For her final concert, Joan Isaacs Litman has prepared a program featuring Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Sheep May Softly Graze,” Johann Strauss II’s “Gentle Breezes Softly Blow” and Imant Raminish’s “Daybreak Song,” among others.

Having celebrated women’s voices in Hudson County and beyond for 16 years, the founding artistic director of the Cantigas Women’s Choir will be retiring after Saturday’s annual spring concert.

“Everything has come full circle,” Joan Isaacs Litman said as she prepares to lead the choir in her final concert, “Of Heaven and Earth, Land and Sea.”

A Jersey City resident, Litman started the Cantigas Women’s Choir in Hoboken in 2002.

“When I was teaching a school choir in Hoboken in the late ’70s, I would watch the parents, the mothers in particular, at the concerts we would have,” Litman told The Jersey Journal. “I thought to myself that they wanted to be singing and they needed to sing.”

While doing graduate studies in Eastern Europe, she saw Finnish, Hungarian and Swedish women’s choir’s and realized a movement was underway, a movement she could bring to Hudson.

“I just thought to myself, ‘Let’s go for it,’ and we did,” she said. “We figured if we (had) 15 women by the end of the year, we could have a respectable concert. We ended up with 30 by the end of year. It was an idea that was in the right place at the right time.”

Now, Litman said, the time is right to turn over leadership of the choir and pursue other interests, including her involvement with multicultural music education.

From teaching in schools in Hoboken and Manhattan to working with teachers around the world, Litman has specialized in international traditional music.

In recent years, she has taught and guest-conducted in Syria, throughout the Middle East and in Argentina, Mexico, Qatar and Poland. For many …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real -Time Entertainment


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