January 29, 2023 /

Cantor Mark E. Stanton

Cantor Stanton’s journey has been a story punctuated by people and places; a garment woven together by music that has formed the fabric of his life.

Cantor Stanton remembers Shabbat mornings when his grandfather, Harry Weinstein z”l who would take him to shul in Queens in order to simply share time together whether at the temple, at work or at play. “Papa” showed him the value of embracing something you love. From him, he learned of the inner joy and passion that only the person, fully engaged, could understand. His childhood cantor, Cantor Jacob Ben Zion Mendelsohn, had a tremendous influence on him, for Cantor Mendelsohn brought out the best of him at all times and showed him the true joys of Jewish music. He gave Cantor Stanton his first taste of hazzanut and allowed him to join together on the bimah for an occasional duet and to peer into the life of a cantor; as Cantor Mendelsohn took him to his coaching and voice lessons.

Cantor Stanton’s musical life started with his home and shul in Flushing, Queens, and carried him to the concert halls at Lincoln Center, studies and travels in Israel, Italy, Austria, and the United States. With a foundation built upon a Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT, and a summer in Graz, Austria, he began a flourishing career as a professional singer, but he found himself yearning for greater connection between his professional and his spiritual life.

Studies at the Hebrew Union College-JIR in Israel introduced him to Cantor Eli Schleifer who humbled him with his talent, knowledge, and his own humility. Later, in 2003, Cantor Stanton was ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religion, (also Cantor Anna Ott’s alma mater). His nine years in his student pulpit at Temple Sinai, Lawrence, NY, and 15 years post-ordination at Congregation Beth Emeth in Wilmington, DE, have been precious and transformational to him.

In 2018 Cantor Stanton came back to Connecticut to be closer to family and served as both the Cantor and Religious School Director at Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison. The yearning to be a “full-time Cantor” again has now led him to this wonderful congregation. He looks forward to starting our adventure together in the months ahead!