Master Class with Cantor Ida Rae Cahana at HUC-JIR/NY

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On February 8, 2010, we will welcome Cantor Ida Rae Cahana, class of 1993. She will present a Master Class and share with us her insights from her illustrious and varied career – including Toledo, Providence and Central Synagogue in New York.

11:00 -11:45: Cantor Cahana will sing and speak about her career and recordings that she has done over the years.

11:50 – 12:20: Cantor Cahana will join us for a discussion.

A light lunch will be served in the Art Gallery. This wonderful event is made possible by the Leah Hirschenfang Memorial Scholarship and is open to the entire community.

A recognized soloist in light opera, musical theatre, and oratorio, Cantor Ida Rae Cahana has appeared on Broadway off-Broadway, and with regional symphony orchestras throughout the United States and Israel. She served as Senior Cantor for Central Synagogue, NYC, from 2002 – 2006 and has also been cantor and scholar-in residence for synagogues throughout the United States and Canada. At the age of sixteen, she was recognized as the first female cantorial soloist in the tri-state area of her native Pittsburgh, PA. She is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University, holds a Master’s in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory of Music, and earned cantorial investiture and a Master's Degree in Sacred Music from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Her various concert venues in New York City include Town Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the 92nd Street Y. Cantor Cahana is featured soprano soloist on Transcontinental Music's 5 CD set of High Holiday music, Yamim Noraim. Her work is also included on the acclaimed Milken Foundation Archive of American Jewish Music, and the American Conference of Cantors at 50, A Celebration CD. Cantor Cahana has served on the Board of the American Conference of Cantors and was their placement director for two years. It has been a particular delight for her to have coached cantorial students at both the Jewish Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, NYC.

Cantor Cahana is currently serving as Adjunct Clergy for Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, Oregon and last fall, she officiated as sole clergy leader for the High Holidays in Sun Valley, Idaho. In Portland, she is involved in many creative collaborations with local artists and musicans. Among them, Ida Rae created the role of “Paulinka Bim Bam” in the 2008 Portland premiere of “Charlotte Salomon: Life? Or Theatre?” which will be revived next fall for an extended run. She sang as soprano soloist in Honegger's "King David" at Trinity Church, Portland, and over the last three years served as scholar-in-residence in Bend, OR, guest cantor at Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood, CA, and soloist in various cantorial concerts in Boca Raton, Fla., Santa Barbara, Newport Beach, and San Rafael, CA. Last spring she organized the Portland community Yom HaShoah held at Portland Center Stage, where she and her husband Rabbi Michael Cahana presented “Through My Mother’s Eyes,” an original work developed by Cantor Cahana in honor of her mother-in-law, Alice Lok Cahana, an acclaimed artist and Holocaust survivor. Upcoming concerts include Montreal and Los Angeles. Cantor Cahana is blessed to be living in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Rabbi Michael Cahana, and children David (age 16), Sarit, Liora, and Idit (age 11 – yes, triplets!). Photo by Sarah Merians.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu