The NVHC adult choir was founded in 1968 by Mitch Bender and a few dedicated singers. The choir was small, but so was the congregation. Mitch remained the Director until 1982. Carol Fram joined the choir during that time as an accompanist, playing the piano for rehearsals and Shabbat services, and the organ for the High Holy Days. She also sang in the choir when another accompanist was available. In 1985, Carol volunteered to take over from her college friend, Joette Alkire, who served for two years after Mitch. Carol called upon her training in choral directing learned during her undergraduate degree program when she was majoring in music education.
During Carol’s tenure, the choir has grown to 25-30 singers. Kol Shirah performs monthly at Friday night services and at the High Holy Days. There are also regular concerts scheduled for Chanukah and for a worship service in the spring. Kol Shirah has sung twice with area synagogue choirs in concert at Strathmore Hall and at many other Washington area Jewish choral events. Kol Shirah also participated in the recording of the CD of Jose Bowen’s Jazz Service at Georgetown University. In concert together with a choir of the Vienna Presbyterian Church (VPC), Kol Shirah performed Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Bloch’s Sacred Service, Haydn’s Creation, and Handel’s Judas Maccabeus. This fall, Kol Shirah will once again perform at the Strathmore in a concert commemorating the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Kol Shirah has a reputation for being the best all-volunteer synagogue choir in the Washington area.
Kol Shirah is always open to new members! No audition is required; but, members should have rudimentary music reading skills and be able to sing a harmony part with a group of others singing the same part.