Bios from the CD Liner Notes
Lois Welber has been the Cantor of Temple B'nai Israel in Revere, Massachusetts 2000 - 2018. Prior to that she served as Cantor for the Harvard-Radcliffe Hillel High Holiday services and the Worship and Study Congregation for 18 years. A mezzo-soprano, she studied voice and hazzanut for eight years with Cantor Gregor Shelkan (z"l) and has trained with opera singers Roberta Janelle and Ellen Chickering. As past officer of the Women Cantors Network, she also tutors b'nai mitzvah students and officiates at weddings, funerals, and other life-cycle events. She also performs regularly at nursing homes in the greater Boston area.
Since retiring from her position as cantor, Lois has been pursuing her interest in the American songbook. Listen to her newly recorded video of Cole Porter's "Night and Day" and Cole Porter's "You Do Something to Me"
Ernest Rakhlin (organ accompanist) studied piano, composition, music theory, and musicology at Moscow Conservatory Music College and Moscow Gensin Musical Institute. After teaching in Moscow for almost 20 years, he moved to the U.S. where he created the Rakhlin Chamber Orchestra & Ensembles in Buffalo, N.Y. He is a substitute organist at Temple B'nai Israel and he continues to work as an accompanist and give private lessons. His compositions have been performed in Russia, Bulgaria, England, and the U.S.
David Sparr (engineer and piano accompanist) has owned and operated Little Dog Studios in Malden, Massachusetts for over ten years. Since joining Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Massachusetts as accompanist/music director, he has become increasingly involved in performing and recording liturgical music, including recent recordings by Cantors Robbie Solomon, Elias Rosemberg, and Robert Scherr. He also plays keyboard with Boston-based bands Thaddeus Hogarth Band and Urban Renewal.
Israel Alter (composer, 1901-1979) was born in Lvov. He served as a cantor from the age of 20, first in Vienna, then in Hanover and Johannesburg. In 1961 he moved to the U.S. where he began teaching at the School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College. Between 1966 and 1971, he notated the complete musical settings for the Sabbath, Festivals, and Holy Days. His arrangements were published by the Cantors Assembly making the hazzanut repertoire easily available to anyone who wanted to learn them.