The greatest choir directors in the world, during passionate choral conducting moments of liturgical masterpieces, experience an intense “feeling of oneness” with all of their choir members; their audience for the most part made up of perfect strangers and God in Heaven.
We are blessed at Chizuk Amuno to have one of those rare choir directors. Maestro Dimmock dedicates his entire being to making sacred music. He lives almost two hours away from Pikesville and during his frequent drives back and forth to rehearsals he has studied Hebrew from books on tapes. Quite often he translates words for the choir and follows along in the Machzor and Siddur. He strives for perfection in all that he does for our congregation. He understands that perfection in making music opens pathways to HaShem. Herb, along with our stellar choir, create angelic sounds in our sanctuary. Our vocal “angels” are in the infield singing so beautifully on the bimah during the services.
Herb is beginning his tenth year with Chizuk Amuno Congregation. After a Shabbat service if you haven’t met this deeply spiritual man please introduce yourself to him.
The following is an important message from him to all of us:
For me, the high privilege of leading others to recreate sacred music in a sacred space is a rare and high honor — one that I never, ever take for granted. In the 34 years that I have done this work since receiving my graduate degree from The Peabody Conservatory, I have always striven to never lose sight of the basis of this great music and the tremendous need that people have to hear it. We all seek peace. We all seek justice. We all strive to do acts of charity and loving kindness. For me, sacred music has always been an endless source of inspiration to work more justly, to love my neighbors more fully and to treat others more charitably. Sacred music humanizes us, ennobles us and inspires us. Sacred music gives us a glimpse of the song of the angels and of a world more perfect than ours. In fact, often in the making of sacred music I have felt that I have glimpsed angels. Inevitably I have felt that I have come closer to God. I am deeply thankful for those gifts and continuing opportunities.
At Chizuk Amuno, sacred music of the highest caliber has always been an integral part of the worship life of the congregation. With the strong lay and clergy leadership of the shul, I am certain that sacred music will continue to hold a central place in the life of the synagogue, as I believe it should. For me, it is an honor of the highest order to be given the opportunity to work with the Hazzan to explore some of the greatest sacred music composed for Friday Night Services in conjunction with the great celebratory milestone of the 50th anniversary of the Sanctuary.