Kehilat Middlesbrough Newsletter No 26 September 2010 page 3 (of 12)
Leeds Jewish Telegraph, January 2009
Choir founder still on song after 50 years
REV Michael Saville celebrates 50 years' service at Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue tomorrow.
The shul holds a special Shabbat service in his honour in which the BHH and United Hebrew Congregation choirs join forces for the first time.
A celebratory lunch and entertainment follows.
Rev Saville said: "I hope everyone has a fun and joyous weekend of music, prayer, song and dancing."
Regarding his 50-year tenure he noted: "There have been challenges over the years in being able to train the choir with many chazanim at annual concerts and also when a number came on trial between full-time appointments.
"The concerts were always challenging and enjoyable. The first with Chazan Simon Hass was particularly memorable as I'd never planned an event of its nature before.
"Selichot services have been really awe-inspiring and I am delighted that new tunes and arrangements that I've introduced have become established over the years."
Rev Saville was taught the ways of the synagogue service by his father, Morris Saville, and grandfather, Joshua Saville.
Middlesbrough Hebrew Congregation minister Rev Bernard Kersh initially gave him the opportunity to lead services as a teenager.
He joined BHH synagogue staff as chazan and Ba'al Keriah in January 1959 prior to becoming Chazan Sheni in 1967.
Rev Saville formed the BHH choir in 1970.
Highlights of the choir's history include the annual chazanut concerts at which the choir accompanied top chazanim Naftali Herstik, Yosef Malovany and Moshe Stern.
He also appeared on television with Sir Harry Secombe, James Galway and a section of the Halle Orchestra.
The choir has also performed in Israel where they entertained at Alyn Hospital, sang at Yad Vashem, performed in Netanya Square and Yeshurun Synagogue, Jerusalem.
In addition to his regular service to BHH Synagogue, Rev Saville introduced a reading of the five megillot from a scroll, recorded the synagogue customs in a permanent format and arranged the choral repertoire.
An accountant in industry, Rev Saville has always found time for communal and charitable work, serving 10 years with Leeds Kashruth Authority, 25 years with Shomrei Mitzvos (Moortown Mikvah) and 20 years with Leeds Jewish Representative Council.
Chairman and musical director of Leeds Jewish Choral Society, his tenure was highlighted by six biennial Jerusalem song contests that attracted entries from all over the world.
For the last three years Rev Saville has been jointly responsible for running BHH book and gift shop.
Shul president Dan Cohen said: "Michael has given 50 tremendous years of service to BHH and the Leeds community at large.
"His contribution over the years has benefited every facet of the shul from the choir, which he developed from scratch, to encouraging young people to learn how to daven and take an active role in the service.
"In this modern age for someone to dedicate a portion of their life to one organisation is beyond exceptional and every BHH member owes Michael a true debt of gratitude."
Rabbi Jason Kleiman added: "Michael's contribution is immeasurable and we are blessed to have such a dedicated and versatile member of our clergy."
Rev Saville will be joined at the celebrations by his wife Jeanette, children Daniel, Debbie and Dan, Rafi and Antonia, Gil and Natalie, and grandchildren Jasmine, Benji, Millie, Natan, Ruby and Violet.