Penny Myers (nee Sonnenreich), Williamsville North High School, Class of 1992
Cantor Penny Myers has been serving Temple Beth Zion, Western New York’s largest synagogue, as Cantor since October 2006.
Cantor Myers has been in the pulpit since 1998 serving three years as Cantorial Soloist at Temple Sinai in Amherst and, previously, as Cantorial Soloist at Judea Reform in Durham, N.C. While she served Judea Reform, she also worked as an elementary music teacher for Durham Public Schools. As a student at Williamsville North, she was a member of the Vocal Music Club, Girls Chorus, Swing Choir, and the Inter-High Council. After graduating from high school, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Music Performance (Voice) from Buffalo State College where she was a primary soprano soloist for the Chamber Ensemble's Central European Tour in 1995. Cantor Myers went on to receive a master's degree in Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1999. She is a member of the Women's Cantor Network, Guild of Temple Musicians, the Toronto Council of Hazzonim, and the Cantors Assembly. She has sung all over North America, Europe and Israel. Besides the bimah of Temple Beth Zion, Penny has been guest soloist with Synergy; the Buffalo Gay Mens Choir; local ensembles; and the klezmir band BUPKES.
After several years of intense preparation under Cantor Benjamin Z. Maissner of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, Cantor Myers received her Hazzan credential through the Cantors Assembly, the world's largest association of professional cantors and hazzanim. She is now an active member of the Cantors Assembly, serving on various committees including the Executive Council, the Placement Program for cantorial colleagues, and recently serving as Managing Editor of Sacred Sounds publication. She is a sought-after lecturer, leading sessions on pedagogical practices within worship as well as Hebrew School education. In July 2018, Penny was invited to record “Kol Nidrei” in Tel Aviv, Israel where she was only the fifth woman, and the last Cantor, to ever record with the late renowned Israeli composer Dr. Mordechai Sobol.
Cantor Myers and her husband, Dr. Bennett Myers, reside in Amherst with their three children, Hunter, Saul and Corrinne.