With the start of the 2021-22 school year upon us, we are highlighting members of the incoming class of students. Click here to see all of the articles in this series.
Today we’re talking with incoming Cantorial student Elizabeth Kerstein.
Q1) Where do you live?
I live in Highland Park in Los Angeles, CA.
Q2) How did you first hear of AJRCA?
My friend Dr. Tali Tadmor introduced me to AJRCA.
Q3) What was it about AJRCA that drew you to enroll here?
I loved that AJRCA gathers students who’ve often had other careers before beginning their studies. I can’t wait to hear about everyone’s stories and experiences!
Q4) What were you doing prior to enrolling?
The last decade of my life I was working as a freelance classical singer and teacher. I sang with several opera choruses in SoCal and taught on the voice faculty at an arts Middle & High School. My favorite opera role was Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, and my favorite teaching job was conducting middle school choir. Middle schoolers are the best! I’ve also spent the last ten years as the alto soloist in various synagogue choirs; most recently I sang at Temple Judea and at Sinai Temple. In my non-working life, I spent a lot of time running, hiking, hanging out with friends, and eating 😉
Q5) As you embark on this experience, what are you most excited about?
I am drawn to cantorial studies because the goal of music-making is to create a spiritual experience. As a cantorial soloist, I am not singing out of a desire for self-promotion or perfection; I am singing to be in conversation with Adonai. I am thrilled to be part of a community of Jewish spiritual leaders who care about each other and about the spirits of their congregations.