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December 5 • 2013
Ann Arbor singing group celebrates
its 20th anniversary.
Jane Roman Pitt
Special to the Jewish News
by do people join choirs?
Because, according to
together creates benefits far beyond
the enjoyment of beautiful music.
Singing reduces stress, strengthens
the immune system, regulates our
blood pressure and enhances the func-
tioning of the brain. One study indi-
cated that making music in a group
reduced stress more than relaxing with
a good book or magazine.
Those are some of the reasons why,
for 20 years now, the members of Ann
Arbor's Chaverim B'Shirim ("Friends
of Song") have gathered every week to
sing together. There has been another
important reason: Dr. Marilyn Krimm.
Chaverim B'Shirim was founded in
1993 by Dr. Krimm, now 85 and still
the group's musical director and con-
ductor. Showing no signs of slowing
down, she is very enthusiastic about the
upcoming 20th anniversary concert of
the choir, scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday,
Dec. 8, at the Jewish Community
Center of Greater Ann Arbor.
"I conceived this program to be the
music most loved by the choir mem-
bers:' she says. The concert will feature
the music of popular composers such
as George and Ira Gershwin, Alan Jay
Lerner and Frederick Loewe, Jerry
Herman, Irving Berlin and many more.
Also to be performed at the concert
is a composition by the writer of this
article, a published choral composer
formerly of Ann Arbor who received
encouragement from Krimm.
Krimm's musical career started with
early synagogue experiences, followed
by professional jobs singing for wed-
dings and bar mitzvahs in New York
City. She graduated from Brooklyn
College and moved to Ann Arbor with
her husband, Dr. Samuel Krimm, now
an emeritus professor of physics at the
University of Michigan.
A living example of the benefits of
diverse experiences, Marilyn Krimm's
love of all areas of music has led to a
wealth of knowledge.
Over the years, she has sung as a
soloist and conducted choirs at both
Temple Beth Emeth and Congregation
Beth Israel in Ann Arbor; sung leading
roles in operas with the Toledo Opera
Workshop; and was accepted into the
New York City Opera Company on the
condition that she move to New York,
which she decided not to do.
While earning her doctorate of
musical arts degree at the University
of Michigan, she taught classes
and coached students of the Opera
"Every day is a gift:' she says. "Music
is the universal language — it really
helps to bring people together and
share something very special. True
friends are greater than great wealth,
and you earn them by being one:'
Her loyalty to the choir, its members
and their families, and her generous
support of the work of budding musi-
cians, has earned her many friends
Recent research also shows that the
audience at any live musical concert
gains many of the same benefits as the
singers. Sunday's anniversary concert
will be a celebration of a remarkable
woman and her choir, who together
will create a beautiful musical event
for everyone there.
Jane Roman Pitt's latest CD, Midnight
Lullaby, is a collection of soothing bedtime
songs for all ages, written by well-known
contemporary songwriters. It can be found
at ladylullaby.com or janeromanpitt.com .
Chaverim B'Shirim performs its
20th-anniversary concert at
3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the
Jewish Community Center of
Greater Ann Arbor, 2935 Birch
Hollow Drive, in Ann Arbor.
Free and open to the public.
Refreshments will be served.
(734) 971-0990; jccannarbor.org .