Congregation Shir Shalom presents weekend of music

A celebration of popular music standards from the American songbook will mark the weekend of Nov. 15-17 at Congregation Shir Shalom of Westchester and Fairfield Counties.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, Shir Shalom presents soprano Claire Simard, accompanied by pianist Brian Besterman, in a program of musical theater songs by Broadway composers Stephen Sondheim and Stephen Schwartz.

The songlist of 10 numbers includes “Broadway Baby” from “Follies” and “Children Will Listen” from “Into the Woods,” by Sondheim; and “Beautiful City” from “Godspell” and “For Good” from “Wicked,” by Schwartz.

Simard is head of music and theater at Wooster School in Danbury, where she teaches chorus and acting for grades 3-12. She is a veteran of musical theater roles, and has appeared locally at Ridgefield Playhouse, A Contemporary Theatre of Connecticut (ACT) and, this past summer, in “Annie” for Musicals at Richter.

Besterman is a pianist and arranger who has worked on Broadway musicals that include “Man of La Mancha,” “1776,” “Big,” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, “Jazzy Jewish A Cappella” features the vocal stylings of Yale University’s Redhot and Blue, featuring undergraduates who sing all-time favorites without instrumental accompaniment. Their standard repertoire includes numbers such as “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Lullaby of Birdland,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and “The Girl from Ipanema.”

The group, which was founded in 1977, is known for its distinctive arrangements and award-winning sound.

The Nov. 15 and 17 events are part of a continuing series of concerts, coordinated by Shir Shalom Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray, under the banner of “Spirit and Soul at Shir Shalom.”

The Friday sabbath service begins at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, email or call 203-438-6589.