By Mollie Higgins
This university’s premier Jewish a cappella group, Kol Sasson, put on its final performance of the semester Sunday at Tawes in the Ulrich Recital Hall to nearly 50 students, friends, family and alumni.
The talented group of 10 managed to make themselves sound like a much larger group throughout each song as they alternated solo performances and harmonized together.
Kol Sasson performed a range of songs from Sam Smith’s “Money on My Mind” to more traditional Jewish songs such as “Achneinu” and “Tzion.”
With Kol Sasson initially founded in 1997, the group has seen many students come and go over the years. The group recently finished recording its eighth professional album with Liquid 5th Productions, which will be released in the coming months.
Freshman biology major Molly Azrael experienced her first winter concert in which she had two soloist performances: “Ghost” and an original mash-up of “Unsteady” and“I’m Telech.”
Kol Sasson has also had many students graduate over the years. Fifth-year elementary education major Leah Schatz was honored by junior English and theatre major, Sarah Hirsh.
Hirsh read a letter to Schatz in which she described her to be, “deeply devoted to spreading a message of love and patience to the world around her, undyingly caring and selfless, and making herself available to anyone who needs it whenever.”
After the senior honor ceremony, the group invited the alumni in the audience on stage for a Kol Sasson tradition to perform “Acheinu.”
“Anytime we have a concert, we sing this song and invite our alumni to come and sing with us because Kol Sasson doesn’t end!” Schatz said.
Alumna Tali Feldman, who graduated in 2014, was in the audience and went on stage to perform the traditional song with the group.
Feldman recently just moved back to the D.C. area within the last few months and said she was pleased that she was able to make the concert for the first time in the past three years.
Feldman said, “As soon as the first note started I was like ‘wow!’ I even took a Snapchat video and sent it to all my friends from Kol Sasson who have graduated and was like ‘They sound so good!’”
In March, Kol Sasson will go on their spring break tour to Philadelphia, the hometown of members Leah Schatz and Sammy Turk Tolub.
Kol Sasson also will be competing in the eighth Annual National Collegiate Jewish A Capella Championship Competition called Kol HaOlam, which means “Voice of the World.” It will take place in March at Adas Israel in Washington, D.C.
Numerous members of the group expressed that Kol Sasson is more than just an a cappella group.
“Kol Sasson is a family first and also an a cappella choir. I would call it a family
because the people matter even more than the music does to me,” Hirsh said. “The music matters, and the music is beautiful, but the people are the reason why I keep coming back.”