2013 Concert: Join the Spirit: Sunday, June 23, 2013 – 7:30 pm
Walt Disney Concert Hall
The 2,265-seat auditorium with natural lighting in which the audience surrounds the orchestra was designed to look and feel like a ship’s hull. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is wheelchair accessible and Phonic Ear sound system headsets for the hard of hearing.
From the stainless steel curves of its striking exterior to the state-of-the-art acoustics of the hardwood-paneled main auditorium, the 3.6-acre complex embodies the unique energy and creative spirit of the city of Los Angeles and the Resident Companies that call the Concert Hall home.
Cancer Support Community (CSC)
In July 2009, The Wellness Community and Gilda’s Club Worldwide joined forces to become the Cancer Support Community. By helping to complete the cancer care plan, CSC optimizes patient care by providing essential, but often overlooked, services including support groups, counseling, education and healthy lifestyle programs. Today, CSC provides the highest quality emotional and social support through a network of more than 50 local affiliates, 100 satellite locations and online.
Dr. Susan Love
Dr. Love received her medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York and did her surgical training at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. She founded the Faulkner Breast Center in Boston and the Revlon UCLA Breast Center in Los Angeles. She has a business degree from the Executive MBA program at UCLA’s Anderson School. In 1996 she retired from the active practice of surgery, to dedicate her time to the urgent pursuit of finding the cause and prevention of breast cancer. She has done this in the private and non profit arenas including creating several medical device companies based on the intraductal approach to the breast.
Her reputation as an activist comes from her role as one of the “founding mothers” of the breast cancer advocacy movement in the early 1990’s as one of the founders of the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC). She continues this work by serving on the boards of the National Breast Cancer Coalition and Young Survival Coalition. She served on the National Cancer Advisory Board from 1998-2004 as an appointment of President Clinton.
Dr. Susan Love is best known as a trusted guide to women worldwide through her books and the Foundation website. The completely revised fifth edition of Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book termed “the bible for women with breast cancer” by The New York Times was released October 2010. It has been translated into German, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese and Hebrew. Dr. Susan Love’s Menopause and Hormone Book, first published in 1998 and revised in 2003, was one of the first to sound the alarm against the long term use of postmenopausal hormones. Live a Little (Crown 2009) encourages women to take a reasonable approach to becoming healthy.
A true visionary, Susan Love’s recent projects include the Love/Avon Army of Women, a creative Internet solution to partner women and scientists to accelerate basic translational research. The campaign is recruiting one million women who are willing to consider participating in research to find the cause and prevention of breast cancer. This novel initiative will move research from animals to women, democratizing the scientific process. In October 2012 Dr Love and her Foundation launched the Health of Women Study (HOW), an online cohort study to identify the cause of breast cancer.
In June of 2012, Susan Love was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. She returned to work in January of 2013 more determined than ever to find the cause of cancer and end it once and for all!
As a back-up singer for Bette, Melissa fulfilled her childhood fantasy of playing Carnegie Hall. Six months later, she had a recording contract, and went on to headline at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall, and performed for sold-out audiences across the country. Melissa’s music has served to establish her as a compelling singer/songwriter. Her debut releases Home To Myself and Bright Eyes positioned her as a dynamic new talent, and Melissa launched the smash hit single “Midnight Blue”.
Melissa and Kenny Loggins co-wrote the radio classic “Whenever I Call You Friend”, and her songs have been recorded by Barbra Streisand, Dusty Springfield, Alison Krauss, Roberta Flack, Johnny Mathis, Kathy Mattea, Peabo Bryson and Cleo Laine, among many others. Her international hits “Through The Eyes Of Love” and “Don’t Cry Out Loud” were written for her by her friend and frequent collaborator Carole Bayer Sager, Marvin Hamlisch and the late Peter Allen. Melissa was nominated for a Grammy in 1978 and 1979 and received the Grammy Award in 1982 for Best Female Vocalist. In 1980 she became the first artist in the history of the Academy Awards to have two nominated movie themes in a given year — “Through The Eyes Of Love” and “The Promise” — and went on the make Oscar history by performing both songs during the worldwide telecast.
For her acclaimed release Tribute, Melissa came full circle, honoring the great singers who influenced her. From Garland to Streisand, Piaf to Fitzgerald, Melissa paid homage to the icons with lush Peter Matz arrangements for this collection of classics.
Melissa has combined her acting and singing talents in starring roles in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Song And Dance and Music Of The Night, and in a recurring role in the hit television series Blossom. She also worked again with Bette Midler, co-starring in the film For The Boys, released by 20th Century Fox.
In 1998, Melissa released her first Christmas album on Angel/EMI Records. The CD, entitled Joy, was hailed by the New York Times as “a heartfelt Christmas album that sounds classic on first listen”. In yet another career first, Melissa has written the musical I Sent A Letter To My Love, based on the acclaimed Bernice Rubens novel of the same name. She performed the leading role in a National Public Radio broadcast and the staged musical premiered in Boston at the North Shore Music Theatre in 2002.
Melissa returned to the stage when she co-starred with Kelsey Grammer (Frasier), in Stephen Sondheim’s musical masterpiece Sweeney Todd at The Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, and she most recently starred in the Chicago premiere of HATS!, a new musical that contains several songs she co-wrote with Sharon Vaughn.
She also composed for Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective, co-wrote the score for Lady And The Tramp II, and she released her sixteenth CD, When I Look Down That Road, all the while celebrating four decades of performing with appearances throughout the United States. Melissa Manchester recently received the Governor’s Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for her contributions to the music and recording arts, and her body of work to date as a singer/songwriter was a featured exhibit at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum.
2013 Concert Performers
- Cantor Ilan Davidson
Cantor Ilan Davidson has been pleasing audiences with his singing since before he could read. At age five, he began singing with his Cantor, Philip Moddel, and hasn’t shut up since. At ten, he made his Operatic debut with the Fullerton Civic Light Opera’s production of Bizet’s Carmen, as a street urchin. Since then, he has performed roles in and scenes from Die Zauberflote, Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, L’Elisir D’amore, Les Pecheurs du Perles, and Manon, to name a few.
Besides his Operatic experience, Cantor Davidson also has extensive background, performing and directing theatre. He has performed such roles as Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls and Tony in Westside Story, and has produced many one man musical theatre reviews. Ilan has also been the musical and artistic director for many children’s theatre productions.
Among his many accomplishments, Cantor Davidson is also known as a contemporary Jewish songwriter and performer, having delighted audiences all over the world, including Israel and Lithuania with the soulful sounds of his music. As the owner of Davidsound Productions, the Cantor has produced many recordings, including his first original album, Stained Glass, in 1995. Most recently, Ilan’s band, The Moody Jews, released In A Hanukkah Mood. The Moody Jews are working on two more recordings in 2009, including Still In A Hanukkah Mood, a CD of new, original Hanukkah melodies.
After making the choice in 1991 to pursue a career in Jewish Education, Youth Work, and the Cantorate, Cantor Davidson left the stage and in 1995 joined the Temple Beth El family, in San Pedro, where he has brought many new programs and much enthusiasm to the community. In 2007, Cantor Davidson founded KindredSPIRITS, a non-profit humanitarian organization that inspires and educates diverse communities to support its global partners. The inaugural event premiered June 5, 2008 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Whether it is Hazzanut, Pop, Opera, Musical Theatre, or Folk music, Cantor Ilan Davidson shares his soul and genuine love in every note.
When asked about his finest accomplishment, Cantor Davidson invariably responds, “After all the great concerts, services, and roles, my finest role in life is that of husband to my beautiful wife, Jodi, and daddy to my gorgeous daughters, Jordan and Zoe.”
- Melissa Manchester
MELISSA MANCHESTER starred in the national tours of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Music Of The Night and Song And Dance. She also created the role of Maddy on the NBC television hit series Blossom. In 1980 she became the first recording artist in the history of the Academy Awards to have two nominated movie themes in a given year: Through The Eyes Of Love and The Promise. She was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1980 for Don’t Cry Out Loud and won the Grammy Award for best female vocalist in 1982 singing You Should Hear How She Talks About You. In addition to performing, MELISSA has composed music for the animated feature The Great Mouse Detective and written the scores for the musical I Sent A Letter To My Love and for Lady And The Tramp II, the sequel to the Disney animated classic. MELISSA also co-wrote the radio mainstays Midnight Blue, Come In From The Rain and Whenever I Call You Friend and penned the songs on her recent CD When I Look Down That Road. She was presented the Governor’s Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1997 for her contributions to the music and recording arts.
- Ilysia Pierce
After pursuing a career in the theatre since childhood, Ilysia says it was “beshert”, meant to be, when Rabbi David Baron heard her sing just over ten years ago! It was after that meeting that Ilysia redirected her life and began her journey as the Cantor of Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills, California. She has led Shabbat and High Holy Day services since 1999. In 2003 Rabbi David Baron and the Temple produced a CD, Enlighten which has elicited outstanding audience and critical review. Ilysia’s stirring rendition of “We Came to Sing in Jerusalem” was chosen to be on the Keeping the Faith, Voices for Israel 2 CD benefiting survivors of terrorism in Israel. Her vocal talents were also featured in the title song, “Keeping the Faith.”
Ilysia began studying acting, voice and dance at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute for the Performing Arts and received her BA in Theatre Arts at California State University, Northridge.
Prior to her tenure at the Temple, Ilysia enjoyed a successful career entertaining audiences on stage, television, nightclubs and in concert. Some of her theatrical highlights include: Disney’s King David, an oratorio concert sparking the reopening of the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York (the original home of the Ziegfeld Follies), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, playing the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, Frumah-Sara in Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel and Lainie Kazan, Eva Peron in Evita which she received a Dramalogue Critics’ Choice award for outstanding performance, and Johanna in Sweeney Todd, to name a few.
Ilysia was thrilled to originate the role of “Miss Oops-A-Daisy” for the nationwide PBS television show, The Huggabug Club, where she was able to teach children “it’s okay to make an oopsie, everyone makes mistakes sometimes!”
Ilysia’s reputation as a consummate entertainer has prompted invitations to sing in concerts as the featured guest artist at local venues, various fundraising events and at Pan Pacific Park’s Holocaust Memorial Yom HaShoah event.
Of all her successes and accomplishments, Ilysia says the one she is most thankful for is that of wife to her supportive husband, David, and mother to her two beautiful children, Braxton and Madison.
- Dr. “Dee” Diane White-Clayton
A native of Washington, DC, Diane was performing by age four and directing choirs by age nine; she was arranging and composing by eleven. She holds a Ph.D. and MA in Music Composition from the University of California at Santa Barbara and graduated with honors from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with emphases in Composition, Voice, and Piano. Prior to graduate studies, Dr. White-Clayton was awarded the coveted Rotary Scholarship for a year’s study as an Ambassador of Goodwill to France. As a Rotary Scholar, she studied classical piano at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris and performed solo Gospel concerts throughout Europe.
Affectionately known as “Dr. Dee”, Diane travels extensively as a vocalist, pianist, composer, conductor, workshop clinician, and speaker. She has held numerous positions at universities, colleges and churches across the country including Artistic Director for the Washington Performing Arts Society Children of the Gospel choral program; Artist-in-Residence with the School of Music and Assistant Director of African-American Student Development at Appalachian State University; Artist-in-Residence for the Chaplaincy at Westmont College; Composer-in-Residence at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Scholar-in-Residence at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa; and Choral Conductor and Pianist at the New Christ Memorial Church under the legendary Pastor Andrae Crouch. She was commissioned by the Clarisse Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland to create a three-day symposium which she entitled “This is Her Story; This is Her Song: Black Women and Song” featuring performances and lectures about the contributions as Afro-American women as composers and vocalists. She currently teaches at Loyola Marymount University and is Director of Choral Music at the renowned Faithful Central Bible Church in Los Angeles, California under the leadership of Pastor Kenneth C. Ulmer where she founded the acclaimed Sacred Praise Chorale.
As a composer, Dr. Dee is most known for her choral anthems and has won much acclaim with her tremendous stylistic diversity, ranging from atonal classical pieces to contemporary gospel. A classically trained pianist and vocalist, she weds her virtuosic, mellow, gospel style with her soprano voice, stretching in a three-and-a-half octave range. Her performances captivate audiences, transporting listeners into glorious worship with her unique blend classical and gospel.
A licensed minister, she is a sought-after speaker who demonstrates God’s power through eloquence and fervor. She has published scores of compositions and self-produced two recordings, “In Stillness” and “Dr. Dee Live in DC: My Heart Says ‘Yes.'” Diane is married to the love of her life, former recording and touring R&B percussionist, Joe Louis Clayton of Los Angeles
- Faithful Central Bible Church Choir
With the leadership of Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, Senior Pastor-Teacher, and under the direction of Dr. Diane White, Minister of Music, the Faithful Central Bible Church Choir of Inglewood, CA consists of a combination of voices from four of its unique choirs: Men of Faith, Voices of Faith, One Voice, Sacred Praise Chorale and the Praise Teams.
Although each choir offers a distinct sound, together they produce a spirit-filled harmony! The Faithful Central Bible Church Choir or “FCBC” Choir (affectionately known) repertoire features traditional and contemporary gospel, as well as African American sacred music such as: spirituals, anthems and hymns. The soulful sound of worship from the FCBC Choir can be heard on their debut CD, “Zion Rejoice”.
With the aim of spreading the gospel to the nations, God has anointed Faithful Central to minister with Habitat for Humanity, the Israel Christian Nexus, Blue & White on Wilshire, at the Knotts Berry Farm’s Gospel Showcase, the Taste of Soul on Crenshaw, BET’s Dr. Bobby Jones Gospel Show, the Annual Holy Convocation with Bishop Gilbert Patterson, the Black Business Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center and the West Coast House of Blues “Gospel Brunch” on Sunset Blvd., just to share a few of these opportunities.
- Dr. Noreen Green
DR. NOREEN GREEN, LAJS Founder, Artistic Director and Conductor, is also music director at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California, a renowned lecturer on Jewish music, and an accomplished educator. She is known world-wide for her knowledge and skill in presenting music with Jewish themes.
Green has received public recognition for her outstanding contributions to the multi-cultural musical scene in Los Angeles by Congressman Brad Sherman and by the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life. She has received the “Jewish Cultural Star” award presented by the National Foundation of Jewish Culture at The Jewish Image Awards, the “Golda Meir Award” from The State of Israel Bonds, the “Hall of Fame Award” from the National Association of Women Business Owners and the “Women of Significance Award” from Adat Ari El Sisterhood. She has been a featured speaker for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Upbeat Live series and conducted at the opening ceremonies of the 2001 Maccabi Games in Philadelphia. Dr. Green has been guest conductor for Jewish Music concerts with the Rubin Academy Orchestra in Tel Aviv, the Johannesburg Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony at the new performing arts center in Herzliyah and the R’aanana Symphonette . Under her baton, LAJS has performed in concert with Hollywood personalities including Billy Crystal, Tovah Feldshuh, Leonard Nimoy, Randy Newman, Theodore Bikel, Laraine Newman, Valerie Harper, Pat Boone, Lainie Kazan, Fyvush Finkel, Dave Koz, Marvin Hamlisch, Roslyn Kind, David Benoit and others.
During her tenure with the LAJS, Green, along with Education Director Ilizabeth Gilbert, has developed education programs initially funded by the New and Innovate Grants division of the Jewish Community Foundation. Several of these programs have gone on to receive funding from the Righteous Persons Foundation, the Maurice Amado Foundation, the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, the Leonard and Susan Bay Nimoy Foundation and the Tel Aviv/Los Angeles Partnership. LAJS received a substantial education grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for its Patchwork of Cultures program which uses music to show the cultural bridge between the Sephardic Jewish and Hispanic communities.
Green received a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Choral Music from the University of Southern California and a Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting at California State University, Northridge under conductor John Alexander. From 1981 to 1990, she was the conductor of the American Jewish Choral Society. As West Coast Music Director of the David Nowakowsky Foundation from1992 to 1998, Green presented an annual concert series of the Nowakowsky Chorale. She wrote her doctoral treatise on the music of Nowakowsky, and went on to edit many of his works, ten of which have been published by Laurendale.
From 1986 to 1992, Green was an Assistant Professor at CSUN and in the summer of 1993, she worked with conductor Murry Sidlin at the Aspen Music School. With his support and encouragement, she developed the concept for and founded the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony.
- LA Jewish Symphony
The mission of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony is to perform orchestral works of well known, as well as not commonly recognized Jewish composers; establish opportunities for the presentation of new compositions by Jewish artists; serve as a professional resource for aspiring Jewish and non-Jewish musicians; act as an educational medium for Jewish music and composers; and provide educational opportunities for diverse populations of school age children.
Since 1994, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony has been dedicated to the performance of orchestral works of distinction, which explore Jewish culture, heritage and experience. It also serves as an important resource for aspiring composers and musicians. As part of its mission, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony is committed to building “bridges of music” and understanding within the diverse multi-ethnic communities of our great city.
Since its debut performance in 1994, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, under the baton of Artistic Director Noreen Green, has won local, national and international acclaim for its inspired programming featuring commissioned new works and many world premieres. Its performances at numerous prestigious venues locally and overseas have played to the ovation of standing room only audiences.
In addition to its yearly concerts, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony develops and conducts educational outreach programming for over 1000 school children each season. The Symphony’s commitment to our future generations reflects its belief in the life affirming value and importance of music appreciation.
The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony fills a cultural niche that revitalizes the legacy of Jewish music and spans the broad range of Jewish heritage from the nadir of adversity to the triumph of accomplishment. In the words of the Los Angeles Times “…the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony seems committed to the axiom that diversity is a terrible thing to waste.”