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Classes and Workshops

  A day-long program of music, Yiddish song, culture, language and arts.  Bring your instruments!

Sunday, April 30, 2006 • 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Kehillah Jewish High School
3900 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, California [Map]


Veretski Pass will also be performing in Saturday Evening Concert & Dance


Music Classes:

  • Music Ensemble -- Melody, Cookie Segelstein explores the elements of melody, stressing rhythmic flexibility, energy flow, ornamental styles, and fills.
  • Music Ensemble -- Rhythm, Stu Brotman leads this workshop in advanced listening, from steady time to flexible time, in which we find out that melody and rhythm players are equally responsible for the time feel.
  • Music Ensemble -- Accompaniment, Josh Horowitz shows the techniques of supporting melody instruments through asymmetric bass movement, various harmonizing strategies, fills, and turnarounds.
  • Master Class for Instrumentalists with Veretski Pass, Stu BrotmanJosh Horowitz, and Cookie Segelstein. Join all the members of Veretski Pass in a session that is at once highly interactive, intensive, unabashedly honest, and humorous. We will discuss and demonstrate the techniques of increasing musical energy, correcting arrangement problems, band coordination, stage presentation, and reveal trade secrets. 
  • Playing Countermelodies, Stephen Saxon What about when you're NOT playing the melody? Nobody in the band likes a show-off, so come and learn how to support your band-mates when it's not your turn to shine. Most of the traditional instruments in a klezmer band have characteristic roles that they trade back and forth. You may think that the clarinet just plays the melody, and that's that. Think again! And what abou trumpet? Trombone? Saxophone? Violin? This workshop will concentrate on traditionally melodic instruments, and how they contribute to the klezmer sound as non-melodic background players. If you play a not-so-traditional-klezmer instrument, you can still learn about the different roles in the band and adapt them to your own instrument. Bring your instruments, because this is a hands-on workshop.
  • Yiddish Sing-Along, Sharon Bernstein. Join us in singing many beautiful Yiddish songs-- favorites as well as newer ones. We will try to cover a varied repertoire.
  • Master Class for SingersSharon Bernstein. This class explores the various skills that make a performance moving and memorable. We will work on vocal quality and projection, physical presentation, intellectual and emotional connection to the lyrics of songs as well as to the music. Bring your favorite Yiddish song.
  • Everyone's Inter-Generation Klezmer Band, Rob Reich. Welcome, people of all ages, instruments, and experience levels!  Rob will lead you through all aspects of playing in a klezmer ensemble. After learning a basic melody, we'll bring that tune to life with rhythm, harmony, texture, and arrangement ideas that draw upon everybody's strengths.

Culture Classes:

  • Chayale Ash's Life in the Yiddish Theater, Chayale Ash, acclaimed Yiddish actress and diva, will reminisce about her life and times as an artist, from early years on stage in Romania, Poland and in Displaced Person camps, to later years as a play director and actress in Israel and the United States. 
  • Yiddish Literature and the Russian Revolution,  Gabriella Safran.  Learn about Yiddish literature in the pre-revolutionary Russian Empire.  We'll read and discuss a funny story by S. Ansky (author of The Dybbuk) about Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, Jews and Christians, and the problems that arise when you live under false papers.  We'll read and discuss in English, but the Yiddish original of the story will be available.
  • What has become of the Old Country? -- Yiddish Film, Amelia Glaser will share raw footage from her interviews over the past five years with Yiddish speakers who remain in the former Soviet cities and shtetlekh, and will discuss the status of Yiddish in Eastern Europe today.
  • Yiddish 101, Harvey Varga. Find out how to say a variety of fun and interesting expressions in Yiddish. This will be a fun class and you will learn expressions that you can use every day in the English-speaking world.
  • Klezmer 101, Julie Egger. Find out the basics of klezmer music, the dances, the different types of music, a little history, a lot of fun. We will listen to recordings of klezmer music, but not play our own instruments.
  • The Art of Jewish Papercutting, Lisa Rauchwerger. Participants will learn a little about the history of papercutting, see examples of papercuts, both ancient and modern, including the artist's own work, and then have the opportunity to create a simple papercut or two of their own. Must be able to handle a sharp Xacto knife. All materials will be provided. No artistic experience necessary.

Dance Classes: 

  • Yiddish Dance I, Steve Weintraub. 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.
  • Yiddish Dance II, Steve Weintraub. Another session with more of the above!

Children/Teen Program:

  • Klezmer Youth OrchestraDavid Rosenfeld.  Whether you read music or play by ear, this is the workshop for you! We will play klezmer music and rock out as much as we possibly can. Don't miss it! All instruments welcome. (For ages 7-17)
  • Set me as a seal upon your heart -- Beatbox, Hip-hop, & the TorahTim Barsky will look at the ways in which Jewish culture has helped to produce a hip-hop ethos. We will also look at ways of re-interpreting the Torah through the lens of the four elements of hip-hop. And we will explore Yiddish approaches and interpretations of hip-hop culture through discussion and hands-on participation.
  • Have I Got a Story! -- Yiddish Theater WorkshopBruce Bierman. This participatory workshop for teens will bring a classic Yiddish story to life with the dramatic tools of improvisation, movement, dance, music, masks and, yes......Yiddish!
  • Art for KidsClaire Sherman.  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.
  • Yiddish Singing for Families, Gerry Tenney. Learn a new old song. Bring along a song to sing, if you'd like. Song sheets will be provided.