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Lawrence Avery

Lawrence AveryLAWRENCE AVERY (1927 – 2015) had an extensive music education that prepared him for a career as a singer. As a child, Cantor Avery began davening and singing at the Crown Heights Yeshiva in Brooklyn. He was in one of the first graduating classes of the High School of Music and Art in New York City. And, in 1944, he began studies at the Juilliard School of Music. But, after one year, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served as a chaplain’s assistant and soloist in the famed Bluejacket Choir. Returning to Juilliard for four years, Cantor Avery earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in voice, music education and opera, followed by a bachelor’s degree in sacred music from Hebrew Union College in New York.

Cantor Avery served on the faculty at HUC for 36 years and also taught at the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. At the time of his death, he was cantor emeritus at Beth El Synagogue in New Rochelle, N.Y., where he served for more than 60 years.

His career included performances with the Juilliard Opera Theater, the Little Orchestra Society under Thomas Sherman, the National Orchestral Association under Leon Barzin, and concerts and recordings with Cantical Hebraica. His compositions have been sung by cantors throughout the world.

Cantor Avery won awards and tributes from the American Conference of Cantors and the Cantors Assembly. Transcontinental Music and Sacred Music Press have published his compositions and arrangements, which include a collection of Roitman recitatives that he has edited.

Cantor Avery passed away May 21, 2015.

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