Temple Emanu-El Celebrates Cantor’s 20th Anniversary with Special Concert

By Burch, Cathalena E. | AZ Daily Star, June 6, 2019 | Go to article overview

Temple Emanu-El Celebrates Cantor’s 20th Anniversary with Special Concert


Burch, Cathalena E., AZ Daily Star


Marjorie Hochberg is marking her 20th year as Temple Emanu-El’s cantorial soloist this summer, and it’s an anniversary that many people in the midtown temple say is pretty extraordinary.

“Twenty years is a long time for anyone to be serving a congregation,” Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Batsheva Appel said. “It is definitely a significant anniversary.”

And significant anniversaries warrant significant celebrations.

On Thursday, June 13, Hochberg will be the center of attention when Temple Emanu-El hosts a special concert in her honor.

Hochberg will share the stage with former Temple Emanu-El music director and pianist Chris Tackett and pianist Rouzbeh Tebyanian in a concert that will include songs from theater and opera as well as some of Hochberg’s favorite Jewish songs. Violinist Rachel Saul, a former student of Hochberg who plays with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, also will perform.

The highlight of the concert, though, will find Hochberg off stage listening to the world premiere performances of two works written for the occasion by composer Lewis Saul, Rachel Saul’s father, and by Temple Emanu-El Music Director Robert Lopez-Hanshaw.

“We’ve been lucky to have such continuity” in that position, Lopez-Hanshaw said of Hochberg’s role as cantorial soloist. “She’s given most of her life really to working at this organization.”

“I really wanted to do this job,” said Hochberg, 65, who studied music and voice as an undergrad. “The work that I’m doing is something I really love doing. And it’s the kind of job where the scenery changes all the time. Every year you have new students and new challenges. In Judaism, there are always new things to learn. And it’s been a real pleasure to share what I’ve learned with my students, both children and adults. …

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