By Jane Keller Gordon, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Ten years ago, Sharon Brown Goldstein and Lisa Marcus Jones agreed to share a part-time cantorial soloist position at Westborough’s Congregation B’nai Shalom (CBS). The result has been a decade of beautiful music and harmony for this thriving Reform Jewish congregation serving approximately 400 households.
On Saturday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m., CBS will celebrate Goldstein and Jones with an evening of jazz, rock, folk, blues, Broadway and classical music, featuring its talented Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz, Rabbi-educator Joe Eiduson, Goldstein, Jones, and CBS members. There will be hors d’oeuvres, desserts, wine, beer and soft drinks. Teens and adults are welcome.
“Our goal [is] to create a truly entertaining and eclectic musical evening for our members while honoring our soloists and the gifts that they bring to our congregation,” Gurevitz said. “Our Ten Year Tribute is a fitting time to pause and show our appreciation, but we certainly hope that they will continue to bless us with their gifts for many years to come.”
Gurevitz explained that the decision to have two part-time soloists was primarily an accident of timing, as both Goldstein and Jones had part-time obligations in other communities when they were hired.
“The result has been the incredible musical range that they cover between them and the joy of hearing them sing together on special occasions, such as High Holy Days,” Gurevitz said. “They are both incredibly generous musicians – they sing and harmonize with the rabbis and they have engaged many congregants in musical endeavors.”
According to Goldstein, the arrangement of two cantorial soloists is unusual, but works well.
“Our positions are structured differently,” she said.
Both Goldstein and Jones have impressive backgrounds; they compliment each other as they share this position at CBS.
Goldstein’s ties with CBS are deep: her mother was an educator there; her husband is on the board; and her children are active members. She is a graduate of the University of Rochester, and the undergraduate diploma program at the New England Conservatory. She has studied voice with Renee Fleming and D’Anna Fortunato. Goldstein is a long-time member of the Zamir Chorale of Boston.
Summer camp has been a big part of Goldstein’s life. She describes herself as a “staff brat” at Camp Naticook.
“Not only did [my husband and I] meet as children at camp, [we] met Lisa Marcus Jones there as well,” Goldstein said.
Jones, an award-winning soloist and composer, also brings immense musical talent to CBS. After graduating from Yale University, majoring in economics/political science and Spanish, Jones pursued music abroad and in the U.S. At the Berklee College of Music she studied arranging and piano. Jones has performed as pianist, musical director and soloist in a variety of genres, including theatrical, a cappella jazz, flamenco and ballet.
She became a cantorial soloist in 2005, attracted by the “the nexus of spirituality in music.” Jones continues to compose choral and solo pieces, and study classical guitar.
For information about the Ten Year Tribute, call 508-366-7191 or visit www.cbnaishalom.org. The snow date is Sunday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. Congregation B’nai Shalom is located at 117 E. Main St., Westborough.