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Northeastern Honors Josh Jacobson, Professor of Music and Leader in Jewish Studies

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Professor Josh Jacobson

On November 16 and 17, Northeastern will host a gala celebration to mark Professor Joshua Jacobson’s 40 years as conductor of the NU Choral Society.  Thousands of students who have sung with Jacobson have been invited to Northeastern to sing with Jacobson in a choral reunion in conjunction with Homecoming Weekend, culminating in a concert at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall.  (For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.music.neu.edu/nucs/.)

In addition to his positions in the Music Department and as Director of Choral Activities, Jacobson has also played a key role in Jewish life and learning at Northeastern, in the Greater Boston community, and internationally.  The author of two books, many articles, and more than one hundred compositions and arrangements, he is one of the world’s leading authorities on Jewish choral music. At Northeastern, he served as Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies from 1992 to 1998, helped to establish Jewish Studies in the early 1990s, and served as Chair of the Jewish Studies Executive Committee for the program’s first several years.  Since then, Josh has continued to be actively involved in the program through both teaching and service.  He regularly brings Jewish music to campus.  In 2011, he launched “Middle Eastern Harmonies:  A Musical Dialogue Between Arab and Israeli Cultures,” an extraordinary ongoing program including music in Hebrew and Arabic and bringing together musicians from a wide variety of backgrounds.  Jacobson’s “Music of the Jewish People” class is a highlight of many students’ experiences as Jewish Studies minors, and his expertise in Jewish music is an important element of our excellence in the field of Jewish cultural studies.

Jacobson is also a fixture in the Jewish music world in Boston and beyond.  In addition to serving as Visiting Professor and Senior Consultant at the School of Jewish Music at Hebrew College, he is founder and director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston, whose mission is to serve as “a musical and educational organization dedicated to raising awareness of the breadth and beauty of Jewish culture through performances, recordings, symposia, publications, and musical commissions.”  Established in 1969, Zamir tours frequently in the United States, Israel, and Europe.  Jacobson has also guest conducted for many ensembles, including the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Bulgarian National Symphony and Chorus, the New England Conservatory Orchestra, and the Boston Lyric Opera Company.

We join the Music Department and the NU Choral Society in celebrating Jacobson’s tremendous contributions to Northeastern University.

Read the rest of the Haverim Fall 2013 Newsletter here.