Mak'hela, whose name means "chorus" in Hebrew, is a Jewish choral group dedicated to performing works from all facets of the Jewish world. Founded in 2003, the 50-voice chorus has performed in many New England venues, and recently performed at the 2007 North American Jewish Choral Festival. An integral part of Mak'hela's mandate is to break down the artificial barriers among the Jewish and secular communities, and differences within Jewish communities. The chorus plays an educational role in promoting Jewish music of all types and eras, as well as Jewish values, building sacred bridges to understanding and respect, using the most universal of languages: music. Director Kayla Werlin is an accomplished conductor and soloist, and choral music teacher at Longmeadow High School. Mak'hela is accompanied by Jamie Goodnow.
About our Musical Director
Kayla Werlin is a native of Lexington, Massachusetts, who received her musical training at the University of Michigan and the University of Massachusetts. After teaching public school music in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Virginia and New Jersey, Kayla moved to the Pioneer Valley in 1995 and joined the music faculty of the Longmeadow Public Schools, where she is currently the director of vocal music. Kayla has been President of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Choral Directors' Association and Choral Coordinator for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Western District. She is a member of 'Cantabile', the Pioneer Valley's professional vocal chamber ensemble, and appears as a mezzo-soprano soloist in area concert halls. Step- mother of six, grandmother of fourteen and great-grandmother of three, Kayla lives, cooks, and gardens in Hadley, Massachusetts with her husband, E. Wayne Abercrombie.
About our Accompanist
Jamie Goodnow works throughout the Pioneer Valley as a professional accompanist/concert performer. In addition to working with Mak'hela, Jamie is the Music Director at both St. Stanislaus and St. James Churches in South Deerfield. His yearly solo and chamber music concert tour takes him all over New England and into New York. Jamie currently studies under Raphael Atlas, Professor of Music Theory at Smith College. While spending most of his time as a musician, he also shares his time working as a painter and sculptor at the Stillwater Art and Design Studio in Shelburne Falls.