Appointed Music Director at The Birmingham Temple in Farmington Hills, Michigan

It’s official!

I’ve been appointed the new Music Director at The Birmingham Temple Congregation for Humanistic Judaism. My first Shabbat service will be July 14.

The Birmingham Temple was founded in 1963 by Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine (1928-2007) and eight families seeking to establish a new temple in suburban Detroit. The Temple offers a warm and welcoming community of people who are committed to exploring the application of Humanistic values in all areas of human experience against the background of a modern and relevant Jewish culture and identity. Consistent with these values, there are no barriers to full participation by individuals or families of mixed heritage.

When I first set foot inside The Birmingham Temple three years ago I could never have imagined what a huge role this community would come to play in my life. Honored and humbled to share that I will be assuming this new post in July!

 

Second Prize in The 2016 American Prize Conducting Awards

Honored to announce that I have been awarded 2nd Prize in The American Prize Competition for Conducting (Opera/Musical Theatre – Community Division) for “HMS Pinafore!”

This was my third production as Music Director with the University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society and I couldn’t be prouder to receive this recognition on behalf of the Society. Really looking forward to next month’s performance of “The Pirates of Penzance (or, The Slave of Duty)!”

Guest Composer at New Jersey Music Teachers’ Association 2016 State Conference

Very honored to be the guest composer at the New Jersey Music Teachers’ Association 2016 State Conference!

I received a commission to compose a set of three progressive solo piano pieces and one duo piece for this year’s conference. The winners, aged 5-17, performed the pieces on a special concert yesterday with over 100 people in attendance. Thanks to Chairperson Emily Lau and everyone else who made this possible!

“HMS Pinafore (or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor)” with University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society

Just finished a great production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “HMS Pinafore (or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor)” with the University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society!

From a review by Wendy Wright, A2View.com, April 9, 2016 –

…the reason most people see a Gilbert and Sullivan production is for the music and music director Ezra Donner does not disappoint. Under his direction the large orchestra is nuanced and does not overpower the singers and the chorus sounds terrific.

(Read the full review at “This HMS Pinafore is smooth sailing at UMGASS.”)

Please enjoy these photos! (Photos by Marilyn Gouin.)

Premiere of “Three Poems of Yehuda Amichai” at North Shore Congregation Israel

What a joy to make music again with Cantor David Goldstein!

Cantor Goldstein has been such a huge influence on my musical life since I became bar mitzvah at Temple Beth Zion in Buffalo, New York almost 20 years ago (!) and it was an honor to be there for the premiere of my “Three Poems of Yehuda Amichai” at North Shore Congregation Israel last month. Please enjoy the video of this wonderful performance: