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Klezmer Company Orchestra Trio to Perform Classics from FAU Libraries’ Jewish Print Music Collection

            BOCA RATON (November 24, 2010)
–Aaron Kula, director of music collections and performance at Florida Atlantic University Libraries, will show how he takes century-old music from the Jewish Music Collection to the concert stage, during a program titled “From Shelf to Stage” on Sunday, December 5 at 3 p.m. at the Wimberly Library on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.

           Kula takes about a week for each composition and relies on his experience and instinct to determine which piece of music will work for the Klezmer Company Orchestra, FAU Libraries’ professional ensemble-in-residence.

“I have the challenge of somehow transforming this vintage music into sounds, beats and orchestrations that make it relevant to this generation,” said Kula, KCO’s conductor. “I decide the piece of music based on its melodic appeal and potential for creating a bigger composition.”

KCO violinist Randi Fishenfeld and KCO bassist Jackie De Los Santos will accompany Kula for the multimedia presentation, which is being sponsored by the Jewish Cultural Society (JCS) at FAU, a fundraising group.  The audience will see works in progress and the process of music preservation through a power point presentation and will hear the transformed composition performed by the trio.

The musicians will perform such classic Klezmer melodies and Yiddish songs as “Der Alter Tzigayner,” “Die Greena Kuzine,” “Hopkele,” “Yid’l Mit n Fidl,” “Eli Eli” and selections from the Kammen Folder collection. All of the pieces are from preexisting repertoire that KCO has performed during its 13-year history.

“For several decades Yiddish sheet music became passé because the language was too old-fashioned and the next generation was not interested in the genre of music. The post-immigrant generation wanted to assimilate and the sheet music represented the immigrant,” said Kula.

Dottie Pierce, JCS’ president, noted the program and Kula’s efforts to preserve and perform the music fit into the group’s mission of advancing Jewish cultural traditions and education at FAU Libraries through philanthropic endeavors and programs.

Kula founded KCO to perform and promote music from a range of cultures and historical periods from FAU Libraries’ collections. Since inception, KCO has successfully taken hundreds of works from the print music collection “From Shelf to Stage.”

Many of the music scores in FAU Libraries’ Jewish Music Collection were published in the early 1900s by New York publishing houses that specialized in commercial sheet music for amateur musicians. New York City was the hub for ethnic music publishers and musicians who found a niche in the 2.5 million Jewish immigrants who passed through Ellis Island in the early 20th century.  Jewish musicians sang about their longing for the old country, family, love, marriage and patriotism.

            “The Jewish immigrants wanted a link to their heritage, which the sheet music provided in terms of language and melody,” said Kula. “They could buy the music for a nickel or a quarter and play it on an Upright Piano in their living rooms.”

           Cost of “From Shelf to Stage” is $15 for members, $25 for two family members, and $20 for non-members. To reserve tickets, contact at 561-852-9720 or at 561-735-0176.


About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit .

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