Cantor Rachel Gottlieb Kalmowitz is honored to have served Temple Beth El since 2004. She is active in the national cantorial community, serving on the Executive Board of the American Conference of Cantors, co-chair of the Clergy Council for the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA), and Financial Vice President of the Michigan Board of Cantors. Handpicked to perform songs from his musicals with legendary Charles Strouse and a District Winner in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, her talents encompass many genres. When not busy with liturgical music, Cantor Gottlieb Kalmowitz is often sought for recital and concert work, including regular performances with Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and annual musical theatre concerts. She has also performed with local jazz great Cliff Monear and his trio, sung at Comerica Park, and spoken at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington D.C.
Rachel considers her role at TBE to be one of creating sacred moments for and holy relationships with her congregants, through her music, her words, and her humanity. Music Shabbat, generally the first Friday of every month, is one of her favorite additions to the music programming, as talented congregants join together to create a spiritually uplifting and musically rich experience. Rachel brings quality music programming to TBE, as well as working with the Rabbis and other senior staff to create meaningful services, worthwhile educational opportunities, and community-building programming. She loves working with all ages, sharing her love of Jewish music, and helping to determine the direction of our beloved congregation.
Prior to assuming her position at Beth El, she was a resident of New York City, where she had a rich variety of musical experiences in opera, musical theatre, and concert work, with conductors such as Kurt Mazur, Leon Botstein, and Robert Spano. As soprano soloist, she has performed an extensive repertoire, including Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Bach’s Magnificat, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Favorite opera roles include Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Despina in Così fan tutte, and Monica in Menotti’s The Medium. She had principal roles in Singing With My Demons and Moses, My Love, new plays premiered in New York City, and won a Grand Award for her work as Clara in Sondheim’s Passion. She was also a District Winner in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and is a soloist on the compact disc of Jack Gottlieb’s music, released for the Milken Archive of Jewish Music by Naxos. She is currently working on her first CD.
Committed to performing new works, Rachel was the soprano soloist in premieres of Ever Since Babylon and Reconciliation by Dr. Samuel Adler, as well as Leave Song by Steve Ricks, which was the featured work at the 2000 conference for the Society of Composers Inc. Under her leadership, the Temple Beth El Choir premiered Ahava, Ashan, Chalom (Love, Smoke, Dream), the winning composition of the 2009 Young Composer’s Award, sponsored by the Guild of Temple Musicians. Rachel received her cantorial certification from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and a Master of Music in voice performance from University of Michigan, with degrees from Eastman School of Music and Interlochen Arts Academy. Rachel currently lives in West Bloomfield with her husband, Carey, and daughter, ilana.