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Our Professional Music TeamMusic at Am Shalom small

AndreaMarkowiczCantor Andrea Rae Markowicz is honored to be the first permanent, ordained Cantor of Am Shalom. Ordained in 2013 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, she has an extensive background in secular and liturgical music, Jewish and Israel Education. She holds a Master of Sacred Music from HUC-JIR, a Master of Music from The Cleveland Institute of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan. Cantor Markowicz is a proud member of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC), Reform Cantors of Chicago (past president), Actors Equity Association (AEA), and the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA).

StudentCantorAlexandra headshot1Student Cantor Alexandra Fox, a fourth year of cantorial school at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, is originally from Huntington Woods, Michigan. She has dreamed of being a cantor since she was eight years old, her interest in Jewish music sparked by Cantor Stephen Dubov (z'l) when she joined the Children's Choir at Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. There, he taught her Doug Cotler's "Listen," which was the first piece of music through which Alexandra discovered the sheer beauty that emanates from the combination of music and prayer.

kenSmithHeadShot

Ken Smith (Piano/Organ), has been pianist and organist at Am Shalom since 1982. A native of Louisiana, Ken received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in piano from Indiana University, studying with Sidney Foster. In 1992, Ken joined the faculty of the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University as a vocal coach, retiring in June 2014. Since 1987, he has been an accompanist for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in the Central Midwest Region. He is a frequent lecturer on German Lied, focusing primarily on the works of Hugo Wolf.

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Noah Plotkin (Musical Artist-in-Residence) is the Founder and Music Director of Life Rhythms Inc. Raised in Highland Park, Noah is a Drummer/World Percussionist, and a graduate of Berklee College of Music. He has collaborated as a percussionist with The Martha Graham Dance Conservatory in NYC, Sala Crisantempo School of Dance in Sao Paulo, Brazil, The Amsterdam Theatre School of Dance, Lou Conte Chicago and Northwestern University School of Dance. Noah is currently a private drum set/percussion teacher for students and families, music educator and valued member of many different Chicago area world music, rock, blues, funk, pop and jazz ensembles including Chicago's elite wedding band The Gold Coast All Stars. Noah believes music is a universal language that reaches across all cultural and demographic boundaries.