Reuben Zellman

(2018) Reuben Zellman is a teacher, conductor, singer and longtime activist and educator in the transgender community. In addition to directing New Voices Bay Area, he is a lecturer in the School of Music at San Francisco State University, where he teaches ear training, musicianship and choral ensembles, and is a staff countertenor in the Choir of Men and Boys at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral.

Reuben holds degrees in linguistics from U.C. Berkeley, a Master’s of Music in choral conducting from San Francisco State, and a master’s in Hebrew literature and rabbinical ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he also trained in chazzanut (theory and performance practice of Jewish liturgical music). He served for nine years as a synagogue rabbi and music director. Reuben speaks and has been published extensively on issues of gender identity and religion; other research interests include applied ethnomusicology and Jewish music of the Baroque and early Classical periods.

Born and raised in California, Reuben has studied and worked in Santiago de Chile, Jerusalem, New York and Los Angeles, and has lived mostly in his beloved Bay Area since 1996. He is passionate about helping to expand marginalized communities’ access to opportunities in music and other forms of culture, and empowering and supporting our communities to raise our voices, share our truths and fight for our rights and dignity. He is thrilled to be part of the Community Music Center.






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