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Music is a potent part of the act of Jewish prayer. Every phrase in the bible has a sign to show how it should be sung or chanted. This is possibly the oldest known form of musical notation – and yet it is completely contemporary as it is still sung in synagogues around the world in a very similar way every week. It is also constantly being refreshed with new compositions for cantors, service leaders, choirs and the congregation. This has enabled participation on every level: vocal, emotional and intellectual over more than two thousand years.
JMI encourages the appreciation and best practice of prayer-leading, cantorial and choral music, across the spectrum of Jewish worship. From 2003 – 2011 JMI ran an active programme in choral and cantorial music which included male and mixed choral festivals, school choir events, concerts, workshops, prayer leading summer schools and Cantors Conventions focusing on the High Holidays, the Sabbath and the three Pilgrim Festivals of Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkoth. JMI brought a dozen outstanding teachers and cantors to the UK teach and inspire local prayer leaders of all Jewish denominations.
JMI is supporting and collaborating with the newly formed European Cantors Association www.cantors.eu which has as its aim to ensure that the beautiful and unique music of Jewish prayer continues to enhance synagogue services for future generations. JMI supported the 8th European Cantors Convention in July 2013.