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Portland Youth Philharmonic chamber orchestra Camerate PYP and Cantor Ida Rae Cahana on Jan. 30.

COURTESY PHOTO: BEV STANDISH - Camerata, the chamber orchestra of Portland Youth Philharmonic, will perform a free concert Jan. 30 at Congregation Beth Israel in Portland.

Portland Youth Philharmonic's chamber orchestra Camerate PYP, led by Musical Director David Hattner, invites all to a special performance taking place at 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at Congregation Beth Israel, 1972 N.W. Flanders St., Portland.

The free concert will feature guest artists Jesse Nieman on piano, and Congregation Beth Israel's Cantor Ida Rae Cahana as vocalist.

Nieman, 16, is a student at Portland Community College and plays violin in addition to piano in PYP's Conservatory Orchestra. He currently studies piano with Pauline Eidenmiller and violin with Ines Voglar Belgique, Oregon Symphony's Assistant Principal Second Violin and conductor of PYP's Young String Ensemble.

Ida Rae Cahana made history at the age of 17, when she became one of the first women to sing in a synagogue as a cantor.

She later received ordination through the Hebrew Union College. Cahana has since appeared on Broadway with Phyllis Newman, and in concerts at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall with Thomas Lauderdale and Pink Martini.

In 2012, she became a senior cantor for Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, where she serves with her husband, Senior Rabbi Michael Cahana.

Cahana hopes the performance will inspire more young people to try expressing themselves through music.

"Hearing a group of excellently prepared peers is a great way to do that," she says. "David (Hattner) has sensitively chosen works that are written by Jewish composers. This concert gives audiences a variety of seldom heard, beautiful music in one of the most gorgeous worship/concert spaces in Portland."

The concert will include music by Felix Mendelssohn, Oregon composer Ernest Bloch, Gertald Finzi, Julius Chajes and David Avshalomov, son of PYP's longest serving Musical Director, Jacob Avshalomov.

"Too often, cities underrate their own local resources of talent and heart and mind," Cahana said. "Portland has a great wealth of talented creative musicians and artists. As often as possible, I look for chances to share our cultural and personal stories through music. We learn from each other and help lift our level of understanding of the myriad ways of acknowledging beauty and meaning in the world."

The performance Jan. 30 is free. For more information, visit

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