The University Record, September 18, 1995

Michigan Radio airs special Rosh Hashanah program

By Harriet Teller
Michigan Radio

The talents of Leonard Nimoy and the vocal ensemble The Western Wind have been added to a script by Rabbi Gerald Skolnick to produce a special program for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, that will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 20) on Michigan Radio.

“The Birthday of the World: Rosh Hashanah: Music and Tradition of the Jewish High Holy Day” presents some of the most inspiring music in the Jewish liturgical tradition, focusing on the universal themes of redemption and divine forgiveness.

Nimoy serves as narrator for the program, elucidating the prayers and illuminating the deeper structure of the liturgy.

Six core members of The Western Wind will be joined by four guest cantors, several other noted singers and a shofar player.

“The Birthday of the World” includes the major prayers of Rosh Hashanah. The music, reflecting the current state of synagogue music, is drawn from a variety of Jewish traditions, including ancient Sephardic hymns and composed works from the 19th century by Lewandowski and Kaminsky, as well as contemporary compositions and arrangements by Helfman, Secunda and Levine.

Established in 1969, The Western Wind has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and can be heard on 13 recordings for such labels as Nonesuch, Musical Heritage and Newport Classic.

Michigan Radio can be heard on WUOM, 91.7 FM in Ann Arbor; WFUM, 91.1 FM in Flint; and WVGR, 104.1 FM in Grand Rapids.