Ephraim Abel Herrera was training to be a concert pianist in his high school years. He taught himself to play piano at age 13 and was playing classical music by the time he received formal training a year later. Ephraim has the gift of being able to play many instruments. He was playing cello in the high school orchestra when they visited the Chicago symphony where he heard the famous soprano, Isola Jones performing. It was then he fell in love with the voice and switched his focus from piano to classical vocal performance. He graduated with a degree in vocal performance at Northern Illinois University. Ephraim still plays piano, with styles ranging from classical, jazz, rhythm and blues, and of course, world music.
Cantor Ephraim lived in Israel four years. During this time he sang with the Rinat National Choir, which is the opera chorus of the New Tel Aviv Opera Company, and the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. Cantor Ephraim toured Europe with both organizations. He sang in various venues as a soloist and ensemble singer in Israel and Europe.
Mr. Herrera returned to the United States to study with famed vocal instructor, Francisco Capelli of Philadelphia, who trained many Metropolitan Opera singers. Amongst many other performances, Cantor Ephraim gave a major vocal recital in Yaroslavl, Russia in the Philharmonic Hall, with the welcoming of the turn of the century in 2000.
Cantor Ephraim is a passionate lover of opera and has sung various opera roles for the Worcester Light Opera Company and Lowell Opera Company in Massachusetts. He was an accompanist and lead actor/singer for the Sudbury Savoyards, a Gilbert and Sullivan society.
Ephraim believes that all types of music make the world go around and it shows up in his contributions to our services. He especially enjoys singing Ladino music, the music of his Sephardic roots. Cantor Ephraim’s unique coupling of musical talent with knowledge of melodies from all Jewish backgrounds makes Congregation Beit Tikva’s service a lively cultural experience.