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music at cBH

Music is a real point of pride for our community. This is not just because Congregation Bet Haverim’s musicians sound so good (and they do!), but because music is an arena where we enact our values and traditions. 

  • Our chorus, band and strings developed organically, from members who simply brought their talents to the table. This natural growth reflects our Reconstructionist orientation toward the arts as an expression of our humanity and our connection to Judaism. 
  • The diversity in our selections shows our appreciation for the diversity of Judaisms around the world – and within our own sanctuary! Mixing traditional Jewish music with songs from other cultures also expresses our theological approach toward blending Jewish and other ideas. This is why we combine “Kol HaOlam Kulo” with “Mad World”; this is why we sing “American Tune” from the bimah.  
  • Finally, our music is about bringing people together. It helps us form tighter bonds, it is intergenerational, and it is an area where members who are not Jewish have found a first comfortable home base within synagogue life. 


With seven albums now available as downloads or CDs and for streaming, the Congregation Bet Haverim Chorus is lauded for its spirit, quality, and versatility. Our chorus, band, and string ensemble perform at CBH services and fundraising concerts, at rallies for social justice and in collaboration with other faith communities and local organizations, and have occasionally been featured at special events like the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, a Paul Simon lecture series at Emory and the national Reconstructing Judaism conference.

Beyond formal ensembles, as congregants we build community whenever we join our voices together—whether in prayer, in celebration, in chant, or marching the streets of Atlanta. Musical expression is woven into nearly every aspect of congregational life at CBH, and with our first full-time music director now on board, the sounds of CBH are set to keep expanding in new and creative ways in the years ahead. Got ideas about how song and sound can play a role in communal life? Rebekka Goldsmith welcomes your suggestions. 


Always open to all

  • Communal singing: Add your voice during services, at our school’s intergenerational family minyan, at midweek chanting services, or as a part of our social justice efforts. 
  • Chant: This contemplative practice involves repeating simple Hebrew phrases in unison, with drum or other accompaniment. Weekly lay-led chant services provide singers of all levels a chance to find connection through simple melodies and organically emerging harmonies. Find upcoming chant dates on CBH’s calendar of events.

Open by audition

  • CBH Chorus: Participants must be adult full members of CBH (post–brit mitzvah), be able to match and hold pitch in a group, and be open to the spiritual experience of learning new things. (Hear chorus members talk about their experience here.) Rehearsals take place Monday evenings. Contact chorus director Will Robertson with questions about joining.  

Fixed ensembles

  • CBH Band: The CBH Band is group of skilled musician congregants with jazz, classical, world, and folk music backgrounds who have been playing together for many years. The band accompanies the CBH Chorus and congregation on holidays and special occasions throughout the year. 
  • CBH String Ensemble: Varying in size from quartet to septet, the congregant-led CBH Strings includes members trained on violin, viola, cello, and double bass. At select services and concerts the strings accompany the chorus and play genres from classical to klezmer.  

The CBH music program is made possible through generous donations to Congregation Bet Haverim. To add to that support, please consider making a contribution here.

chorus, band and strings

 

On The Day We Are together again

“On the Day We Are Together Again,” written by Humbird in the first days of the pandemic, arranged by CBH chorus director Will Robertson, and performed by the CBH Chorus in their homes in 2020. 

Hold It High

“Hold It High,” written by Will Robertson in early 2017, performed by Will Robertson and the CBH Chorus and Band. A song to remind us that the right to protest is core to what it means to be an American – and always has been. Downloads here. Sheet music available here

CBH Strings in Concert

“Kutcher’s Bulgar,” performed by the CBH String Ensemble at the 2014 release concert for its album Fire Flashing Up. Arrangement by the group’s violist, David Borthwick; klezmer tune from Kammen International Dance Folios. 

 

Sun, June 16 2024 10 Sivan 5784