Modern brass instruments such as the trumpet, trombone, and tuba are called “horns.” And with good reason, since their antecedents were animal horns like the shofar. So it is fitting that the Historic Brass Society has recognized International Day of Shofar Study with a notice on its website’s home page.
The Historic Brass Society is an international music organization concerned with the entire range of early brass music, from Ancient Antiquity and the Biblical period through the present. The history, music, literature and performance practice of early brass instruments such as natural trumpet, natural horn (including shofar), early trombone, cornetto, serpent, keyed bugle, keyed trumpet, early valve horn, 19th century brass instruments are some of the main issues of concern to the HBS. Their Journal has published several excellent articles about the history and meaning of shofar.
International Day of Shofar Study events are now scheduled online and in ten cities:
Los Angeles, CA
Los Gatos, CA
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Santa Ana, CA
Tinton Falls, NJ
Click on the Events tab to find details.
A few months ago, I conducted a survey of shofarists in the Reform movement. Many wrote that they wanted to meet other players to share, learn, and feel inspired by each other. Michael had been thinking about how to connect ba’alei tekiah for a while, and when I reported all of this him, he founded Shofar Corps. One important goal was establishing a day of shofar study. I suggested Rosh Chodesh Elul. We soon enlisted shofar scholar Art Finkle and shofar maker Maurice Kamins to join us in leading the effort. Here we are, a day after the end of Rosh Chodesh Elul, and we can say that shofarists around the country have begun to practice and bring their shofar art to new levels. Our events served dozens of participants in ten cities. We even had an event in the backyard of a New Jersey temple that had lost power in Hurricane Irene. Despite the loss of power, International Shofar Day kept going and many students, young and older, learned some things about the shofar and how to render the tekiot according to halachah. News to all of them at this New Jersey session, which I co-ran, was the age-old tradition of sounding tekiah and shevarim as long as teruah’s nine beats. That is to say, all the calls should be of equal length, except, of course, for tekiah gedolah. More than that, they felt inspired and ready to practice, practice, practice…not to reach Carnegie Hall, but to ascend the bima and inspire their congregations with artful and soulful shofar sounding.
Cantor Daniel Pincus of Congregation Shaarei Shalom, Riverdale, NY, Bronx. http://www.cantordanielpincus.com
Serve your community as you serve G!D
There is still time to organize or join a shofar study event for International Day of Shofar Study. Alternatively, we invite you to spend some time each day during Elul reflecting on the sound of shofar.
Shofar Sounders to Observe International Day of Shofar Study
International Day of Shofar Study is the subject of an article in the New Jersey Jewish News; see http://njjewishnews.com/article/monmouth/horns-aplenty-at-monmouth-reforms-shofaronLBNL_Windows_glazing_facade_pubs_072511rev2.