1. I have two visits left this year to Temple Chai in Phoenix. I will be there the weekend of April 10 and again the weekend of May 15, doing music for Shabbat and spending some time hanging out in the religious school. Every visit has been simply great -- the community is warm and welcoming and the clergy have been inspiring to work with.
Speaking of inspiring, during my most recent visit there in February, I composed another folk setting of a liturgical text, Kol Han'shama. I tried it out that same evening and the rabbi said, "I think it's a keeper."
So here's the link to a demo of the song, which I'm now using everywhere else: http://www.reverbnation.com/bethhamon/song/23195692-kol-hanshama
2. Later in April, I'll visit Temple Mount Sinai in El Paso. Larry Bach and Alison Westermann, Rabbi and religious school teacher respectively, are both contemporary Jewish artists with recordings to their credit and I am really excited about making music with them. In addition to making music during Shabbat services, I will also be joining a group of local artists onstage at El Paso's community-wide Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) celebration.
3. My return for a third round of Machane Jehudah camp this June is in the works, with lesson planning and phone conferences in full swing. The Temple, Congregation B'nai Jehudah is a really sweet community that I love returning to year after year; it's become my home away from home and I am excited to go back this summer. Immediately following Machane Jehudah I'll be heading to Austin, TX for the 33rd annual conference of the Women Cantors Network. It will be a great opportunity to meet and share music and inspiration with others who are doing this work and I am very excited about this trip.
4. Most recently, I enjoyed sharing my music with the folks at Rose Schnitzer Manor, the Jewish assisted living center in Portland. The audience was receptive, engaged and very appreciative; one of the most enjoyable shows I've played yet. I look forward to playing there again before too long.
5. I've begun making more Judaica from recycled bicycle parts. I currently have mezuzot and yaddayim available for order. If you're interested, use the Contact form (click on the link at top) to email me. These make great gifts for the environmentally-minded and/or the bike enthusiast in your life.
Stay tuned for more updates later in the season. Hope your spring is beautiful and filled with color!