Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Cantor Deborah Bard with the Doctor of Music at Graduation Ceremonies in New York on Thursday, April 29, 2010, at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York. Cantor Bard was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumna of HUC-JIR.
Cantor Bard serves as Cantor Emerita of the historic K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Congregation in Chicago. Her “sparkling exuberant” voice is enhanced by her firm belief that music has the singular power to transcend the spoken word, to uplift the soul, to inspire prayer, to direct us to the Sacred.
Cantor Bard has a B.A. in Humanities from University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in Sacred Music from HUC-JIR, where she received investiture as cantor in 1985. She completed graduate work in Voice and Music Performance at the Manhattan School of Music and in Creative Arts Education at New York University.
Known for her warmth and ability to connect with congregation and audience, Deborah has performed throughout Chicago and New York City in a variety of venues. She is one of the featured artists on the 2004 Grammy nominated recording, “Dancing on the Edge of the Volcano: Jewish Political and Kabaret Songs, 1900-1945.” She is one of the women featured in the anthology, “Women in Classical Music” and she is a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus.
Cantor Bard is married to Rabbi Michael Sternfield and is the proud mother of Rachel Penina Whitmore-Bard from whom she gleans her most inspiration.