The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble

The internationally acclaimed vocal sextet, The Western Wind, has devoted itself to the special beauty and variety of a cappella music. The ensemble's repertoire reveals its diverse background - from Renaissance motets to fifties rock 'n' roll, from medieval carols to Duke Ellington, from complex works by avant-garde composers to the simplest folk melodies.

The Western Wind takes its non-profit mission to spread the joy of music to people of all ages seriously. In addition to coordinating a highly acclaimed arts-in-education program for the NYC public schools they have also, produced a series of radio programs for National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Radio International (PRI). The programs address topics ranging from settings of love songs throughout the centuries to a musical narrative of the Jewish High Holy Days.

Michele Kennedy (soprano): A graduate of Yale University, Michele now lives in New York City. She has been a principal cast member in recent chamber opera productions with Harlem Stage. As an ensemble singer, she performs with Pomerium and has sung with the Vox Vocal Ensemble, Equal Voices, and the New York Baroque Soloists.  She has had recent performances at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center Summer Music Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Caramoor Summer Music Festival.

Laura Christian (soprano): Laura has had principal roles in The Marriage of Figaro, Camelot, The Magic Flute, and virtually all of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. She recently relocated to the New York City area to join The Western Wind, and has since appeared with Jubal's Lyre and in the Summer Music Festival of St. Bartholomew's Church.

Todd Frizzell (tenor): Todd’s performance in Limoges, France (May 2001) of music written in the first millennium was featured on ABC-TV’s Nightline. He has often performed with New York’s Ensemble for Early Music. Todd serenaded Dame Judi Dench at Broadway’s Ethyl Barrymore Theater during a special performance honoring her in June 2000. He was the tenor soloist in Handel’s Israel in Egypt at Avery Fisher Hall with the National Chorale, appeared at the Bard College Festival. performed with the New York Virtuoso Singers, Musica Antica at St. Bart’s, and the New York Concert Singers.

Elliot Z. Levine (baritone): a native New Yorker, Elliot has performed with The Western Wind since its inception in 1969. A Master's graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, he has taught at City College, Upsala College, the Lighthouse Music School, and the Hebrew Arts School. He is the cantorial soloist at Temple Emanuel in Great Neck, N.Y., and has been a composer-in-residence at St. Thomas More Church in New York City. Many of his compositions have been performed and commissioned by choruses and solo artists around the country.

Richard Slade (tenor): Singing with New York City Opera, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Western Wind, and the Yale Whiffenpoofs, Richard has performed throughout the USA and Europe. He sang the role of Tamino in The Magic Flute across New York State; has been a regularly featured singer at the Caramoor Festival; and has performed in rare revivals of important operatic works such as Donizetti's Gianni di Parigi and Martin y Soler's Una Cosa Rara, with Vineyard Opera. He specializes in the parlor repertory of the Victorian era and teaches at Concordia and Manhattanville Colleges.

William Zukof (countertenor): A founding member of The Western Wind, William received his BA degree from The City University of New York. He has appeared as a soloist with the Roger Wagner Chorale, the Gregg Smith Singers, the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, Musica Sacra of New York, and the St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys. His operatic appearances include roles with the Washington Opera, the Eastern Opera Company, the Eastman School, and the University of California at Berkeley.

He is the executive producer for The Western Wind.

The JSA does not sell CDs. Western Wind's music is available for purchase at:

Music in this collection courtesy of Western Wind.

Total: 7

Chanukkah in Story and Song
Mazal Bueno: A Portrait in Song of the Spanish Jew...
The Birthday of the World, Part 1: Rosh Hashanah
The Chanukkah Story
The Chanukkah Story
The Jewish Experience - Chanukkah
The Passover Story