Dr. Tamara Freeman is a Holocaust ethnomusicologist and concert violist. She teaches lessons of morality and courage through her Holocaust music classes and performances. She was awarded her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Music Education, magna cum laude in 2007 from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts. Her studies in music of the Shoah began in response to the 1994 NJ state mandate for Holocaust education. Her dissertation, Using Holocaust Music to Encourage Racial Respect: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Grades K-12 was endorsed by Dr. Paul Winkler, Executive Director of Holocaust-genocide studies, Department of Education, NJ. She is an adjunct professor of Holocaust music at the John J. Cali School of Music, Montclair, NJ State University, where she coaches the graduate Zora String Quartet in archival Holocaust Art Music. She is also a professor of Holocaust culture and education at Saint Elizabeth University.
On March 26, 2018, Dr. Freeman served as the artistic director and conductor for the Voices of Hope Choral Concert in Schermerhorn Theater (Symphony Hall), Nashville TN. The concert featured over 250 students, ages 8-18, singing archival Holocaust songs in their original Yiddish language. Dance students also performed in the concert.
Dr. Freeman performs Holocaust music lecture-recitals on her 1935 Joseph Bausch viola, which is a relic of the Shoah. Her recital venues have included the Chautauqua, NY Summer Institution, Café Europa Survivors’ reunions, NJ State House Assembly Chambers, Dallas and El Paso, TX Holocaust Museums, the Belz Museum in TN, and at the National Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
From 1982-2012, Dr. Freeman taught music in the Ridgewood, NJ Public Schools. She conducted choirs, orchestras, and bands, composed ensemble repertoire for students grades 5-12, and helped to instill in her students a love for music. Many children in Ridgewood sang songs of the Holocaust under her direction. Dr. Freeman brings her expertise and organized teaching skills into her Holocaust music classes, inspiring people of all ages to sing, and feel a personal connection with, the songs of the ghettos and concentration camps.
Dr. Freeman's published a Holocaust music curriculum for the Emmy nominated documentary, The Defiant Requiem, the true account of Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem Mass performances in the Terezin concentration camp. You can upload the curriculum, free of charge, at Journeys in Film.
Dr. Freeman is a contributing author for the book, Giving Voice to Democracy in Music Education: Diversity and Social Justice in the Classroom, Edited by Dr. Lisa DeLorenzo, published by Routledge.
Professional memberships include:
- Association for Holocaust Organizations
- American String Teachers Association
- Music Educators National Conference
- New Jersey Music Educators Association
- International Association of Genocide Scholars
- International Society for Music Educators
- Theresienstadt Martyrs Remembrance Association, Israel