May 23, 2024
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May 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Stone Temple Pilots and Bush and the Cult

We decided that perhaps it was time for us to think about the summer and look into what musical events will be taking place not too far from here. Nina remembers the warm summer nights of the Goldman Band concerts in Central Park when she listened to the music as her family looked up at the stars. Mordechai, as well, talks about the legendary Boston Pops concerts on the Boston Common. Did we mention of course, that those concerts were free?

Nina noticed an entire page ad for the upcoming Jones Beach Summer concert schedule. She has great memories of the many plays she watched with her parents at the Jones Beach Theatre. Memories of Showboat, South Pacific and so many others came to mind. Ticket prices at that time were a soaring $7.99. Okay, so let’s look at the coming season at the Jones Beach Theatre. Should we go to Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson, Godsmack and Shinedown, or Poison? This has got to be a joke!!!

Okay, never mind; we will look into the PNC Bank Arts Center events, which should be closer to home. Now that title sounds like something that Mordechai in particular would be interested in: “Logic, NG Kyle.” Oh wait a second, that is not about the subject of logic that he had studied in university. What about Counting Crows, as our renown for bird watching is known to our friends. How many of us shlep forty pound bags of bird feed each time that we leave Costco? Whoops, these are not the same type of crows that we are accustomed to watching on our back deck.

There is also an entire schedule of shows taking place at Coney Island—that might be fun! Should we go to see Barenaked Ladies or Wiz Khalifa?

By now we guess that you are getting our point. Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven are surely still alive in some circles. We believe that only children who studied music would even appreciate or understand the blending sounds which come together at a symphony orchestra. Yet it seems as though the world of Bernstein, Lerner and Lowe and Gershwin have also been lost in the younger generation.

As we flip the stations on the radio on long drives, our indicator always seems to return to NPR (especially in places where the transmission is difficult). There are no songs to sing along with. In fact the songs that we do hear we have decided are not real music. The few words that we can discern are those that years ago we told our children never to use.

In fact, in the younger generation, perhaps only those crossword puzzle aficionados have ever heard of Yo-Yo Ma or Itzhak Perlman.There was a time when we were frustrated that our children and grandchildren only knew the latest in the Jewish world of music. We thought that it was all a part of the cloistered world they live in. Shwekey, Gad Elbaz and the myriad of others who are played loudly each day in Jewish stores and that our children listen to regularly are teaching the younger generation that to sing loudly is primarily the goal of their music. We remember the days when the Modzitzer Rebbe’s niggunim began to be sung by Ben Zion Shenker. We were all totally drawn in to listening and singing along. Yet the vibes from Porgy and Bess, West Side Story and My Fair Lady remained a part of our world as well. One did not find the need to make a choice.

We see that today, unless we expose our children consciously to what the fine sounds of blended music are, they will never grow up to appreciate the warm tones and resonance of an orchestra in full. As lovers of music we find that devastatingly sad. Is it not time for Jewish schools to have orchestras in which they encourage their students to learn instruments? Or at least offer music appreciation? We believe the time is now to broaden students’ horizons.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

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