I'm home now, and while I have a few dates already set, I am booking more for the 2015-16 academic year.
At the end of July I will be in Bend, Oregon for a Shabbaton at Temple Beth Tikvah. For the High Holidays I will be at home, davening and welcoming the New year of the Soul with my friends at Havurah Shalom. In October, I return to The Temple, Congregation B'nai Jehudah for another Shabbaton.
In September, I will find out if any of my submissions to the 6th Shalshelet Music Festival will be accepted as finalist pieces. The festival is planned for December 2015 in Philadelphia. On the chance that I am invited to aprticipate I am looking at booking a Shabbaton appearance for sometime that week (mid-December) in the Philadelphia area.
I am reaching out to colleagues I met last week at the WCN conference, to see if they can be of help as I book more appearances and teaching residencies at syangogues across the country. Now that my music is being heard everywhere (from camps in the Pacific NW and Midwest to synagogues in the South), I feel inspired to bring my music to more communities across the United States. If you have any connection to a synagogue community where you live, please share my music with your clergy and invite them to get in touch with me! I am booking dates now for winter and spring 2016.
Finally, I have been working on liturgical settings -- remember I asked you all for suggestions of which texts to set to music? Well, some of you came through with ideas and a few more have surfaced organically in the course of my travels. I have nine songs composed now, mostly actual settings of liturgy but also a few songs that are interpretations of liturgy or Torah text. I am working on at least two more liturgical settings, with the goal that nearly all of these songs are congregationally friendly -- that is, anyone will be able to sing and enjoy them. Further, the collection will be family-friendly -- not kid-specific, but you'll be able to listen to the CD with your kids in the room. Just because.
When I have all the songs completed, it will be time for me to consider recording them. That means another crowdfunding campaign and reserving space at my favorite local studio.
No definite plans of timing at this point but a goal I've set for myself is to have a compilation of at least 11 or 12 songs ready to record by sometime in early to mid 2016.
In my quest for ever-simpler production values and a recurring penchant for semi-anarchy (that's so Portland!), I am planning to make this recording entirely for solo voice and guitar -- and I will offer a package of the recording with lead sheets so congregations can use the songs in their services or other community gatherings if they wish.
Stay tuned because things are definitely looking up in the coming months. If your congregation wants to be a part of the adventure, use the CONTACT form here at the web site to get in touch with me. I'll be happy to send you an outline of all that I can offer as an artist or teacher in residence.
Have a safe and happy Independence Day holiday, and Shavua Tov -- a great week!