June 2018


Shir Joy Chorus has had an extremely busy concert year!  Next week is our last concert for the season. We hope you will be able to join us!  There are some other great Jewish events that day (June 10th), but what better way to cap off a day celebrating Judaism than with an evening concert?  Bring the kids! Concert will most likely be done by 8:30 pm and the children are sure to want a chance to win the Central Rock Gym rocking climbing day pass (equipment included!). As always, there will be an audience sing along.

Shir Joy Spring 2018 Poster.jpg

The Spring Concert, "Songs of Gratitude & Resilience," will be presented on Sunday, June 10, 2018 at 7 pm at Congregation B'nai Shalom, 117 E. Main St., Westborough, MA.  Come hear dramatic songs of perseverance and heartfelt music of thankfulness from ancient to modern times in English, Yiddish, and Hebrew. The program will include clarinet and violin solos, and drum, guitar, and piano accompaniment.   The chamber group's pieces will include a Renaissance piece by Solomon Rossi, and the full chorus's selections will include a rollicking version of "Mizmor L'David." Also featured will be a beautiful Yiddish lullaby by a sextet, and a brand new work, "Luminescent Indigo," composed by the group's director, Nan A. Kaipainen Gibbons. This year, there will be expanded raffle offerings, including flowers, a rock climbing gym day pass, original works of art, a spa basket, and more.


On May 6th, Shir Joy participated in the Communities of Song concert at Wesley United Methodist Church in Worcester.  Shir Joy joined four other choirs, Band of Voices, Wesley Choir, Wesley Ghanaian Choir, and Wesley Children’s Choir, for an afternoon of sharing music and culture.  Each group presented several songs and then all the choirs came together to sing several numbers, culminating in a huge group singing the Ghanaian piece “Shalom.” Also featured was a round table discussion on “The Benefits of Community Choral Singing,” in which members of all the choirs participated, as well as audience members.


On April 29th, the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts, one of our sponsors, held a celebration for Israel’s 70th Birthday at Cyprian Keyes in Boylston.  Shir Joy was in attendance and sang “Hatikvah” along with Shir BaEmek, a choir from Israel, and the Ruach Choir, a children’s choir from two local temples. Shir Joy also performed the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Photo credit: bruce wahle

Photo credit: bruce wahle



The community-wide Yom HaShoah (Holocaust remembrance) commemoration took place at Beth Tikvah Synagogue in Westborough on April 11th, and Shir Joy was a part of the service.  The chorus performed a very poignant piece called “Even When God Is Silent” based on a poem found on the walls of a basement in Cologne, Germany written by someone hiding from the Gestapo.  

I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.                                                                                                                          I believe in love even when feeling it not.                                                                                                                                     I believe in God even when God is silent.  

Shir Joy will be performing this piece again in its June 10th concert, so you will have another opportunity to hear this very moving song.

Yom Hashoah April 2018 Candles.jpg

Winter Concert

Shir Joy’s Winter Concert, “Songs of Hope & Peace,” took place at Congregation B’nai Shalom on January 20th.  The weather cooperated and no snow day was needed! Audience members were treated to a variety of choral pieces, motets, and rounds from the Renaissance to the modern.  The audience sing-along was “Ilu Finu,” and the chorus premiered a new piece composed by our director Nan Gibbons, a Nign based on a traditional tune made popular by Itzhak Perlman. Lisa Marcus-Jones provided wonderful piano accompaniment, and Karen Rothman was featured on clarinet.

In case you missed the concert, you can view it on Westborough TV’s page.  Here is the link:

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Shir Joy is proud to be the recipient of grants from several organizations and was pleased to be able to attend the grant recipient reception hosted by the Westborough Cultural Council at the Westborough Senior Center on May 16th.  Our President, Karen Rothman, was there to accept our award and speak about how Shir Joy made use of this much needed grant. (Karen is center right in the photo.)

Westboro Cultural Council May 2018.JPG


Shir Joy Chorus now has an Instagram account.  Come follow us to keep up with the latest news!

About Shir Joy

Shir Joy Chorus is an adult community chorus, dedicated to learning, sharing, and performing Jewish music from the rich and varied Judaic cultures of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. Although many temples & synagogues have choruses which sing on the holidays, we are the only year-round transdenominational Jewish chorus in Central Massachusetts. The Chorus performs music in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino, and other languages.  Founded in 2011, it is an independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, funded by the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts, the Westborough Cultural Council (a member of the Massachusetts Cultural Council), and private supporters. The chorus is non-auditioned and is open to all people regardless of ethnicity or religious background.

Shir Joy is a musical organization dedicated to raising awareness and appreciation of the breadth and beauty of Jewish culture through performances and related activities. In addition to our two annual concerts at Congregation B’nai Shalom in Westborough, the Chorus performs at other events in Worcester county, including fundraisers for the Pastoral Counseling Centers of Central Massachusetts.

To donate, go to where you can donate online, or send a check to Shir Joy Chorus, 3 Elizabeth Dr., Westborough, MA 01581.

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Editor:  Betsy Fox