Loretta Weinberger ... taken aback
President-elect texts ESRA member, says he wants to use her music at inauguration, invites her to event
LORETTA Weinberger was just relaxing on the coach home from an ESRA trip to the Isrotel Classicameri Festival in Eilat when she received a text message.
But this was no ordinary run-of-the-mill text message. . .
This was from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump saying that he would like her permission to have a song she’d written played at his inauguration in Washington.
The song, Gonna Keep America Singing, was penned by Loretta – who writes music under the name Loretta Kay-Feld – in 2013.
Three years ago, it was performed at the home of the American Ambassador to Israel as part of the July 4th Independence Day celebrations.
Grandmother Loretta, who made aliyah eight years ago and lives in Raanana, told ESRAmagazine: “When I received the message I was taken aback. Donald Trump’s face popped up on my screen, and I thought at first that it was a hoax.”
But, of course, it wasn’t. Loretta messaged back that she’d be delighted for the music to be played at such an auspicious event.
And on January 20th that’s just what happened in Washington’s The Capitol – it was played, not sung, by a Marine Band in a parade before Donald Trump was sworn in as America’s 45th president.
Loretta also said that Mr Trump had invited her to attend the inauguration, “but it was only three days away and too short notice. I had other commitments.”
But she did watch Mr Trump’s inauguration on television and also saw and heard her music being performed.
She commented: “I felt wonderful when I wrote the piece. When I heard it played it was a fulfillment of my creativity.”
Unable to fly out for the inauguration, Loretta did say that President Trump has invited her to visit Washington, and this she hopes to do in the Spring.
“The invitation was to come to the White House to meet him and his family, and this I will do,” she said.
Loretta also revealed that in 2013, after she’d penned Gonna Keep America Singing, she received a letter from President Barack Obama.
On White House-headed notepaper, the President wrote that “it was a pleasure to listen to your song.”
He went on: “The lyrics and melody are obviously heartfelt and without doubt, it will give many people across the United States and those serving our country overseas much pleasure to listen to it and to sing it.”
Loretta was born and educated and made aliyah from England, having lived and worked in London, the U.S. and Australia.
She has composed numerous songs for children for Sesame Street and various other TV shows.
She returned to the UK to compose and author an operetta on Victorian England, which has been proposed to be produced for the opening of London’s Alexandra Palace.
Loretta is a member of ESRA and says she would like to become more active in the organization.
“I have a dream in which children who can’t afford musical instruments learn to play them through ESRA with teachers nationwide.”
For the moment, Loretta has a full diary. She is busy scoring the music for a British feature film – a romantic comedy, and is also having her Song of the Earth produced for a Disney movie.
She added: “I have also composed a Hymn for Israel and The Sabbath Song which are both on the internet. The published music is available if anyone would like to sing them or have their choir sing them.”
She has also penned a children’s novel – an Australia adventure story – soon to be published, and several short stories and poems for children.
Finally, Loretta heaped nothing but praise on the ESRA visit to Eilat. “ESRA did a wonderful job. It was truly a first-class trip,” she said.