Cantor David Presler –
Class notes June 21st, 2021
The class was exciting for me, and I believe, the students/artists. I began by sharing a bit about myself, being a Cantor, a Hazzan, (and had everybody say the word, Hazzan) – I had them engaged from the beginning. Then I had each share about what made them become an artist.
A few shares were very touching. In particular, Anastasia shared about her life long passion to sing opera as she had been in the Bolshoi since a young age, and was on the same stage as many of the greats!
Before all the artists had finished sharing, we meditated. I took the class through a visualization, and afterwards, Yara shared. We wondered why I chose to meditate before Yara went. When we completed the meditation, there was a drum roll for Yara to share. The amazing story was that she meditated for 2 hours prior to winning her recent competition. The timing was sublime!!
Yara then shared how she dreamed of singing Musetta on the table, which I invited her to do – so she sang standing on one of the class tables and was amazing! I shared about applauding with an intention, that the person being acknowledged would feel that they were getting an ovation at La Scala! Soroush also shared how someone tried to discourage him from being an opera singer – and our acknowledgement took a new twist when we declared that he would be world famous!
After the introductions which took about 45 minutes, as each and every Artist, including the pianists, shared about their path, we had a few games and warm ups. First we did the machine!
Wait! When Josette shared, she told how she loved Freddie Mercury and Caballe. We all started singing We Will Rock You! It was a blasssst! The maching as a good warm-up and we all mostly participated or were in charge of taking video.
Then the improv came. We had 5 volunteers, and I started with characters and Yara picked a plot. Gio was at the piano, and improvised a short little Operetta! It was fun! I know we were all engaged!!! We have the video to prove it!!!
After a break, we began the coaching in English. I got all the singers to be involved, even when coaching an individual – for instance, by having the class say a word the singer was working on… We spoke about sparkling the music, intention – both emotionally and with thoughts… I reminisced about a quote or something I learned from many, many teachers in my past – when on tangents, shared and engaged, engaged, engaged. It was a fun class!
Cantor David Presler is a creative, passionate and soulful Spiritual Leader, and has served as a Hazzan, Concert Artist, Opera Singer, Artist Manager, Voice Teacher, Conductor, Composer, Recording Artist and Pianist. He is one of the most unique and versatile Cantors in the field.
He was recently given Congressional Recognition for his contribution to American Music by Congresswoman Deborah Wasserman-Schulz. David has been serving Conservative Congregations, both full-time or part-time, for the past 40 seasons.
Cantor Presler is a prolific composer of Liturgical Music, having set over 1000 songs to the Shabbat and High Holiday Litugy, with his Sim Shalom as his first published work with Transcontinental Music Publications, and was featured in the 2005 Shabbat Anthology.
As a concert artist, David has appeared in numerous venues performing Art Songs, Opera Arias, Broadway Favorites, Jazz Standards, Classic Repertoire in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino and Russian. Cantor Presler also performs opera professionally, having sung with Palm Beach Opera and Florida Grand Opera.
He earned his B.A. and M.S. Degrees at Queens College in Music Education, and his S.C. in Jewish Education and Administration at Yeshiva University. He has also taken numerous courses in Leadership and Communication at Landmark Worldwide.
Projects included producing and singing in The Marriage of Figaro with 3 casts at Le Frak Hall in with Queens Symphony, a Cantorial concert of 10 Cantors in New York City, a 90 Page Transliterated Siddur and CD, and a concert tour called “Light Up the World with Music” featuring 25 concerts in Senior Homes up the East Coast, 2015.
Cantor Presler has recently published the last works of Noah Schall for
Shabbat. This was a 10-year project and a labor of love, giving honor to my teacher of 20 years. Many celebrated Cantors and colleagues have lauded this work.
Cantor Presler has a powerfully engaging style of prayer, and involves the congregation in seeking the Almighty through his interpretation of the Liturgy. He also teaches Jewish Meditation and Spirituality, incorporating Wisdom from many sources.
He continues his studies with Cantor Avshalom Zfira, a master of the Bel Canto technique of voice. Please visit www.davidpresler.com for more information.