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Our Cantorial Soloist

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Carol Gunnerson received her BA in Vocal Music Education and Performance along with her teaching credentials in 1976. With a background in classical piano studies coupled with performance technique in French, Italian, and German Art Song, Opera, and Jazz, she successfully completed five years serving hundreds of students as the Vocal Music Educator in the Haddonfield NJ Public Schools before turning her focus to raising her growing family. All the while, she continued to provide private instruction in voice, piano, and music theory. In 1990, Carol played an integral role alongside the cantor at Congregation M´Kor Shalom in the production of a year-long recording project on which she arranged much of the music and performed on several tracks.


The Gunnersons moved to California in 1993, and joined what was then, Sunrise Jewish Congregation. Carol began singing and teaching for congregational Shabbat services, Religious School, holidays, and special events. During the early years in California she also volunteered to serve in the unpaid professional position of Choral Conductor and Music Director of several concert and theatre productions in local public schools. She was determined to provide music opportunities to children at a time when school budgets were cutting arts curriculum.

Carol has joyfully served as our formal Cantorial Soloist since 1995, creating what has become our congregation´s musical identity. As a composer, Carol has written a number of songs for Shabbat and the classroom that have become part of us. She has mentored a great number of our B´nei Mitzvah and adults through the years while teaching proficiency in both Torah and Haftarah Trop, and has participated in many other lifecycle events within the community. She continues to find the greatest reward in using music to elevate the prayer experience and in applying her years of teaching/parenting skills to motivate and encourage our children as they embark on their Jewish journeys. Carol is also a skilled mixed-media artist who has shared her ´Joyful Judaica´ with the community through shows, fundraisers, classes, and private instruction. She resides in Roseville with her husband Mark and their three grown sons.