Page 132 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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National Jewish Music Council
The National Jewish Music Council, founded in 1944 under
JWB auspices, has established itself as the springboard for inten-
sive Jewish cultural programming through music and as a great
stimulator of a Jewish musical renaissance.
An alliance of 52 national Jewish organizations concerned with
giving direction and impetus to Jewish culture through music,
the JMC is dedicated to promoting appreciation of Jewish music
and stimulating its performance, to raising standards, helping
groups to use Jewish music in enriching programs and encour-
aging Jewish musical creativity.
With the support of an impressive array of scholars, composers,
teachers, musicologists, rabbis and cantors, the JMC compiled
and published program resources, bibliographies and guides for
concerts, lectures and recitals. It has made available annotated
collections of appropriate Jewish musical selections, critical re-
views of recordings of secular Jewish music, samples of Jewish
music concert programs, bibliographies of vocal and instrumental
music and recorded and cantorial music.
One of its significant contributions to Jewish culture has been
its continuing and successful effort to encourage local Jewish
institutions, particularly synagogues and Centers, to commis-
sion new Jewish musical works. This has been responsible for the
creation of more than 100 new compositions. The JMC itself
added to the Jewish musical repertoire by sponsoring an inter-
national contest for new Jewish compositions.
The JMC has also given important recognition to old and new
composers, introduced new Jewish musical personalities to wider
audiences, sought to bring Jewish music into the home, culti-
vated Jewish music as a link with the Jewish past and a bond
with Jews throughout the world and aided in training local
leaders for musical programming.
In
Jewish Music N o tes ,
part of the cultural supplement of the
JWB Circle,
JMC chronicles and reviews new and old Jewish
music in all its forms. Its published materials have done much
to encourage higher quality local Jewish music programs and to
further the establishment of local Jewish choruses, singing soci-
eties, orchestras and chamber quartets. Above all, the JMC has
been zealous in stimulating lively interest in all forms of Jewish
music from composition to performance, in elevating Jewish
musical standards and taste and in giving new dignity and status
to Jewish music as one of the oldest Jewish cultural art forms.
The annual Jewish Music Festival is the JMC’s major project.
During this month-long observance hundreds of Jewish music