Bernadette Mauban was born and raised in Chicago and has been playing violin since she was four years old. She is a soprano in the Westwood Hills Congregational Church choir. She performs violin & back up vocals for Singer/Songwriters Bird York, James Wilke, Ezina Moore, and for a local acoustic band The Daisy Cutters. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University and performed with the Chicago Symphony Chorus from 1996-2002. Bernadette also has a day job, she works at Sony Pictures Television in the music group.
How is Nashuva different from other religious services you’ve experienced?
There’s a lot more music. It’s more meditative. More laid back. Less ritualistic.
It’s fun and a completely new experience to be working with Naomi. I’m amazed at what she does. The fact that she’s a woman makes it that much better. I keep learning from her sermons. I’m definitely enriched and get a different perspective and I can take messages from her sermons and apply them to difficult issues in my life.
What is it like to be in the Nashuva Band?
It’s fun. I love the group, the people in the band. Everyone is very talented and flexible. I love the music too. The music is new for me in style. It’s a really great learning experience.
What is it like to be part of the service?
It feels good. You know you’re making everyone happy. Everyone is having a really good experience. We are motivating people to break out of their shells through the music that we do.
The prayers Naomi has written are very universal and they can be applied to anyone who believes in a higher power. I really enjoy the prayer. Especially the meditation. It feels like there is more we have in common than we think. I’m Christian and after every Nashuva service I can walk away from a Jewish prayer experience feeling spiritually fulfilled.
What is the Connection between your prayer and your music?
The best way for me to pray is through music. Music is a language that’s personal, universal and unique.
How would you describe the Nashuva band?
It’s a Jewish worship band. We pray through our songs.
It’s musical. Very meditative. Musically driven. My violin adds emotion to the music and gives it one more emotional dimension—it adds the part where it makes you cry. It’s a sound that just plucks at your heart strings.