A New Group
SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS
(Above) Minutes from a Zamir
Chorale Board of Directors
(Left) Various members of the
Zamir Chorale of Metropolitan
are just not enough
for the Zamir
Chorale of Metropol-
itan Detroit. Thirty-
five would do for this
season, but members
are reaching out for
Zamir, formed in January with
a $10,000 grant from the Max M.
Fisher Jewish Community Foun-
dation of the Jewish Federation
of Metropolitan Detroit, will be
holding auditions Sept. 18 and
25. The group wants additional
quality vocalists to be part of con-
certs featuring traditional and
new Jewish music.
"A chorus is supposed to make
a big sound, and the more singers
that we have the more versatili-
ty we will have," said Lawrence
Katkowsky, president of the
group that he founded with first
vice president Ilaine Packman.
"There's no limit," Ms. Pack-
man said. "If we have 40, 50 or
60 singers, that would be won-
The chorale, scouting members
ages 16 and up, had its premier
performance in May, presenting
selections in Hebrew, Yiddish
and English at the Agency for
"We are trying to put together
a choral organization that would
cater to the Jewish community
and be good enough to go through
the entire repertoire of Jewish
music whether from the 16th
century or avant garde," said Mr.
Katkowsky, an attorney who has
performed with synagog-tie cho-
ruses and the Wayne State Uni-
versity Men's Glee Club.
"I am told that maybe 15 years
ago a similar organization exist-
ed, but there hasn't been anoth-
er in Michigan since then."
Zamir, which means "nightin-
gale," is both setting up inde-
pendent concerts with minimal
admission fees and making mem-
bers available to entertain as part
of other events.
Planners want audiences to
feel they have listened to fine mu-
sical performances while experi-
encing a link to their heritage. It
was an interest in experiencing
that kind of ancestral link that
gave Mr. Katkowsky and Ms.
Packman the idea to start the
"Baine and I were singing with
the Langsford Singers, a non-de-
nominational group, and we were
touring England and Wales in
the summer of 1992," Mr.
"We were the only Jewish
members of the touring group,
and after we had done a concert
at one of the chapels, there was
a feeling of cultural isolation."
Ms. Packman, a health edu-
cation specialist who has per-
formed with the Temple Kol Ami
choir and the Madrigal Singers,
said, "Larry and I looked at each
other and said we'd like to do
something that's more indicative
of our own roots.
"We went through a long peri-
od of research and began by try-
JEWISH VOICES page 82