Hazzan David Tilman is no stranger to classical music. He has earned degrees from Columbia College, Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and the Juilliard School with major in Choral Conducting from Abraham Kaplan. In May 2016 he was awarded the Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree, honoris causa, from Gratz College.  He was granted the Doctor of Music degree, honoris causa, from JTS. Hazzan Tilman has completed a five-year term as Associate Professor at the Miller Cantorial School of JTS, teaching Methods and  of Jewish Music Education, Advanced Conducting, and conducting the Miller Chorus. He is choral director of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Hazzan Tilman is Hazzan Emeritus of Beth Sholom Congregation of Elkins Park, retiring in 2011 after 36 years. Under his direction, the Beth Sholom choirs toured Israel 3 times. In 2007 he led the Beth Sholom Men’s Choir on a concert tour of five Eastern European cities, and in January 2014, he led members of the Men's Choir on a concert tour for the Jewish community of Havana, Cuba. In 2011, he received the Samuel Rosenbaum Award from the Cantors Assembly and the Or Zarua Award from the Jewish Educators Assembly. He has conducted, lectured, and sung throughout the USA, in Santiago, Berlin, Munich, and Havana. Since 2011 he is Hazzan in Residence at Ramah Darom for the Passover Family Retreat. He is the conductor of the Delaware Valley Cantors Assembly Ensemble. He believes that the Jewish choral experience is a profound vehicle to teach Jewish faith in Almighty G-d, Jewish values, and Jewish identity. In 2015, he was invited to lecture on the stage of Verizon Hall on the Bernstein MASS, prior to the Philadelphia Orchestra performances of this monumental composition by the greatest and most eclectic composer of the second half of the 20th century. Hazzan Tilman's major conducting teacher, Mr. Abraham Kaplan, prepared all the choruses for Bernstein during his tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic. Hazzan Tilman was privileged to meet Leonard Bernstein in 1986.

This video excerpt was from a lecture delivered by Hazzan Tilman at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel that was recorded and archived by the Philadelphia Orchestra. The lecture elucidates the Jewish elements in MASS.