"An Evening of Inspirational Choral Music," an interfaith concert to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, will offer an opportunity for reflection and remembrance for many. For a few of its participants, though, the event will resonate in a more personal way.
The program, to be performed Sunday at Temple Judea in Tarzana by the ad hoc Los Angeles 9/11 Interfaith Tribute Choir, began to take shape about a year ago. Noreen Green, artistic director of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony and musical director at , initially puzzled over the best way to mark the somber occasion.
Having decided that an interfaith program would be most appropriate, Green contacted other congregations and churches. "It kind of just snowballed, and we have 90 people singing from different congregations," she told Encino Patch. "We had no idea the response we were going to get."
"We contacted Rabbi Cantor Alison Wissot at Temple Judea, and it just so happened that they were launching their new building that week, so they offered to host it," she said. The new temple facilities are at 5429 Lindley Ave.
Green and Francesco Alleruzzo of St. Mel's Catholic Church in Woodland Hills each will conduct half of the program. The two met to decide the repertoire.
"We had a lot of trouble with this because, well, what is the message?" Green asked. "Is it a day when we cry and remember? Is it a day that we pay tribute to America? I wanted to look for the message that came out of the tragedy. We want to move forward but we also want to remember that we're human and we have art and music in common."
The program includes Mark Kashper, second principal violinist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as special guest artist. The program is to start with a violin solo, Remembrances, by Michael Isaacson, and conclude with an arrangement of God Bless America.
For choir member Carl David Jacobs, the concert will be a reminder of how a small change in plans kept him from being among the 9/11 victims.
At the time, Jacobs was a management consultant for Aon Consulting. The company had scheduled its fall planning meeting for Sept. 11 and 12, then changed to an earlier date, he recalled. Jacobs changed his plans accordingly, and arranged to meet with clients in Germany.
His company decided to go back to the original meeting date but, by then, Jacobs was committed to be in Germany. He planned to attend by video conference. Instead, he found out that the towers of the World Trade Center had been attacked. Not long afterward, he learned the company's two top executives had perished hours before the scheduled meeting.
"Our firm was never the same, and I will never be the same either," Jacobs said. "It was then that I decided I would retire as early as possible and go back to school to study music. I graduated from Valley College last year." Now he sings with a jazz combo at a variety of events.
When the 9/11 attack occurred, viola player Carolyn Corazo was enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Management. Previously, she was a student at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York.
That's where she met Frank Sadocha, who ran Juilliard's cafeteria at the time. "I'd go to the cafeteria for my one meal of the day, a tuna melt and orange juice, and Frank was always there. I saw him every day and talked to him every day."
About four months after the attack, Corazo learned that Sadocha had become the director of dining services at Cantor Fitzgerald, the financial company that lost the largest number of employees in the attacks. Her friend was one of those who had died. "I was just shocked," she said.
In addition to Temple Judea, Valley Beth Shalom and St. Mel's Catholic Church, contributing choir members are from the Life Choir of Hollywood, St. Bernadine of Siena Catholic Church of Woodland Hills, St. Martin of Tours of Brentwood, Temple Aliyah of Woodland Hills, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the First Presbyterian Church of Encino Society of Singers, the Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church of Pacoima and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.
"An Evening of Inspirational Choral Music," 7 p.m. Sunday, at Temple Judea, 5429 Lindley Ave., Tarzana. Tickets are free, but reservations should be made by calling 818-758-3800 or going online at templejudea.com.