Zev Green, a Grade 10 student at Sir Robert Borden High School, is one of 33 North Americans – and the only Canadian – to be accepted into the HaZamir Chamber Choir.
HaZamir is a Jewish musical youth movement made up of 38 choral chapters spread across the United States and Israel. Its elite Chamber Choir features singers from North America and Israel who are “more musically advanced and are ready for more challenging music.” The Chamber Choir performs as a select ensemble at major events.
Zev, 15, the son of Cantor Jason Green of Kehillat Beth Israel, has been singing since he was five years old, and has participated in choirs since he was nine. Zev said he auditioned for HaZamir because wanted to join a Jewish-based choir. He was encouraged, he said, by his friend Aden, of HaZamir’s Baltimore chapter.
“[Aden] has been singing in HaZamir for two years, and he was always telling me how incredible it is singing with other Jewish teens, so I really wanted to be a part of that,” Zev said.
Zev’s mother, Jodi, said that because he is Canadian – and therefore could not attend weekly practices with any of the U.S. chapters – he was told his only option was to join the Chamber Choir.
In order to audition, Zev had to submit an audio recording of his singing – which could not be altered in any way – to HaZamir. A week later, he received an email congratulating him on being accepted into the HaZamir Chamber Choir.
Zev said he is “really excited” to be representing Canada in the HaZamir Chamber Choir.
Zev will be learn the music at home, with the added support of his dad and his voice coach. He will then attend two large conventions in New York and Baltimore, as well as some “special trips or gigs they haven’t told us about yet,” said Jodi.
Zev said HaZamir will give him the opportunity to learn Jewish music and sing with other Jewish teens, something he had not done before in previous choirs.
“I am hoping I will fit in really well, and I think it will be really great,” he said.
HaZamir holds new auditions every year, according to Zev, and having been in the Chamber Choir previously “does not get you extra points,” as everyone auditions again annually. “Some kids who have been in it for three years might not come back for the fourth year,” Zev explained.
Cantor Green said he anticipated his son having “amazing experiences” with HaZamir, and was impressed with how far he had come musically in the last few years. “Zev is flying. His sight reading has gotten better, I have watched him navigate the changing of his voice, and so we want to support him and let him go as far as he wants to go with this,” he said.
Jodi agreed that she wanted to see her son succeed in HaZamir.
“As a mom, you just want your kids to be happy, feel accomplished and have opportunities to grow, and this is really awesome way to do that,” she said.
The Green family has started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay the fees associated with HaZamir and for expenses travelling to events in the U.S. Visit www.gofundme.com/sponsor-zev-to-participate-in-hazamir for more information.