The Gevatron Chorus was founded in 1948 by a group of young people from Kibbutz Kvutzat Geva in the Jezreel Valley to perform at the dedication ceremony for a new basketball.
When asked "How did the group come into being?" one of the original members replied, "We used to sing together in the granary at Kibbutz Kinneret", uniting, strengthening singing that causes one to forget the poverty and the difficulty of daily life.
The group's name, the Gevatron, was reminiscent of the popular Palmach troupe the Chizbatron (which is also being honored with a stamp).
To this day, members of the chorus come from Kibbutz Geva or from nearby kibbutzim Beit HaShita and Kfar HaHoresh, the towns of Moledet, Kfar Tavor and Tamrat, and the city of Afula. Participants are all volunteers.
At first, the troupe only appeared at Kvutzat Geva and in the surrounding area, performing songs about kibbutz life. Composer Nachum Heiman began working with the chorus in 1961and diversified its repertoire. The group was initially accompanied by an accordion player and later by a number of musicians. Various musical arrangers worked with the troupe after Heiman, including Dov Carmel, Zvika Caspi and Ilan Gilboa, who has served as the chorus' musical director for the past 22 years.
The Gevatron has a rich repertoire, comprised of songs written especially for the troupe as well as its own versions of familiar Israeli songs. The troupe is mostly identified with "songs of the homeland" and songs about settling the country, although it has recorded numerous styles and arrangements. Some of its most well known songs are: Yam Hashibolim (Sea of Grain Stalks), Emek Sheli (My Valley), Gvanim (Color Shades), Nitsanim Niru Ba'aretz (Flowers Appeared in the Land), El Borot Hamayim (To the Cisterns), Or Ve'Yerushalayim (Light and Jerusalem), Ha'Hita Zomachat Shuv (The Wheat Sprouts Again) and Bat Shishim (At Sixty).
Throughout most of its existence, the troupe was led by Rina Firstenberg, who took the managerial duties upon herself. The height of the troupe's success came in the 1970's and 1980's, when it performed extensively in Israel and abroad, mostly on a volunteer basis.
On Independence Day 2007, the Gevatron was awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement and contribution to the State of Israel.
Description of the Stamp
The stamp design was inspired by a Gevatron album cover designed by and courtesy of Menachem Lasky. The Stamp tab features a quote from the song Yam Hashibolim (Sea of Grain Stalks)Lyrics: yitzcak Kinan, Music: Haim Agmon