With the blessing of His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, the annual Saint Herman Youth Conference will be hosted by Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY and Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY. The conference will commence on the evening of Friday, December 22, and conclude on the morning of Tuesday, December 26. The conference is open to all youth 16 years of age and older. All registrations will be managed online at the Youth Conference website here.
The theme of this year’s Conference will be the 100-year commemoration of the beginnings of the terrible persecutions of the Orthodox Church in the former Soviet Union. This year’s guest speaker will be Archpriest Viatcheslav Kharinov, rector of Joy of All Who Sorrow Church in St. Petersburg, Russia. Fr. Viatcheslav is an instructor and spiritual father of the St. Petersburg Spiritual Academy, as well as an expert on the New Martyrs of Russia. He is a renowned speaker and researcher with a spellbinding knowledge of the martyrs.
Additionally, Priest Gennady Titov of St. Petersburg has been the lead researcher on the life and glorification of the Blessed Matrona the Barefoot of St. Petersburg. Material is currently being gathered for her glorification, and Fr. Gennady will share the latest information on her life. She was a fool for Christ who lived on the eve of the godless revolution and was an acquaintance of Righteous John of Kronstadt.
In addition to the lectures, there will be discussion groups, workshops, and an outdoor social activity.
The cost of the conference is $300.00 per person and includes all lodging (quad occupancy), meals, transportation from the hotel to the church. The conference will begin with a travel day of Friday, December 22, with registration beginning in the hotel at 3:00 PM. Airport pickup is available only at Newark Liberty International Airport on the 22nd between the hours of 10:00 AM and 10:00 PM. The Conference will conclude with a morning check-out on Wednesday, December 27. Delivery to the Newark Airport will be available only between the hours of 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM on the 27th.
The deadline for registration is Friday, December 1st, and after that date the cost will increase to $350.00 with no guarantee of space remaining. Any youth who need a scholarship may contact the Conference administration on the website here, or you may speak directly with Archbishop Gabriel or Father George of our parish. All clergy are encouraged to participate and bring a delegation from their parish, as well as sending in a donation to help with scholarships and the work of the Conference.
News from the Liturgical Music Commission (LMC) of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia: Report on the 25th Anniversary Russian Orthodox Church Musicians’ Conference (for North America), October 5-9, 2016, Montreal, Canada; and announcement of upcoming events in 2017
The 25th Anniversary Russian Orthodox Church Musicians' Conference of church choir directors, singers and readers – attended by over 70 people – took place in the seat of the Canadian Diocese, Montreal, with great results and success. The conference was organized by the Liturgical Music Commission (LMC) of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia together with the organizing committee of the St. Nicholas Cathedral. The central theme was: The Music of Today's Russian Orthodox Church: Perspectives in Creative Artistry and Technique.
The intensive workshops, rehearsals, and lectures took place at the excellent Marriott Courtyard Airport Hotel. The conference opened with The Prayer Service Before Beginning Any Good Work, served by the ruling diocesan bishop, Archbishop Gabriel. In his brief remarks, Vladyka referred to the importance of this work and called upon all to focus and draw as much information and experience as possible from the sessions. After Vladyka's remarks, the head of the LMC, Protopriest Andre Papkov, thanked our beloved Vladyka for his support and officially opened the 25th Anniversary Church Musicians’ Conference.
The conference program was very full; one need only review the titles of the presentations and lectures to be convinced of the seriousness of the studies:
1) Mother Juliania, (Choir Director of the festal choir of the St. Elizabeth Convent, Minsk, Belarus) – The Art of Harmonizing Liturgical Chant.
2) Michael Woinowsky-Krieger (Choir director at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Montreal) – The Technical and Spiritual in our Church Singing: What's the Connection?
3) Dr. Peter Jermihov (Choir Director the St. Romanos Society, Chicago) – Conducting Technique: With Presence of Mind and a Burning Heart.
4) Dr. Nicholas Schidlovsky (member of the LMC, Lecturer at Princeton University) – Envisioning 'the Ideal' in Our Church Singing: History, Theory and Liturgical Composition.
5) Dr. Peter Jermihov – How the Conductor Prepares.
6) Dr. Kurt Sander (member of the LMC, Professor at Northern Kentucky University School of the Arts) – The Asceticism of Creativity: Some thoughts on the Process of Creating Sacred Music.
A special invitee to the conference was the world famous choir director and composer Mother Juliania (in the world, Irina Denisova) from the St. Elizabeth Convent in Minsk (Belarus), who impressed all participants with her knowledge, directing technique, and a burning love of our common pursuit. Thank you, Matushka!
Special mention must be given to the two-part seminar led with great success by Peter Jermihov, a well-known North American conductor and a zealous participant in these conferences. Three students worked individually with Maestro Jermihov in perfecting their conducting technique and prepared selected pieces to be sung during the solemn divine services. While observing the work of these students during rehearsals, Peter Nikolaevich conducted talks with everyone about the importance of a spiritual approach and inner contemplation during services and even rehearsals. It should be said that the success of this seminar was tremendous. Thank you, Peter Nikolaevich!
Meals were taken three times a day in the hotel, giving an opportunity for participants to get to know each other better. In the evenings they relaxed, swam in the hotel pool, and socialized. Thanks be to God, the number of participants from the younger generation is growing with each conference. There was also in attendance a contingent of young people who had completed the Summer School of Liturgical Music, held under the auspices of the LMC and Holy Trinity Seminary.
The Commission's members are: Chair, Protopriest Andre Papkov, Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky, Sergei Chidlovsky, Peter Fekula, Vladimir Krassovsky, Kurt Sander, Nicholas Schidlovsky and George Skok,
On Friday evening, while the participants had a free evening for rest or sightseeing, the Commission held a lengthy meeting where a full agenda of items was discussed.
On Saturday evening everyone set out for St. Nicholas Cathedral. It is a large church with very good acoustics.A 70-voice choir sang the All-Night Vigil. For parts of the service the choir divided into two and sang antiphonally. Archbishop Gabriel presided at all the services along with Protopriests George Lagodich (who had taken upon himself the lion's share of conference organization) Michael Metny, Fr. Andre Papkov, along with the deacons Vadim Gan, Vassily Milonov and Boris Sidorenko.
After the Vigil, through the efforts of the sisterhood, a bountiful dinner was served in the church hall.
On Sunday morning the solemn Greeting and Vesting of the Archbishop took place. In addition to the clergy named earlier, His Grace Archbishop Irénée, (Orthodox Church in America) concelebrated. The Divine Liturgy was served prayerfully with a good number of worshippers in attendance. The wonderful results of the work during the conference were in evidence. The Liturgy concluded with a resounding Many Years and words of gratitude from Archbishop Gabriel.
After the service, and the unforgettable memories it brought, was the closing banquet, during which the Commission thanked the local organizing committee and presented them with modest gifts.
It remains only to thank the Commission and the organizers of this wonderful conference, and wish them all God’s help and strength of spirit in future endeavours and labours in the field of church music.
See a video of the conference here.
Video: Michael Krieger
A participant of the Conference
In 2017 the Liturgical Music Commission is organizing two events:
- The Summer school of Liturgical Music July 9-22, 2017, at Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY http://sslm.hts.edu
- And, God willing, we will all meet again at the 26th Annual Russian Orthodox Church Musicians' Conference, hosted by the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles, California, October 5-8, 2017, with the sessions taking place at the Four Points Sheraton Los Angeles, Westside. The theme of the Conference is “Prayerful Sound in the Orthodox Church: Vocal Artistry of the Deacon, Reader and Singer at Divine Services.” Watch for the official announcement and registration information.
The Liturgical Music Commission