Hebrew Institute of Riverdale Community Choir

Jonathan Dzik, Music Director

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Dr. Dzik
Photo Copyright Robert Kalfus 2006.

Jonathan Dzik grew up in Chattanooga,Tennessee, where he attended the Chattanooga Hebrew Academy and received his early music training in piano and flute.

Jonathan later came to New York to attend Yeshiva University High School and then remained for his undergraduate studies at New York University in University Heights. He received his master's degree in musicology at Queens College and his doctorate in music education at New York University School of Education in Washington Square. His doctoral dissertation was a study on how to teach opera appreciation to high school students. In college he played flute in the orchestra and was piano soloist with the NYU orchestra in Beethoven's third piano concerto. He became a rehearsal pianist with the Bronx Opera Company in the mid-1960s.

Jonathan started his career in music education in 1966 at JHS 127 in the Parkchester section of the Bronx. He later taught for five years at Evander Childs High School. From 1974 to 2000 he taught music appreciation, chorus, music theory and musical theater at Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx's Pelham Parkway section. His choruses performed with various professional Bronx orchestras. He was piano soloist with the Bronx Symphony Orchestra in 1997.

He was twice chosen teacher of the year at Columbus High School - in 1987 and 1999 - and was chosen “Music Teacher of the Year” by the New York Daily News in 1987. He has been music director for more than 50 productions performed at a variety of venues including high schools, camps, the SAR Academy and community theater, and The Riverdale Y. From 1982 to 1983 he was music director of Fiddler on the Roofat Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and Damrosch Park. He has written and edited six filmstrips on opera and musical theater. He has led workshops and seminars on music education and opera in education for teaching institutions throughout New York City and State, including the Metropolitan Opera, where he is on the education staff.

In addition to leading The HIR Community Choir, Jonathan currently authors opera study guides - he has written over one hundred thus far - the Metropolitan Opera website. He also provides piano accompaniment for vocal and instrumental soloists and sings bass in the Collegiate Chorale, which performed in Switzerland under Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine in 2005.

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