Choir

Our volunteer choir has been under the direction of Judy Campbell since 1999 and during that time has undertaken a diverse range of activities.

Our primary purpose has always been, and continues to be, to beautify services throughout the year. Members of the choir also sometimes take Shabbat to an individual in need. This takes the group to retirement homes, private homes and even hospital wards to ensure that the needs of those desiring a musical Kabbalat Shabbat are met.

In addition to services, the NSTE choir features in concerts, communal celebrations and commemorations such as Yom Hashoah, interfaith events, CD recordings and other community events.  Activities over the years have included :

  • Three CD recordings: "A Chanukah Cantata" (2001), "A Hallel for Our Times" (2003) and "Celebration" (2010), drawn from our Rosh Hashanah repertoire to commemorate the NSTE Jubilee year.
  • Annual High Holy Day Concert Series at the Montefiore Homes of Sydney - Hunters Hill, Randwick and Woollahra.
  • Interfaith concerts and events, e.g. Women of Faith Dinner (2008), "Rejoice" - Christian, Muslim, Jewish Sukkot event, "Soulfood" (2005), Tikkun Olam through Multicultural Music - A Community of Choirs (2016).
  • Concerts at NSTE Shabbaton: Jenolan Caves (2009), Wisemans Ferry (2011, 2015), Fairy Meadow (2013) and at Newcastle Synagogue (2009). Fundraiser concerts for NSTE, and for the 2014 Choir Tour to Israel, and the Jubilee Gala Concert (2010).
  • Performance at the YMCA in Jerusalem (2014).
  • Performances at conferences of the Union for Progressive Judaism (2012, 2014). 
  • Prizewinning performances at Sydney Eisteddfod  (2008).
  • Performances at the Australian Jewish Choral Festival (2014, 2016) and at the Jewish music festival Shir Madness (2010).
  • Participation in a community production of the musical "Children of Eden" (2010).

Originally established in the early 1990's by Cantor Janece Cohen, the choir is non-auditioned, although the ability to hold a tune is a requirement! We accomodate differing vocal and music reading skill levels, tailoring the programs and participation to be as inclusive as possible, while offering more of a challenge to those at the higher end of the skills spectrum. We always strive to improve our skills, and choir development activities take place from time to time.

Rehearsals are from 7:45pm - 10pm on Wednesday evenings throughout the year, with breaks during the summer and winter school holidays.

In general, rehearsals are in preparation for particular services or events. We understand that everyone has busy lives, and do not expect everyone to participate in everything. Information is provided well in advance and choir members make their selections. We do ask that singers commit to the rehearsals for events they select, avoiding clashes with other demands wherever possible.

We are a family within the congregational family, and both new and long term friendships in the choir are common. We welcome new members. 

If you are interested in joining the choir, please contact Music Director, Judy Campbell on 9419 7011.