09 Feb THE SHOW MUST GO ON!
I think it’s safe to say that short of a Trump/Biden election, few events excite the collective Jewish community the way A Time for Music unfailingly does. And with good reason! There’s always been a unified thrumming in our pulse, and a united throbbing in our hearts at the mention of Camp Hasc – and the annual concert in support of it just intensifies that deep emotional rhythm. For an incredible 34 years, Jewish music fans and aficionados have lauded this spectacular evening of entertainment as the most anticipated and unprecedented cultural event of the year. And this Sunday, February 14th, we will all iy’H be witness to yet another occasion of mind-blowing musical proportions. It will be bursting with magical orchestration, masterful arrangements and magnificent visuals. It will have solos that bring tears to our eyes and a lump to our throats. And at the cusp of all that inimitable talent will be the most cherished celebrities of all: The Hasc children, who benefit from our generosity and inspire all the ingenuity of the night.
With a glittering lineup of performers whose blockbuster hits resonate with listeners across the globe, the Hasc concert stage has been repeatedly transformed into a cavalcade of stars. Time after time, legendary producer Eli Gerstner has astounded audiences with artistic feats that defy the imagination. Taking the helm for the past six concerts, he continually elevates the standard of Jewish performance, outshining and outstripping his own personal ‘best’ of the year before. How does he manage to keep redefining the paradigm? With JM enthusiasts putting him to the ultimate challenge, the pressure is always on for him to produce a show that every member of the audience will appreciate. Every event has to be a game-changer – a uniquely different experience in sight and sound from the one before. So from the moment one concert comes to its climactic conclusion, Eli’s brain goes into high gear, envisioning and conceptualizing for the future. Eli explains, “I live and breathe the Hasc concert all year long. And there’s tremendous Siyata Dishmaya involved every step of the way.” But this year, with Covid-19 making a live concert impossible, he had no choice but to lower the quality of the entertainment, right?
Not by a long shot!!
Not only will A Time for Music 34 be surpassing all previous performances in caliber and creativity, but for the first time ever, it will be available to viewers around the world, from the comfort of your home! Look out Big Dipper, cause the stars are going virtual! It’s being livestreamed as part of their charidy campaign, giving viewers the opportunity to enjoy an unprecedented night of harmony, while giving with heart.
The title for this event is “The Show Must Go On,” an apt banner for a night of hope and happiness following a harrowing year. And while the show usually takes place at the Lincoln Center, this time tens of thousands of viewers who were never able to make it to the venue, can tune in and tap into the fun! The festivity will be ramping up throughout the day, culminating with the premiere concert production at night. The sensational program will kick off at 4pm with A Time for Alumni – featuring and catching up with some members the illustrious Camp Hasc staff, including Rav Yaakov Trump, R’ Yehoshua Fass of Nefesh B’Nefesh, Dr. David Pelcovitz, Charlie Harary and more! At 5pm we’ll be treated to A Time for Memories – a walk down memory lane, hosted by the one and only Nachum Segal and produced by Suki and Ding! This nostalgic presentation will revisit the most extraordinary moments in A Time for Music, spanning the last 30 years. Sing along with the golden oldies, croon with the classics, and do karaoke in your kitchen with all the up-and-coming favorites, as the full spectrum of Jewish music comes into play. Live interviews, Jewish music legends and beautiful stories will accompany us on this walk down memory lane. And then, dim the lights and bring out the popcorn, for the epic musical event of 2021, beginning at 7pm!
At 8:30pm, half way through the show, will be the debut of “This Is We” – a new musical production featuring Eli Schweibel, Shulem Lemmer and a number of special campers from HASC. Be prepared to be blown away!
Expect your expectations to be exceeded, with every top-notch musician from the tri-state area playing on a philharmonic level, stunning lights, sounds and special effects, as well as all the JM greats belting out their brilliant renditions. It’s all going down on a single night, for a singular cause.
While it’s become a hallowed Hasc concert tradition to keep their headline singers under wraps until the moment the show starts, one thing we can count on is that every talent who captures the spotlight will be a showstopper. Unforgettable highlighters of the past included Avraham Fried, Benny Friedman, Simcha Leiner and Mordechai Shapiro. Last year, Avraham Rosenblum brought the Diaspora Band, Yishai Ribo came to America for the first time ever to grace the concert stage, and Joey Newcomb made his Hasc debut with the rollicking “Thank You Hashem!” Based on that roster, who can help but feel the thrill of excitement for what is yet to come?
A Time for Music has always been so much more than ‘just’ a concert. As the hallmark event in Jewish music, A Time for Music has been raising awareness and is the primary fundraiser for Camp HASC, in support of some of the most vulnerable members of our community. This venerable institution is a celebration of chesed, and a symbol of love. While so much has changed this year, perhaps more than ever, the show must go on… our special campers and their families need our support!
For the past fifty years, Camp HASC has been New York’s premier summer program for children and young adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. Each summer, they serve more than 3oo individuals with severe medical and developmental challenges. A trained staff of over 600 professionals, therapists, and direct care providers lovingly work 24 hours a day to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our most vulnerable campers.
Camp HASC is unique in its ability to meet the complex personal, social, therapeutic, and medical needs of these very special campers, most of whom have nowhere else to go. Their parents and families depend on nine weeks of respite programming and look forward to it all year. Covid-19 has made their services even more critical, as families of children with special needs – those who are most susceptible – have been struck hardest.
Ticket prices for the annual A Time for Music concert have often been considered too costly for some. The venue has often been considered too inaccessible for others. So for everyone, this is the year to take advantage and take part in the ultimate in Jewish entertainment, right from your computer screen. You’ll have VIP seating anywhere in the room! This Sunday, make it A Time for Music. And while you enjoy this special experience, you will help bring the experience of Camp Hasc… to our special children.
The Show must go on!!