Music at Lakeside

Lakeside Congregation provides a rich and diverse music program with offerings tailored to all ages, interests and musical tastes. However you like to experience music, Lakeside Congregation has something for you:


  • From traditional melodies, to contemporary songs, to musical arrangements from generations past and places far away.
  • Opportunities to be an active singer, or an intent listener of our choir and cantorial voices.
  • Services that invite you to express your joy, sway with the rhythm and let the music carry you into dance.
  • Special choir concerts that explore the library of Jewish music from composers worldwide.
  • Meditative music as you relax and let your thoughts settle.
  • Kid-friendly singing with melodies learned in Religious School and Jewish camps.
  • A variety of musical instruments: piano, guitar, drums, clarinet, oboe, saxophone and less-common instruments.

Todd Kessler

Todd Kessler is Lakeside's dynamic guitar player and song leader. He leads the music program for the Religious School, teaching Hebrew prayers in musical form and commanding a wide repertoire in English as well. Outside of Lakeside, Todd is best known for his time on season three of NBC’s The Voice, where he was mentored by CeeLo Green. Todd’s roots in Jewish music go back to ten years at a Jewish camp and continued as he became the song leader at Chicago Sinai Congregation before coming to Lakeside. Todd lives in Deerfield with his wife Lauren and their sons Benjamin and Ezra.

Dr. Richard Boldrey

Lakeside’s Choir Director Richard Boldrey, is well-known in Chicago as an accomplished pianist, conductor, professor and author. He has played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted opera throughout the United States, taught at several universities, and published several books. Richard is currently on staff at Northwestern University, where he teaches foreign language diction in the opera department. Under his leadership, knowledge and patience, the Lakeside choir has grown considerably in numbers, range and proficiency. He has conducted other choirs elsewhere, but considers the Lakeside Choir to be his home and his family.

Dr. William Crowle

Serving as Lakeside’s piano accompanist since 1999, Dr. William Crowle is a working musician, teacher and composer. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in composition from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY and Masters and Doctorate degrees in composition with high distinction from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. He has been heard on WFMT radio and seen on WGN-TV. In addition to his time at Lakeside, Dr. Crowle currently serves as the organist at First Presbyterian Church of Deerfield. He also teaches private piano lessons and is the Staff Accompanist for the music department at Vernon Hills High School in Vernon Hills, IL. 

Lakeside Adult Choir

About twenty years ago, Lakeside members were asked to start a choir to add music and inspiration to some of the regular Shabbat and holiday services. From a small but enthusiastic group of seven singers, the choir has grown to approximately twenty-five members, and due to the skilled and patient teaching of two talented directors, has become one of the area's best synagogue choirs. Over the years they have staged many special exciting events, performed with other choirs, and entertained at senior care facilities. They have become a caring chavurah community themselves while remaining open and welcoming to new members. Practicing weekly, the choir is featured at monthly Shabbat services, traditional High Holy Day services, the annual Purim Spiel, and other special concerts throughout the year. It is open to all adult members who enjoy singing - no prior experience necessary!