiddish writers can be an invaluable resource for giving context and insight into Eastern-European Jewish music and culture. In this hands-on seminar, we'll look at a selection of stories about music and bring them to life using the varied talents of class members. This class is open to instrumentalists, singers, actors, dancers, Yiddishists, and storytellers of all levels. Knowledge of Yiddish is helpful, but not required.
Youth Orchestra, Peter Jaques 2nd Period
Klezmer music for teens and children who play an instrument at beginning level or higher. Peter Jacques, a wizard on the clarinet, and clairvoyant with young people, will teach freylakh tunes to our future klezmorim. We will play with written music, and by ear. (Teens at intermediate or advanced levels are welcome in adult ensembles.)
Electric Guitar Klezmer Band (For Teens of All Ages) Jeff Warschauer 2nd Period
For electric guitar, bass and drums. Other loud instruments and singers welcome, too. PA provided, but bring your own amplifier.

Dance, Teen Program Staff

Much of Klezmer music was created to be dance music. We will cover steps, figures and styles for many of the dances in the Klezmer repertory: freylakhs, bulgar, sher, and zhok or hora.

Papercutting & Amulets, Claire Sherman 1st Period

Come learn the Jewish folk art of papercutting. The amazing thing about papercutting is that you can create beautiful art work even if you don't know how to draw, or “can't draw a straight line”. On days one and two of this course we will use x-acto knives and scissors, to make royslekh, (circular or rose shaped paper window decorations for the holiday of Shavuos), and other papercuts such as mizrakhim, with one or more folds. We will also delve into micrography, the Jewish folk art of creating pictures or patterns entirely of tiny words. The last two days we will explore the folklore of Jewish amulets. Students will create amulets out of Fimo (a polymer clay that bakes in a toaster oven). Techniques for working with Fimo will be taught, including Seminole patchwork, and millefiori, a Venetian glass-working secret.

Teen Dinners,Teen Program Staff

An adult counselor will be available each night to go out for dinner in the neighborhood with teens who have permission from their families. No host (i.e., bring cash).
Go to top of page