After multiple peregrinations since its inception in 2003, the Yeshiva Boys Choir will be hanging its hat in Passaic, enabling participation by Northern New Jersey residents. First in Cleveland, then the South Shore and Far Rockaway, then Flatbush and Boro Park, the young boys of the much-acclaimed Yeshiva Boys Choir have been on the move. In addition to performing in faraway venues in countries such as Israel, England, Canada and Panama, the boys have even had to travel distances to their U.S. performances. When Yeshiva Boys Choir Vol. 1 was released in 2003, choir director Yossi Newman, with all the boys in the choir then living in Cleveland, traveled up to eight hours from Cleveland to performances in the tri-state area. Now living in Passaic, Newman, who trains the choir, hoped that after seven albums and four live albums, he’d be able to finally move the choir closer to home.
Eli Gerstner, the creator, songwriter and producer of the Yeshiva Boys Choir, resides in Brooklyn. He and Newman charted new territory when they joined forces in 2003 to create a boys choir that included boys from pre-1A through grade eight. Today the Yeshiva Boys Choir is one of the most sought-after Jewish vocal groups in the country. Through Gerstner’s compositions and arrangements and Newman’s hands-on vocal training and choreography, the choir regularly gets top billing at Jewish musical events.
When the move to Passaic was announced recently, the news spread like wildfire and more than 100 boys from Teaneck, Passaic and Monsey came to audition. Maintaining its core of Brooklyn and South Shore participants, the choir will now expand. Practices will be held in Passaic prior to the big performances, such as those during Chol Hamoed Sukkot and Pesach. This format was decided upon rather than the weekly practices, which often cause hardship to the parents transporting their sons. Another consideration of the choir is that participants can remain until they complete eighth grade, after which they officially leave the choir. In this way, every boy completes the experience with the same timetable and can go on to uninterrupted studies in high school.
If you were fortunate enough to attend the recent YBC performances over Sukkot, you could not help but hear the overwhelming audience excitement and participation when classics such as “Ah, Ah, Ah,” “Kol Hamispalel,” “Shabichi,” “Ve’ahavta” and the gripping “Daddy Come Home” were presented. The video backdrops so familiar to Youtube followers of YBC also added to the familiarity and enjoyment of the concert.
In addition to YBC, The Chevra and many productions across the globe, Gerstner has been producing the annual HASC Concert for the last four years. Newman is a popular musician, DJ and one-man band available for bar/bat mitzvah celebrations.
By Pearl Markovitz
For more information you can visit their website: www.TheYeshivaBoysChoir.com.