Moda Ani

Sonya Leonore Stahl

About Sonya Leonore Stahl

Sonya Leonore Stahl (b. 1981), a violinist with the Gainesville Orchestra and Ocala Symphony Orchestra, graduated from Dr. Janna Lower’s violin studio at the University of Florida in 2004 and also studied composition under Dr. Paul Richards, who is now her cantor. In 2011, Stahl was awarded State Fiddle Champion at the Florida Folk Festival. Since 2018, her works have been performed by the Gainesville Orchestra, the Indiana State University Wind Symphony, the Santa Fe College Wind Symphony, the Cypress Symphonic Band in Houston, the University of Florida Trombone Choir, the Gainesville Brass Quintet, the Gainesville Flute Ensemble, and the Charleston Southern University Flute Ensemble as well as at the high school level, in houses of worship, and in online streaming performances. She is also a fruit scientist with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and serves on the board at her synagogue, Temple Shir Shalom.

About Moda Ani

“Moda Aní” (or Modeh Aní if you’re a man; Hebrew is a very gendered language) is the first two words of the Jewish morning prayer: I thank you, Oh Lord, Sovereign living and eternal, for you have restored to me my soul with compassion; abundant is your faithfulness. Rather than being a vocal setting of the prayer, Moda Aní is instead the composer’s thank-you note to God. It was composed in 2018 and performed in temple with the composer, her cantor, and another member of the congregation. It has also been performed on an interfaith chamber recital online, streaming from Louisiana.