Cantor Mark E. Childs earned his B.A. in music from UC San Diego where he studied voice with Carol Plantamura and his Master of Sacred Music degree and ordination as Cantor from Hebrew Union College-School of Sacred Music in New York City (where he studied voice with Paul Sperry and Michael Trimble). He is an active member of the Reform Movement's American Conference of Cantors and a member of the Cantors Assembly. As Cantor of Congregation B’nai B’rith in Santa
Barbara since 1991, Mark is involved in all aspects of congregational life. His teachers in Santa Barbara have included Elizabeth Mannion, Michael Sokol, and Benjamin Brecher.
Mark is at home as a recitalist in Jewish art song, folk song, and all vocal music of the Jewish people as well as classical and musical theater repertoire. He has appeared as featured soloist with the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony (Zeisl’s “Requiem Ebraica”), the Portland Symphonic Choir and the Santa Barbara Symphony/Choral Society (Bloch’s "Sacred Service"), the Santa Barbara Grand Opera ("Die Fledermaus", "Don Giovanni"), and has performed Mendelssohn’s "Elijah" on several occasions with full chorus and orchestra. He recently released his latest recording "Messengers of Peace" with pianist/composer Bob Remstein. His recordings "Cycles and Symbols" , “The Time Has Come for Singing” with soprano Judy Karin, and “The Ballad of Ruth” by Stephen Richards are currently available on line or by mail order.
Cantor Childs’ worship services, educational, and cultural programming have enriched both Jew and non-Jew alike throughout the greater Santa Barbara area where he resides with his wife Shari and sons David (now studying opera at UCLA) and Adam.
Cantor Childs is the staff coordinator of the Congregation B’nai B’rith Bar/Bat Mitzvah program. As music director, he is responsible for all liturgical and non-liturgical music in the synagogue, leading worship services and conducting the Shir Chadash Adult, Teen and Youth Choirs, and the Shir Chadash Band. As music educator he is responsible for music education from pre-school through adult education. Cantor Childs teaches the 6th grade Hebrew School class (Torah cantillation), tutors every Bar/Bat Mitzvah student produces full scale musicals involving the talented youth and adults of the congregation, wears ridiculous costumes each year at the Purim spiel, and leads weekly services for the Religious School.
A recent honoree of the ADL’s Distinguished Community Service Award, Cantor Childs’ work in the community has him serving on the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Initiative of Santa Barbara County. He is a member of the Greater Santa Barbara Clergy Association and is one of it’s organizers of the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service.
For an on-line article about Cantor Childs and his history, click here (Santa Barbara Independent, February 24, 2011)