JUNE 29, 2024

Choral Society of the Hamptons

Guest Conductor

A MOZART PLAYLIST –  The Sacred, Secular, Scatalogical & Sublime

MAY 3-4 

Indiana State School Music Association  

State Concert Finals Adjudicator – Indianapolis, Indiana 

Choral Workshops

Photo: Jeffrey Murdock, Robert Ward, Judith Clurman, Scott Bradford (ISSMA Choral Ed Dir.)

APRIL 13, 2024 at 7:30pm

This event is part of EVUSA’S The Community Project sing alongs.

Handel’s MESSIAH
Essential Voices USA
Paul Olson at the organ

Grace Church, Brooklyn Heights
254 Hicks Street, Brooklyn NY
Admission Free

MARCH 2, 2024 (Saturday) from 8:40-10:10am 

The American Choral Directors Association “Eastern” – Providence, Rhode Island
WHY WORDS MATTER interest session 

Judith’s “Why Words Matter” interest session explores the dynamics of the choral experience, particularly focusing on the power of words to impart meaning and to bridge between the individual singer, the ensemble, and the audience. The ways of analyzing, rehearsing, teaching, and performing text will be the session’s main pedagogical focus. There will be communal singing, a discussion of relevant repertoire and new approaches to programming, based on musical elements and dramatic values. We will introduce specific works as models to study music whose texts will inspire singers to get involved in confronting the challenges of the world. Scores and texts will be provided. Works include music and lyrics by: Madeleine Albright, Irving Berlin, Rachel Boast, Jason Robert Brown, Shirley Chisholm, Judith Clurman, David Chase, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bill Cutter, Betty Ford, Hillel the Elder, Kamala Harris, Katie Jenkins, Joseph Joubert, Archibald Lampman, Phillip Lasser, Emma Lazarus, Phillip Littell, David Ludwig, Sally Lamb McCune, Isaac Newman, Nancy Pelosi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bruce L. Ruben, Marie-Claire Saindon, Mark Sirett, Robert Sirota, Victoria R. Sirota and future works with words and music by Amelia Brey, William Schermerhorn, Matthew Sklar, Benedict Weisser, and Walt Whitman.

Judith with composers Robert Sirota and Bill Cutter at her ACDA session March 2, 2024

Judith with Hal Leonard’s Luke Talen and Melissa Hardtke at the ACDA Conference, March  2, 2024


Photo © Richard Termine

Friday, DECEMBER 22, 2023
& Saturday, DECEMBER 23, 2023

The New York Pops/Steven Reineke, Music Director and Conductor
with guest artist Norm Lewis
Essential Voices USA/Judith Clurman, Music Director and Conductor

Essential Voices USA and Judith Clurman, Music Director and Conductor. Photo © Richard Termine.

Program included:

Chanukah Joy and Peace (New York Premiere)
by Judith Clurman and David Chase
Orchestration by Brant Adams 

DECEMBER 16, 2023 at 7:30PM

This event was part of EVUSA’S The Community Project sing alongs.

Essential Voices USA
The Essential Strings
Steven Fraser, Organ
Judith Clurman, Conductor

Photos © Richard Termine

St. Malachy’s – The Actor’s Chapel
239 West 49 Street, NYC

Press Release (PDF Download)

“It is my hope that this concert/sing-along will bring families a sense of joy, hope, and fulfillment during the holiday season.”

Judith Clurman

DEC 11-13, 2023: TSO Holiday Pops

Monday, DECEMBER 11, 2023 at 8pm
Tuesday, DECEMBER 12, 2023 at 8pm
Wednesday, DECEMBER 13, 2023 at 2pm & 8pm        

Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Etobicoke School of the Arts Holiday Chorus
Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto Ontario, Canada

Program included:

Chanukah Joy and Peace
by Judith Clurman and David Chase
orchestration by Brant Adams

DEC 8-9, 2023: NSO Holiday Pops

with The National Symphony Orchestra
The Heritage Chorale
The Kennedy Center, Washington DC

Program included:

Chanukah Joy and Peace (World Premiere)
by Judith Clurman and David Chase
orchestration by Brant Adams


Latkes and Lights at Winterlights
Indianapolis Art Museum – Newfields
Indianapolis, Indiana


Newfields and the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis presents the Chanukah portion of Winterlights – presented by Bank of America.

Musical accompaniment for Winterlights
Songs of Freedom
arr. Larry Hochman, Judith Clurman, Brian Stokes Mitchell
Essential Voices USA
The EVUSA Ensemble
Ron Raines, baritone
Judith Clurman, conductor

The recording that is heard during the 2023 “Latkes and Lights” at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields is taken from the Essential Voices USA ©Sono Luminus CD recording: Cherished Moments-Songs of the Jewish Spirit.  The recording features Judith Clurman conducting Essential Voices USA with members of the EVUSA Ensemble and Ron Raines, Baritone. The CD was distributed in 2014; David Frost – producer and Tom Lazarus – Recording Engineer.  Publisher of the piece: ©Schott – EAM.

I Oh Chanukah! Oh Chanukah (Yiddish folk melody) is a jubilant description of what Jews do on Chanukah: light the menorah, celebrate, dance, and sing.  

II S’vivon (folk melody) describes the spinning dreidl, a four-sided spinning top.  The dreidl is inscribed with Hebrew letters nun, gimel, hei, and shin, which stand for “Neis Gadol Hayah Sham” (a great miracle happened there), referring to the miracle of oil burning in the menorah.  

III Lichvod Ha Chanukah (folk melody) describes parents lighting the menorah and cooking the potato pancakes (levivot).  

IV Mi Y’malel (folk song) is a secular reworking of the Psalm 106:2  (Who can retell the mighty acts of God).  The song celebrates the military victory of the Macabees. 

V Haneirot Halalu describes the lighting of the menorah.  

VI The thirteenth century text of Maoz Tsur (Rock of Our Salvation) portrays the deliverance of the Jews from the Syrian Greeks. 

NOVEMBER 30, 2023 (Thursday) at 7:15pm

NYSSMA Winter Conference
Rochester, NY


Explored new music whose texts inspire students and audiences to get involved in confronting the challenges of the world: social justice, peace, freedom, equality.

Thanksgiving NOVEMBER 23, 2023

2023 MACY’S SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE  – NBC TV, Telemundo simulcast in Spanish, Peacock

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

From the 2023 Parade
EVUSA and Judith Clurman, fresh off the float at the parade, 2023.


Judith Clurman and Albany Records have released Christmas Joy (TROY1955), a collection of three works.

Christmas Joy


Apple Music
Amazon Music

Essential Voices USA
Judith Clurman
, Conductor
The Essential Strings: Suliman Tekali & Yu-Chie Wang, violins; Caeli Smith, viola; Coleman Itzkoff, cello

I. Illumination
Pierre Jalbert, Composer
William Schermerhorn, Text

II. The Snow
Bill Cutter, Composer
Lewis Carrol, Text                                                         

III. Christmas Joy
Arranged and text adaptation by Josh Clayton and Judith Clurman

For more information, see Recordings.




From MPR: As we approach the time of year when the shortening of days cannot be ignored, when there comes a turning of the colors in the landscape and an expected chill is in the air, it’s in this moment, seemingly filled with endings, that Jews around the world gather together to celebrate new beginnings. Host Mindy Ratner guides us in a musical observance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, known in Hebrew as Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe. Listen now to Music for the Days of Awe: An Observance of the Jewish High Holidays.


The playlist for this show includes music by and arranged by: Solomon Braslavsky, Judith Clurman, Max Janowski, Louis Lewandowki, Salamone Rossi, Bruce Ruben,  Paul Schoenfeld, Alessandro Scarlatti, Igor Stravinsky, & Traditional Sephardic and Ashkenazic Melodies.

May 2023

Remember, Revere, Rejoice
Recording Release

Available and streaming now!

Apple Music
Amazon Music

Judith Clurman, conductor and music director of Essential Voices USA and Albany Records (TROY1939) announce the recording release of REMEMBER, REVERE, REJOICE, a collection of six works that embrace a range of emotions experienced in Jewish life – the Holocaust (Remember), a psalm setting (Revere), and love poetry and joy (Rejoice).

The selections are:

I. Unter Dayne Vayse Shtern is a setting of Avraham Sutzkever’s poem, by the same name. Sutzkever has been called is a description of the poet’s agony in a concentration camp. He describes the murder around him and talks directly to God, asking where God is.

II. To Be Alive (Birdsong) is a choral setting of Mark Broder’s song based on an anonymous text by a child, which was found in the Terezin Concentration Camp in 1941.

III. Adonai Roi is a setting of the psalm of consolation, by composers Daniel & Nina Faia Mutlu.

IV/V. Two pieces about love are Winter Is Past by Joseph Rubinstein and Steven Sher’s Dodi Li.

VI. Siman Tov is a choral setting of the 19th century folk melody; the text wishes someone well and is primarily performed at life cycle moments.

The members of EVUSA that sang on these recordings are: Joseph Beutel, Phillip Cheah, Wendy Gilles, Chole Holgate, Elizabeth Lang, Steven Moore, Nicholas Prior, Gregory Purnhagen, Elisa Singer Strom, Jason Weisinger, and Katherine Wessinger-Bozic. The ensemble was accompanied by James Cunningham, piano and Coleman Itzkoff, cello.

All of these original pieces and/or arrangements were commissioned by Essential Voices USA. The scores are available for purchase through Hal Leonard. The collection was produced and engineered by Silas Brown with Grady Bajorek, assistant engineer, and made possible with support from the Michael H. Baker Family Fund and individual contributions.

Essential Voices USA
Judith Clurman Conductor
James Cunningham Piano
Coleman Itzkoff Cello

I. Unter Dayne Vayse Shtern
Avrom Brudno, arr. Bill Cutter

II. To Be Alive (Birdsong)
Mark Broder, arr. Bill Cutter

III. Adonai Roi
Daniel & Nina Faia Mutlu

IV. Winter Is Past
Joseph N. Rubinstein

V. Dodi Li
Steve Sher, arr. Brant Adams

VI. Siman Tov
Traditional, arr. Bill Cutter

This recording embraces the highs and lows of Jewish life. The selections express the highs and lows of Jewish life – the Holocaust (Remember), a psalm setting (Revere), and love poetry and joy (Rejoice). 

All scores are published by Hal Leonard. 

March 29, 2023 

Premiere Performance of Washington Women

Essential Voices USA is joined by the Celia Cruz High School Chorus, Bill Stanley, director, James Cunningham, Piano and Raman Ramakrishnan, Cello. Photograph © 2023 Richard Termine.


Lehman College – Lovinger Theater
Conducted by Judith Clurman

Essential Voices USA 
Chorus from Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music
Trent Johnson, chorus director
James Cunningham, piano
Raman Ramakrishnan, cello

February 14, 2023

Recording Release

Judith Clurman, conductor and music director of Essential Voices USA and Acis Productions announce the EP recording release of DEVOTION, a collection of three works.

Ave Maria (1:36)
Where there is Sadness, Joy (2:34)
Dona Nobis Pacem (1:02)

Available and streaming now!

Apple Music
Amazon Music

“Ave Maria,” a setting of the traditional Latin text, was written in 2014 by composer Bill Cutter for his Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chorus. It is the second work in Cutter’s collection, “Divine Mother.”  “Where There is Sadness, Joy” was commissioned by Essential Voices USA. Composed in 2017, by the Frost School of Music faculty member Shawn Crouch, the text is a combination of the Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila with the Peace Prayer of St. Francis.  “Dona Nobis Nobis,” a short round based on the traditional Latin text, was written for Judith’s Essential Voices USA in 2018, by Broadway’s award-winning orchestrator Jonathan Tunick.

The members of EVUSA that sang on these recordings are: Joseph Beutel, Paul D’Arcy, Margery Daley, Chole Holgate, Amy Justman, Helen Karloski, Steven Moore, Heather Petrie, Jamet Pittman, Gregory Purnhagen, Eric Sorrels, and Elisa Singer Strom.

These recordings can be streamed on all platforms. The published scores of the Cutter and Crouch scores are available through Hal Leonard. The recordings were produced and engineered by Silas Brown.

“It is my hope that this inspirational music brings you comfort.”
 – Judith Clurman


Holiday Greetings 2022

Carnegie Hall Concert, Dec 2022

DECEMBER 16, 2022 at 8pm


The New York Pops / Steven Reineke, Music Director and Conductor
with guest artist
Ingrid Michaelson
Essential Voices USA / Judith Clurman, Music Director and Conductor

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall

The New York Pops Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. © Richard Termine

December, 2022

Silent Night
Recording Release

Essential Voices USA
with mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton and pianist Tedd Firth

The Firth/Clurman arrangement. scored for mixed voices, mezzo, and piano, was originally released as part of the Essential Voices USA CD Holiday Harmonies. The recording, on the Sono Luminus label, can be streamed on all platforms. The published score is available through Hal Leonard (HL 50600458). The recording was produced by David Frost. 

Available and streaming now!

• Spotify
• Apple Music
• Amazon
• YouTube

Thanksgiving, November 24, 2022

2022 Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree

Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree for 2022

Carnegie Hall Concert, Nov 2022

NOVEMBER 18, 2022 at 8pm


Music by Leonard Bernstein, Alan Menken, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and more. . . .

The New York Pops / Steven Reineke, Music Director and Conductor
with guest artists 
Nikki Renée Daniels, Jordan Donica, Matt Doyle, Melissa Ericco
Essential Voices USA / Judith Clurman, Music Director and Conductor

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall

October, 2022

Washington Women
Recording Release (ACIS)

David Chase & Judith Clurman composers
Judith Clurman conductor
Lee Musiker piano
Raman Ramakrishnan cello

Available and streaming now!
Apple Music
Amazon Music

About Washington Women

WASHINGTON WOMEN is a new collection of choral songs by David Chase and Judith Clurman.  It is scored for mixed chorus, piano and cello.  The texts are taken from speeches, opinions, and interviews of sixteen remarkable women from across the political spectrum, all of whom spent part of their lives associated with Washington DC – First Ladies, Senators, Congresswomen, Supreme Court Justices, Secretaries of State, Vice President, and Speaker of the House of Representatives: Abigail Adams, Madeleine Albright, Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Shirley Chisholm, Hilary Rodham Clinton, Betty Ford, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kamala Harris, Elena Kagan, Michelle Obama, Sandra Day O’Connor, Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Chase Smith.  

The singers of Essential Voices USA are joined by pianist Lee Musiker and cellist Raman Ramakrishnan. The recording, on Acis (APL27921), can be streamed on all platforms.

The published score is available through Hal Leonard (HL00329483).

12 Songs, 30 Minutes

  1. The Essence Of America: Condoleezza Rice
  2. For Centuries Now: Elena Kagan
  3. Freedom: Eleanor Roosevelt / Hillary Rodham Clinton / Betty Ford
  4. Those Of Us Who Shout: Margaret Chase Smith
  5. In The Field Of Equal Rights: Shirley Chisholm
  6. We Pride Ourselves: Laura Bush
  7. We Not Only Dream: Kamala Harris / Nancy Pelosi
  8. It Is Necessary: Sandra Day O’Connor
  9. It Took Me Quite A Long Time: Abigail Adams
  10. Remember The Ladies: Madeleine Albright
  11. Believe: Barbara Bush
  12. I Am Ever Hopeful / I Want A President: Ruth Bader Ginsburg / Michelle Obama
EVUSA with Judith Clurman

July 1, 2022

NPR Tiny Desk Concerts


Judith Clurman conducts
World Premiere of WASHINGTON WOMEN
by David Chase & Judith Clurman

Essential Voices USA
Tedd Firth piano
Raman Ramakrishnan cello

Six of the twelve movements can be heard on this broadcast, which premiered on July 1st.

The complete album and score are expected to be released this Fall. A NYC premiere of the entire 30 minute work will be announced in the near future.

May, 2022

May You Heal
Recording Release (ACIS)


Judith Clurman, conductor
James Cunningham and Lee Musiker, piano
Raman Ramakrishnan, cello

Available and streaming now!
Apple Music
Amazon Music

“Judith Clurman conducts her excellent Essential Voices USA with dignity and beauty in “May You Heal,” a collection of five newly commissioned choral works that offer music of comfort, peace, renewal and self-awareness. The fine singers of Essential Voices USA offer richly satisfying performances on each piece”

Times Square Chronicles

About May You Heal

Dear Friends, Family, and Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure and pride that I announce this ACIS release of MAY YOU HEAL, a series of five choral works that have been recorded and commissioned by my Essential Voices USA during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pieces offer music of comfort, peace, renewal and self-awareness.  The singers of Essential Voices USA are joined by pianists James Cunningham and Lee Musiker and cellist Raman Ramakrishnan. The five recordings can be streamed on all platforms. The published scores are available as “The May You Heal Cycle” through Hal Leonard.  (They will be coming shortly).  Stream the music on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and other sites.

MAY YOU HEAL, with heart-felt music by Canadian composer Mark Sirett, and poignant lyrics by Bruce L. Ruben expresses what the world is feeling today, as we hopefully move on from Covid-19: May You heal, May you be well again, May you lean on friends and family, May you return to health and wholeness.  DONA NOBIS PACEM, an A Cappella work by Welsh composer Katie Jenkins (who just received her BM at The Juilliard this week), expresses a yearning for peace. Jenkins dedicates her piece to the memory of those lost to Covid-19. David Chase’s WHEN SCIENCE TRIUMPHS sets the words of three individuals dedicated to fighting diseases that have plagued our world during the 20th and 21st centuries. Dr. Anthony Fauci (1940-) is a physician and immunologist who serves as director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and is the chief medical advisor to the President of the United States. His work has been most prominent during the COVID-19 pandemic; Dr. Mathilde Krim (1926-2018) was a research scientist and educator, and the founding chairman of amfAR, American Foundation for AIDS Research; and Dr. Jonas Salk (1914-1995) was a virologist renowned for developing the first polio vaccine.  RESPONSIBILITY, a setting by Mark Sirett, offers lyrics by Hillel the Elder, a famous Jewish leader and scholar, from Babylon, who lived in the first century BCE to the beginning first century CE.  In this aphorism, Hillel captures the tension between the need for healthy narcissism (self-care) and the importance of caring for others -: “Im ein ani li, mi li? . . . If I am not for myself, Who will be for me? But if I am only for myself. What am I? And if not now, when?”I CELEBRATE MYSELF is a setting of the opening line from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself “(1892) by Boston-based composer Bill Cutter. The piece celebrates our connection to one another: “I celebrate myself, and sing myself . . . For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you”

 “Now more than ever, our students and our singers of all ages need a place to go and a place where they can find safety and healing. After more than two years of quarantine, those of us who love and need the safety and community of a music organization yearn to return. The ‘May You Heal’ cycle from the Judith Clurman Choral Series allows and encourages us find this in the music.”  

Scott Foss, Concert and Classical Choral Editor @Hal Leonard

Recording and scores published by Hal Leonard (HL 003967666)

5 Songs, 13 Minutes

IMay You Heal
music: Mark Sirett
text: Bruce L. Ruben

IIDona Nobis Pacem
music: Katie Jenkins
text: liturgy

III. When Science Triumphs
music: David Chase
text: Drs. Anthony Fauci (COVID), Matilde Krim (AIDS), Jonas Salk (POLIO)

IV. Responsibility
music: Mark Sirett
text: Hillel the Elder

V. I Celebrate Myself
music: Bill Cutter
text: Walt Whitman

Holiday Greeting 2021


Judith Clurman & Essential Voices USA send you this Video Holiday Greeting!

Jan 20, 2021

America At Heart
Recording Release (Acis)


Judith Conducts her Essential Voices USA and Tony Award winners Randy Graff and Brian Stokes Mitchell for an ACIS release in honor of the inauguration fo the 46th president of the United States. Music includes Reason to Be Thankful (Hochman & Harnick), Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor (Berlin, arr. Chase) and America/Wheels of A Dream (Flaherty & Ahrens).

 TRACK 1: “REASON TO BE THANKFUL” Larry Hochman/Sheldon Harnick (David Frost, producer) Tony Award®-winner BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL joins the chorus for this inspiring work, released for the first time today.

TRACK 2: “GIVE ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR” Irving Berlin (Silas Brown, producer)

Tony Award®-winner RANDY GRAFF narrates the Emma Lazarus poem in David Chase’s arrangement of the Irving Berlin song with pianist Lee Musiker and cellist Raman Ramakrishnan joining the chorus for this track. Remastered in honor of the occasion.

TRACK 3: “AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL” with Stephen Flaherty/Lynn Ahrens’s “WHEELS OF A DREAM” (David Frost, producer) BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL and ESSENTIAL VOICES USA are joined by instrumentalists Tedd Firth, piano; Kathryn Anderson, violin; Angela Pickett, viola; Michael Dahlberg, cello; Steve Lyon, oboe; and Rheagan Noleen, french horn. Remastered in honor of the occasion.

November, 2020

Words Matter


Essential Voices USA
Judith Clurman
James Cunningham
 Piano, Track I, II
Daniel Miller Cello, Track II

“‘Testimony’ was written using interviews for the ‘It Gets Better’ project, but to me it has always had a broader implication, speaking for those who have experienced bullying or felt shame for who they are, whatever the reason.  I have always hoped for a good SATB performance, and hearing the piece so beautifully sung by the EVUSA under the always impeccable direction of Judith Clurman is ​a real joy for me.”

– Stephen Schwartz

“Schwartz and Clurman know how to tell a story, and they work in vocal color like Da Vinci did in oils. Clurman and EVUSA are justifiably proud of this recording and plan to do anti-bullying workshops in New York City.”

– Q on Stage
Who Would You Be

November, 2020

Winter Harmonies


Essential Voices USA
Judith Clurman, Conductor
Tessa Lark 
Violin, Track I
James Cunningham Piano, Track III, IV, V
Daniel Miller Cello, Track III 

“‘Winter Harmonies’ featuring Essential Voices USA is ESSENTIAL holiday music in my household… this year we and moving forward! Brava to music director extraordinaire Judith Clurman and her GLORIOUS ensemble!”

– Frank DiLella, Spectrum News NY1