משמחת מקהלה

About Shir Joy Chorus of Massachusetts

We love to sing

Shir Joy Chorus of Massachusetts (SJCM) is dedicated to learning, sharing and performing Jewish music primarily in the Central Massachusetts area.

The chorus currently consists of 30 members representing a dozen Massachusetts towns and cities. The chorus is non-auditioned and is open to all people regardless of ethnicity or religious background who are interested in learning and performing music from the rich and varied Judaic cultures from Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. Our chorus members are a diverse group: we are working/retired professionals and non-professionals; doctors, lawyers, business people, students, musicians, teachers; with both religious and secular backgrounds. While some of our members have extensive musical knowledge, others have no previous choral experience. We practice weekly, sharing our love of Jewish music and building strong bonds of friendship as we hone our musical skills.

Shir Joy Chorus was founded in 2011 by Karen Rothman and the original dedicated Board of Trustees-Wendy Damoulakis, Jonathan Rappaport, Bill Martin, and Eric Pell. Through their efforts, a generous grant was obtained from the Federation of Central Massachusetts to begin the chorus, which had its first rehearsal in late October, 2011.

Shir Joy has been made possible in part through the fiscal sponsorship of Arts and Business Council, Inc., with funding provided by The Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts and the Westborough Cultural Council.

SJCM envisions a musical organization dedicated to raising awareness and appreciation of the breadth and beauty of Jewish culture through performances and related activities.

Guiding principles of this vision include the following:

SJCM will:

  • foster knowledge of Jewish music through a wide variety of Jewish genres and languages, both for our members and audiences
  • foster trans-denominational and cross-cultural understanding between diverse groups of people
  • promote Jewish music as a vehicle to inspire Jewish life, culture and continuity
  • provide community building and social opportunities within and beyond the chorus
  • strive towards musical excellence by our volunteer members in performance including but not limited to vocal skills, musicianship, and presentation skills
  • strengthen the solo and ensemble skills of all our members
  • expand musical opportunities for a wide range of ability and ages
  • strive for and maintain a balanced chorale ensemble of SATB sections
  • create dynamic, cutting-edge Jewish music programming
  • commission and premiere new Jewish choral works
  • cultivate members to have a strong commitment to all facets of the organization
  • obtain long-term and sustainable funding as a non-profit organization
  • engage a variety of stakeholders and organizations to support the activities and goals of SJCM