Yiddish, the 1000-year-old language of the Jews of Eastern Europe, is flourishing, as people young and old, Jewish and non-Jewish, explore its rich cultural heritage. Yiddish songs are hugely varied. Some are spiritual and liturgical, rooted in cantorial and hassidic music, particularly the nign – a spiritual melody that hassidim believe changes consciousness. Others come from the Yiddish theatre and cinema, or describe the diverse lives of Jewish people across Eastern and Central Europe and all the countries they have emigrated to – their history, hopes, fears, memories, politics, celebrations and resistance to oppression.
The Brighton & Hove Chutzpah Choir explores all these traditions and builds on them, adding four-part arrangements of folk songs, contemporary compositions and some improvisation, while respecting and learning about the history, style and cultural contexts in which the music originated and developed.
The group meet most Tuesdays 11am – 1pm in Hove to rehearse and perform once or twice a season. It is open to people of all backgrounds and singing levels, without auditions. Sheet music, translations and transliterations are available.
Fee – £30 per term (5 sessions). Taster – £5.
The choir is led by Polina Shepherd under the umbrella of The Polina Shepherd Vocal Experience, which covers many aspects of vocal music, from solo voice to large scale choral improvisation, and from highly arranged and conducted choir pieces to smaller chamber groups.