Edward Fogel - Interview with Mark Slobin


Edward Fogel

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Cantor Fogel was born in Canada from a traditional background. He started off singing in choirs and playing violin in his school orchestra. A very formative experience in his childhood was when he auditioned and was accepted into the Canadian national radio choir. Immediately after high school Cantor Fogel hitch hiked to New York City and entered the program at HUC. After graduating Cantor Fogel went to work at Shaare Emeth in St. Louis, where he stayed for the entirety of his career. He describes his co-clergy, Rabbi Stiffman, as a beautiful person who respected the division of labors between Rabbi and Cantor. Fogel describes himself as someone with significant inherent musical talent. In addition to playing violin Fogel also worked to become an accomplished guitar player. He explained that this was has been very important in work with families and summer camps, especially in his synagogues outdoor services during the summer time. Cantor Fogel says that his goal as a cantor is uplift and inspire his congregants through music and prayer. A large part of accomplishing this goal is picking the right kinds of pieces for worship. Fogel says that the synagogue compositions that are the most successful are those that mix classical chazzanut with choral passages and congregational refrains. This combination of three compositional textures creates the right kind of variety and authenticity for the synagogue. Lastly Cantor Fogel says that the secret to being a a successful cantor is to keep everybody happy. While admitting this is impossible, the cantor must still try.

Summary by Jay O'Brien (April 2014), 4th year cantorial student in Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, HUC--JIR, NY


Access to archival quality sound files is restricted. For permission to obtain copies of these, please contact Mark Slobin at mslobin@wesleyan.edu.

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