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January 2017

l-r:  Polyphony co-founders Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar,
Deborah Cogut and Craig Cogut with young musicians at Nazareth Synagogue Church.

Co-Founders visit Polyphony

“Parents and educators across the country told us that Polyphony is making a difference in the lives of youth and the greater community,” remarked co-founder Deborah Cogut following her December visit with husband and co-founder Craig Cogut, Board Treasurer Seth Novatt and his wife Priscilla Natkins.
Their multi-day tour included a visit with Bedouin kindergarteners in Houra in the Negev, where 750 children participate in Polyphony’s Alhan program. In Jaffa, one of Polyphony’s conservatory students played a recording of a short symphony he had composed especially for the occasion. And a dozen students ranging in age and skill gave enthusiastic performances in Nazareth.
The visit culminated with a world class concert given by Polyphony’s Galilee Chamber Orchestra—the only mixed Arab and Jewish professional orchestra in Israel—and internationally acclaimed pianist Andras Schiff on December 19.

Please visit—and LIKE—our Facebook page for photos and performance videos.
Co-founder Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar dedicated the concert in memory of Amy Lipton, a founding Polyphony donor and champion. Stef Wertheimer, one of Israel’s most successful businessmen, spoke with passion and humor of the special gathering at his Industrial Park, Nazareth.
“Deborah and I did not know five years ago that founding Polyphony with Nabeel would have such an impact, but we left Israel believing strongly that there is tremendous opportunity under Nabeel's leadership to dramatically increase the impact of what we are doing,” Craig shared. “After the concert, several business and philanthropic leaders from Tel Aviv commented how impressed they were with what is being accomplished in the Galilee and in the Bedouin south. We explained that a key differentiator and factor of our success is our grassroots approach with year-round programming anchored in and led by the Arab community. A former chief of staff of the IDF and others embraced our mission and volunteered to assist in the growth of Polyphony, as they have seen other attempts to bring Arab and Jewish kids together that have not had our transformational impact."

Alhan class at Bedouin kindergarten in Houra

Polyphony performs in Dallas
with David Broza

“From the moment we met Nabeel, we were so inspired,” declared David and Betty Jo Bell. “We wanted the folks in Dallas to experience and support community-based change in Israel through the power of music.”

The Bells first organized to bring Polyphony musicians over from Israel for a Dallas benefit concert in 2014. The funds raised then helped to expand the number of young people served by its programs.

On Sunday, February 12, Polyphony will return to Dallas for a benefit concert performed by two Arab and two Jewish young musicians with special guest David Broza. Details and tickets can be purchased here. David Broza, the beloved Israeli singer/songwriter described by critics as a “post-modern Leonard Cohen” and the “Bruce Springsteen” of Israel will perform with the quartet.

“When I learned about Polyphony, I was so mesmerized that the only thing I could ask was if I could actually join and help by playing with them,” Broza said. “When they play music there is nothing more harmonious and beautiful than what they do.”



February 12, 2017
Dallas, Texas
With special guest 
David Broza
For Tickets

Media on Polyphony

“Music cannot solve all the problems. But it does have a very special healing power.
I believe in that,” Sir Andras Schiff told CNN after performing with Polyphony to an audience of 400 Arabs and Jews from across the country.  

Watch the CNN segment here.

Read the Strad magazine article here.
“We’ve been able to create a space where it’s about music, and people’s ability to communicate on a personal level,” Polyphony co-founder Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar shared. “And once that is done, politics gets a different perspective.”
The Strad is a well-respected classical music magazine. Its December issue features an in-depth look at Polyphony.
Copyright © 2017 Polyphony Education, All rights reserved.

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