Tamara Reps Freeman, D.M.A., Holocaust Ethnomusicologist,
Teacher, Viola Recitalist, and Singer
Tamara Reps Freeman received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education degree, summa cum laude, from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts, NJ. She is the musicologist for the Association of Holocaust Organizations, the international alliance of Holocaust museums and education commissions. Dr. Freeman is an adjunct professor of Holocaust Music at the John J. Cali School of Music, Montclair State University, NJ. The lessons and legacies of archival Holocaust music come to life in her lecture-recitals, where she sings, plays a viola rescued from the Holocaust, and engaging audiences in community singing.
Her dissertation, Using Holocaust Music to Encourage Racial Respect: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Grades K-12, is our country’s first and only Holocaust music education curriculum for students in Kindergarten - 12th grade. The curriculum was created in response to the 1994 NJ State mandate to teach Holocaust-Genocide Studies and it is endorsed by the NJ State Department of Education. Dr. Freeman's curriculum received an alumni award from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, for having created one of the five the most outstanding music education innovations in the school's 125 year history.
Dr. Freeman's “Music of the Holocaust: A Thematic Design for String Music Education” is a chapter in “Giving Voice to Democracy in Music Education: Diversity and Social Justice” edited by Lisa DeLorenzo Ed.D., Routledge, 2015. Dr. Freeman wrote and published a music curriculum for the 2014 Emmy nominated film “Defiant Requiem”.
In 2012, Dr. Freeman retired from 30 years of teaching music and conducting ensembles in the Ridgewood, NJ Public Schools. She brings pedagogical expertise, passion, and the highest standards of excellence into her Holocaust music classes and workshops, for children, teens, and adults.
Dr. Freeman is a concert violinist and violist. Her 1935 Joseph Bausch viola was rescued from the Holocaust. The Bausch viola serves as a voice of remembrance in Dr. Freeman's Holocaust music lecture-recitals which she performs throughout the U.S. The personal stories of composers interned in the ghettos and concentration camps come to life as Dr. Freeman plays their stirring melodies on her resonant viola. Audiences are taught how to sing the most emblematic archival songs, led by Dr. Freeman's lovely alto voice. Each folk song and instrumental piece serve as legacies for humanity, character education, spiritual resistance, and hope.