Kol Hakavod Competes Nationally

Kol Hakavod Competes Nationally

Written by: Elana Gantman (’15)

Over Spring Break, Kol Hakavod, Hillel’s premiere Jewish a cappella group had the great privilege of traveling to Washington DC to compete in the 5th annual Kol Ha’Olam Jewish A Cappella competition. The competition is held by the Adas Israel Congregation, which is one of the largest Jewish Centers and Synagogues in the country. It was a great honor to perform for a 500+ audience and share our renditions and original arrangements of our favorite Jewish and Hebrew songs. We sang the Jewish prayer, Im Eshkachech Yerushalaim, arranged by Ben Greenberg (’15) and a mash up of the Israeli pop favorite Besame by Dikla and the classic Spanish tune “Suavemente” arranged by Andrew Cohen (’15). We were so excited to present a trilingual twist and a few other groups did the same. One group rapped in Yiddish! That was definitely a crowd pleaser.

In between rehearsing our set and choreography, Kol Hakavod also got to see a bit more of DC. We started off the weekend getting settled in to our awesome apartment located in Columbia Heights. Native DC resident Nora Greenstein (’15) acted as an amazing tour guide and took us around to some monuments and museums. My personal favorite was the Star Spangled Banner exhibit in the American History Museum. The exhibit holds the original American flag from 1814 that inspired our National Anthem. In past years, KHK has even been bold enough to sing on the Metro on our way to seeing the sights, the Lincoln memorial steps, and believe it or not, right outside of the White House itself.

I have been able to participate in three Kol Ha’Olam competitions during my time here at Michigan, and it has always been the highlight of each year. Overall, our Kol Ha’Olam experience was a great opportunity for our group to tour DC’s monuments and museums, eat at the local restaurants, meet fellow Jewish a cappella enthusiasts from all over the country, and showcase our hard work and dedication to Jewish a cappella music and each other. We all collectively feel that we have never performed or sounded better than we did at this year’s competition and we are extremely proud of ourselves! A link to the performance will be on our website soon.

If you want to see a live performance of our Kol Ha’Olam set and our other fun and exciting songs, come to our end of semester CONCERT ON APRIL 16TH!

A big THANK YOU goes out to Hillel for always supporting and sponsoring us as we grow and share our music!