Carol Boyd Leon


Carol Boyd Leon is one of today's most prolific Jewish family, children's, and congregational songwriters and composers. Like an American Naomi Shemer, Carol has a wonderful gift of transmitting heritage and content through her songs which are eminently singable and enjoyable for both the singers and their listeners.

– Fran Avni, acclaimed Jewish musician

Carol’s memorable melodies and easy-to-learn lyrics help make synagogue services fun for children as well as for adults. Long after the final note is sung, you will be singing and humming her songs at home. With her sweet music woven through your worship experience, you and your family will be blessed with Shabbat joy!

– Peter and Ellen Allard, children’s performers and songwriters

I can truly say that Carol has written music that will stand the test of time. The melodies are easy to learn and remember, the arrangements bring so much joy to the performance, the harmonies are beautiful, and Carol seems to have captured the essence of each prayer which is a rare, spiritual talent.

– Meryl Weiner, cantor

Each of your songs is so lovely – melodic and beautiful. The music and the words are truly one. Each song is so rich and soaring. Their structure is elegantly and sensitively crafted. This is truly great Jewish music. As you well know, music can touch the heart – and yours truly does so!

– Beverly Jeanne Davis, artist

I just came home from a rehearsal of the adult volunteer choir that I direct at my synagogue and just had to tell you how much fun we had learning your 3-part Shehecheyanu! Carol, you MUST write more choral music for us!!! We sooooooooo love it and it is just PERFECT for our skill level and style. Tonight my choir learned the entire song and went singing and bouncing out the door. You should have seen the energy in the group! It was just amazing! One of my choir members even called us the Carol Boyd Leon Singers!! (We've done your Tov L'hodot, Hashkiveinu, and Shalom Rav!!). Thanks so much, Carol. You would have been proud.

– Jodi Rozental, Temple Judea, Coral Gables, FL

After reading Jodi Rozental's enthusiastic comments on Carol Boyd Leon's choral music, I'd like to cheer her volume of solo melodies called Voices in Prayer. I ordered it because I wanted some new, congregational-friendly tunes for the High Holy Days. After going through the entire book I had a hard time choosing which ones to use.....finally chose Modim Anachnu and R'tzei. I was so pleased to finally have a R'tzei that perfectly fit the text in Gates of Repentence! For years I'd been just cutting out half the text. Brava, Carol. Your melodies are beautifully constructed and so very singable.

– Isabelle Ganz, Composer/Cantorial Soloist/Voice Faculty: Lamar University

Carol Boyd Leon's Jewish Life Cycle songbook is beautiful both inside and out. This is music we will personally, professionally and collectively be thankful to have. She didn't ask me for an endorsement but this is one! Carol has a gift. When I hear her beautiful sweet voice, it sounds truly like prayer. She has a simple, clear way of composing and singing that captures meaning and essence of what she is conveying. From her Family Shabbat collection I really love her Oseh Shalom, Shalom Rav and When God Made the World. Her voice is pure and gentle, spiritual and sincere among other good things!

– Linda Kalette Schottenstein, cantorial soloist

Carol! This is the quickest of notes from Argentina, where we [Kol Halev choir] have had the most amazing tour of a lifetime. I have to tell you I that we sang your Shehecheyanu at every concert as well as tonight at the choral festival in Buenos Aires -- all the choirs together -- and we loved, loved, loved it! Everyone was totally thrilled with it.

– Cantor Annie Rose, Temple Beth Emeth, Ann Arbor, MI

Carol's Shehecheyanu is an up-tempo, exciting and Chassidic-flavored rendition of this age-old blessing.  This is NOT a “good” choral piece…it is a GREAT choral piece.  My choir loves it and the congregants were bouncing in their seats, toe-tapping etc.  If you are looking for an uptempo, Chassidic-style choral setting of Shehecheyanu…you really should check this out. My singers loved the melody, the fun and intricate counter-melodies, the “lai-lai” section and especially the pulling back of the tempo into the grand accelerando.  The choir LOVED rehearsing it and it will close this year’s annual meeting with a bang.  The WCN is blessed to have so many talented composers amongst our membership. [My choir is] impressed to be singing compositions of women composers and LIVING composers.

– Cantor Kathy Sebo, The Temple - Tifereth Israel, Cleveland, OH

I have to second this comment (above) regarding Carol’s Shehecheyanu.  I just can’t get enough of it, NOR can my choir, NOR can my congregants!  In fact, this week we are honoring our accompanist who has been with my temple for 25 years, so we are opening with it, AND closing with it, so by the end of the service, everyone is singing along in case they didn’t the first time around!! We just LOVE it.


– Jodi Rozental, cantorial soloist, Temple Judea, Coral Gables, FL

Congratulations, Carol, on Gan Shirim, a wonderful resource for teachers of preschool and elementary school-age children! I am enchanted by your songs, as well as by how creatively and entertainingly they were produced! Kudos to you, and to Adrian Durlester, who did a phenomenal job with the instrumentals on this 70-song set!

– Lisa Baydush, music teacher and composer

At the Sudbury conference of the Women Cantors Network, during the Monday morning Torah processional, we sang the most spirited Rom’mu I’ve heard. For that song alone, which I have now introduced to our shul, I bought Carol’s Voices in Prayer. (Rom’mu is wonderful even without instrumental accompaniment, which is not permitted in our traditional Conservative shul.) However, there are many equally fine melodies in Carol’s songbook. Her Hashkiveinu is very lovely and singable, and I am going to be using it at healing services at our shul. A nice introduction to a healing service, as people are taking their seats, is Carol’s Shabbat Nigun, which, played (without words) on a flute or recorder, is not specific to Shabbat and is welcoming and peaceful.

– Anne Rapkin

My choir sang From Strength to Strength for our Board Installation, and it went over VERY WELL! Not only that, but although we only had time for one rehearsal, they were able to pick up the song rather quickly, and make music/make it meaningful for our Board. The choir burst into spontaneous harmony at the end. Carol, thank you for writing such a great piece.

– Cantor Francyne B. Davis

I played the youtube version of By George, It's Washington for my students during social studies and they loved it.  Now that the CD is in my hands, they can listen often as they work on various Washington projects over the next few weeks.  Thanks so much for writing the song; it's great for my lessons.  One little girl said, "Mrs. Reynolds, I'm going to be singing that song all day!"

– Beatrice Reynolds, 4th grade teacher, Hanson, MA

I just wanted to let you know that I sang your song, Wrapped In Holiness, at a bar mitzvah this weekend. It is very beautiful and everybody liked it. Thank you.

– Marsha Sirman, cantorial soloist

Thank you so much for appearing at the JCC of Greater Washington’s 36th Annual Book Festival for our Family Concert… Everyone there loved it and your CDs and songbooks sold well throughout the entire week of the book festival… Your appearance played an integral role in our success and we are so pleased you were able to join us. It is great to have you as part of our Greater Washington community and we were so pleased to have you at the Center. Please know you are welcome back at any time.

– Barbara Winnik, Literary Arts Director, JCC of Greater Washington

Carol is a wonderfully talented and creative teacher who works diligently and consistently with her students. She has a great deal of patience and love for children and it is exhibited in all of her work at our school. Her gifted way of combining rhythm, movement and words into songs has earned her the love and respect of children as well as adults. She is a true joy to work with.

– Alicia Gejman, Principal

The choir kids were both adorable and wonderful yesterday at the Jewish Folk Arts Festival. Carol deserves thanks and praise for the magic she works with them. Thank you, Carol. YAAAY Carol! To a one, the kids in the choir yesterday were just beaming with pride at the applause and the fuss made over them after they had performed so well. It's an experience many more of our kids should have. They don't usually notice it, but Carol slips in quite a bit of Jewish education with her choir directing and song-leading. It's not as easy a balance to strike as you might think, and it's handled masterfully.

– David Itkin, youth choir parent

I am Rochelle, mommy to three children at OT preschool. All three of my kids ADORE you!! The boys like to walk around the house saying, "I'm Miss Carol, here is my guitar." No kidding!

– Rochelle Goldberg, parent

Thank you for all the love and effort you put into your classes. You are so musically talented, but you also have a very special gift with children and your love shines through week after week. We're so happy we found you!

– M. Sullivan, parent

I can only marvel at how organized, energetic and totally age-appropriate your teaching is. The other parents and I were amazed at how much the children learned. I recommend your camp program as high-quality, professionally-run, loving and fun.

– M. Stone, parent of camper

Miss Carol brings out the best in each child and helps them experience first-hand the joys of music. The well thought-out and imaginative presentations enable each child to listen, learn, grow in confidence, interact and participate.

– Lisa Rand, parent

I want to thank you for your wonderful conducting of the kids' choir at CAJE. They were great! You achieved wonders in just 3 days.

– Cantor Miranda Beckenstein

No wonder the children love Tot Shabbat and your music! Young children sense and know what is deep and real. What you do for these very young children is truly great, for the joy and love and knowledge, and the reality of living our faith at a very young age, will inspire them for always.

– Beverly Jeanne Davis, Tot Shabbat participant

Carol and Adrian's Gan Shirim performance was perfect for our preschoolers.  The children were involved and entertained and particularly loved the many props that were used.

– Fran Pfeffer, Early Childhood Director, Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia

Shalom Baby families especially look forward to the Shalom Baby playdates with the special performances from "Miss Carol."  The children, ranging from a few months old to about 6 years old, are always mesmerized by the stories and songs and love the interactive elements of the show.  Thank you, Carol, for continuing to entertain and enlighten us.  We very much look forward to future shows.

– Amy Schuler, Shalom Baby Co-chair

Carol, you are indeed an angel. I have watched you and listened to the wonderful way you relate to the children. There is a genuine tenderness and kindness you offer these children. I know lots of people who always seem to have a frown on their face. But I only know of one person, and that's you, who has a perpetual smile. These children are so fortunate to have you as a positive role model helping to shape their spirituality. 

– Sherri Schornstein, parent

… If you only had wings, you'd be an angel – but, you'd have one helluva time buying blouses! I can't thank you enough...

– Cantor Ellie Shaffer