Dan Appelrouth performs during recent concert at Congregation Beth Jacob; a birthday celebration and fundraiser for XXX

Dan Appelrouth performs during recent concert at Congregation Beth Jacob; a birthday celebration and fundraiser for Atlanta Hunger Relief.

SPECIAL FOR THE AJT //

More than 300 people sat waiting for the show to begin. A three-piece band, consisting of a keyboard, clarinetist and percussionist, was on stage playing while Dan Appelrouth – decked out in a tuxedo and  top hat – strolled from the back of the room, carrying a black cane and singing “This Joint in Jumping.”

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The upbeat Broadway tune set the tone for the almost two-hour concert which raised more than $6,000 for the Atlanta Hunger Relief fund, and also commemorated Appelrouth’s 70th birthday.

Vocalist Dan Appelrouth has been giving recitals since he began taking voice lessons in 1966, the year he entered medical school. The Key West native moved to Atlanta in 1977, and established a successful rheumatology practice in Atlanta’s Northside Hospital area. Family, friends, former colleagues and patients were at the October 13th performance which took place in Heritage Hall at Congregation Beth Jacob.

Now retired, the “singing doctor,” frequently performs in nursing homes and other Atlanta venues, as a way to share his passion for singing and use his trained baritone voice to raise money to feed Atlanta’s hungry.

“I wouldn’t have missed this for anything,” said Rebbetzen Estelle Feldman from Jerusalem. “Today’s concert was uplifting and just plain fun. Dan has a great presence, and a great voice. The songs he picked were witty, filled with meaning and so nostalgic.”

Mrs. Feldman is the wife of Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, the founding rabbi of Congregation Beth Jacob.

The program consisted of 21 songs, all well-known to the audience who joined in on several songs. Jed Appelrouth, 37, and Rabbi David Appelrouth, 35, joined their father onstage to sing “The Sunny Side of the Street.”

Watching a father perform with his two sons brought tears to the eyes of many in the audience. It was one of the many highlights for Dan, who had never performed with both of his boys before.

The  Appelrouth men obviously enjoyed singing, harmonizing  and hamming it up on stage. “It was great fun, a real pleasure,” commented Appelrouth’s oldest son Jed.

One audience member commented what a great surprise it was to see how playful the father and son singers were, “It made me feel warm and joyous to be part of this family celebration,” she said.

Appelrouth himself had many positive comments about the afternoon: “I was happy with the attendance, satisfied with my singing and thought the band was superb,” he said.

Many people complimented him on his selection of songs. He gave credit to his voice teacher and band leader, Judy Cole, an assistant professor of music at Kennesaw State University. Appelrouth has been studying with her for than five years.

Appelrouth was especially glad his older brother Mitch flew in from Richmond, Virginia for the occasion. He also expressed gratitude that Michelle Seltzer, his daughter who lives in Silver Springs, Maryland was able to join the celebration.

Another member of the family who attended the performance was his mother-in-law,

Mary Caplan, from Pembroke Pines, Florida.“I couldn’t stop smiling,” she said. “It was such a pleasure to see the happiness of everyone in the Appelrouth family. At one point I was crying because I was so happy.”

Near the end of the concert, Dan surprised his mother-in-law by announcing she would soon be celebrating her 90th birthday on October 20.  The entire audience proceeded to sing the Happy Birthday to her.

“I’m not sure I’m happy everyone knows my age,” she said. But she was smiling.

Then someone from the audience came to the stage and said something was missing.

“We all need to sing Happy Birthday to Dan,” he announced.

Everyone got to their feet and sang Happy Birthday to the one who had been entertaining them with songs all afternoon.

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