How you get better as an Orthodox musician

Theodore, at two and a half, has started chanting. He loves to stand at the psalterion in the Holy Cross chapel, and sing along to the best of his ability. He had already started saying “Alleluia” as “Allya” a year ago, and then during this last Paschaltide, he started singing “‘stos ‘nesti” with the Paschal apolytikion in church. He’s since started trying to chant “Alleluia” and “Kyrie eleison. No less of an authority than Alexander Lingas even said when he heard him, “Well, he’s got yphos!”

theodoros protopsaltis

Theodore has even started developing a notation system for “Alleluia”. He sits in my lap, I’ll write a phrase of something in Byzantine neumes, and then he’ll write something using his own signs.

THBII alleluia notation

He’ll even explain to you — sort of — how it works.

All of this is great, it really is. It’s so awesome to watch him work these things out on his own, to try new things, and to respond to what he sees and hears. His two-and-a-half year old brain is a little sponge, soaking it all up.

Here’s the thing: he’s two and a half. What he’s doing is wonderful and age-appropriate for a two-and-a-half year old. It’s really more than I would figure I could expect from a two-and-a-half year old. Still, there will come a time when it is no longer age-appropriate. There will come a time when he needs to start developing an understanding that goes beyond simply doing something and grows into an understanding of what it means to do it right. Then, eventually, an understanding of what it means to do it well. If he isn’t willing to do that by a certain point — which will be his prerogative entirely; I’m not going to force anything on him — then certainly the age-appropriate thing for him won’t be to continue to do what amounts to yelling in church. It will be better for him to do something else if he’s decides he doesn’t want to get better beyond “Alleluia”. That’s not a problem; that’s exactly what one would expect when it comes to seeing a toddler grow up and develop — that they will continue doing some things and do them in more sophisticated ways, and they will discard doing other things and take up new things. Wash, rinse, repeat.

In other words, it is normal that there be a pattern of development when one learns a new skill, and it is to be expected that one will follow that pattern if they continue to do something that requires that skill, or they will do something else that doesn’t require that skill. This is really easy when you’re dealing with kids; the trouble is when adults decide that they aren’t interested in getting better at something but they want to continue to do it anyway.

There’s a truism amongst musicians — the way you get better is to play with people who are better than you. This is something that, if you’re an Orthodox musician, is kind of a problem. Let’s be honest — a lot of us are in situations where we’re isolated, where we’re either one of the only competent musicians, or even the only competent musician, or if we’re not, then we’re one of the only ones who is really involved. And, for many of us, we spend so much time, not even trying to bring people up to our level, but just trying to explain to people that there is a level. Forget phrasing, musicianship, dynamics, whatever — we’re working on getting people to sing a majority of right notes. We put the majority of our efforts into trying to communicate the fundamentals of the fundamentals, and doing so in contexts where some people are receptive, some are hostile, and some are benign but unable to be productive for one reason or another. To put it another way, we spend a lot of our time working with adults who are, relatively speaking, at the level of my son Theodore, and who are faced with the choice of learning to do it better or needing to stop. Here I note that it seems inescapable that we speak about singing in church as a clerical calling, something set apart; consider the petition during the Divine Liturgy — “Again we pray for those who bear fruit and do good in this holy and all-venerable Temple; for those who serve and those who sing (ψαλλόντων); and for all the people here present, who await thy great and rich mercy”. Such a point of view has been espoused by no less than the Ecumenical Patriarch. So, if we’re going to talk like that, then we also need to speak frankly about what it means not to be called to sing. It is nonetheless a choice a lot of adults don’t want to make; beyond that, we work in such situations under circumstances where clergy may or may not be supportive, we may or may not be being paid, and we may or may not have adequate resources otherwise to do what we need to do.

To frame this in terms of personal experience — I am hardly one of the “greats”. I stopped pursuing music performance as a full-time profession because I knew I wasn’t, and knew I couldn’t be. Still, I am a well-trained musician. I can sing pretty much what you put in front of me, be it in staff notation or Byzantine notation, I can do it in English, Latin, French, Italian, German, and Greek, and if it’s Church Slavonic then I can do it well enough to blend with somebody who is proficient. Some of my ability comes from what I had to do for my music degree; some of it comes from experiences in Episcopal church choirs, where you’re singing new repertoire every week, some of it comes from experiences with other performing ensembles like opera choruses and early music chamber ensembles, some of it comes from doing a lot of recording sessions where you’re sightreading music you’re seeing for the first time and have to record within the next half hour so you can get through the other fifteen things you have on the docket that day. I am not amazing; there is nothing remarkable about being able to do any of that. It is simply what is expected if you are to be considered a reliable, garden-variety professional.

And what did I do with my church choir? Generally, I had to teach notes by rote and hope it stuck; I had to explain things repeatedly like the necessity of turning the page when you reach the end of it; I had to beg people to come to rehearsal and come to church on time; overall, I had to put 15-20 hours a week into that kind of undertaking, and it compensated me far less than I would have received were I merely a paid member of a choir at a Protestant church. Towards the end of my tenure, I had experiences like telling my choir that they needed to watch me for entrances during the anaphora, and one person responding by stomping out, proclaiming that “You’re totally focused on all the wrong things and have completely lost the spirit”; this person never spoke to me again, and instead lodged some kind of complaint against me with the priest (the priest declined to discuss any specifics of the matter with me, and I left the parish shortly thereafter).

I have had to go out of my way over the years to make my own opportunities to play with people who are better than me so that I myself can get better. Sometimes that meant paying people to come to me. Sometimes that meant people paying me to come to them. I took various pro singing gigs here and there. I found a way to go to Greece to learn Byzantine chant, since the alternatives were all a five hour drive away. I also went to gatherings of other people who were in my shoes. hoping to learn things that I could bring back to my parish. I went to PSALM in 2006. I went to the Antiochian Village Sacred Music Institute a couple of times. In all of this, I hoped to learn something that could inspire people to want to see things the way I did, and to want to get better, to make music for the worship of God that was always seeking to be as good as it could be rather than “good enough”. The response was always the same — “What does any of that have to do with us? I mean, fine that you had fun, and great that all of you musicians were able to sanctify each other’s preferences, but what happens there stays there; we’re not interested.” People, in the main, had no interest in being inspired; no interest in being reached; no interest in being worked with; no interest in learning. That was for “musicians” outside of church; it had nothing to do with what they wanted in church.

If this is how you’re spending most of your life and your energy, as a musician, your A-game is going to suffer. And, truly, for many of us, when we do get together, the once or twice a year that the opportunities come about, we’re so thrilled that there’s another honest-to-God person in the room who gets it, to whom we don’t have to explain anything, who is singing the right notes and speaking our language without translation, that we’re not thinking about our A-game; we’re just having fun making music with people who share some understanding of what that means. Never mind “playing with people better than you are”; it’s a miracle when we get to play with other people who get it, let alone who are better.

So then, when we do get to play with people better than we are, it’s a ball game we aren’t prepared for. We don’t perform at our best because we don’t even remember what that is. Our A-game is irrelevant to our regular existence as church musicians.

Really, what I think we face is that there is a particular kind of poverty that we’ve had in our parishes for a long time for various historical reasons. Rather than try to improve the matter, various voices have spiritualized, if not fetishized, this poverty, given a particular moral weight to it, and what perhaps was non-professionalism out of necessity has become anti-professionalism out of choice, replete with nonsensical pietistic platitudes like “Orthodox music isn’t performed, and it would be better if we didn’t think of it as having composers, let alone professionals; Orthodoxy doesn’t do art.” Add to that what I believe is an American distaste for anything that smacks of “being told what to do” and a preference for being self-taught over learning from a teacher (something I certainly encountered when I was playing guitar seriously, 20+ years ago), and you have the perfect storm of a musical anti-culture in American Orthodoxy.

This has not gone completely unnoticed or unremarked on. At the 2006 PSALM conference, Fr. Thomas Hopko said very bluntly, “The Orthodox Church seems to be the only place on earth where you don’t have to be competent to be asked to do something. How does this come about? What happened? Why will people join a community choir, not miss a rehearsal, pay attention to the choir director, and then then not do the same in their parish choir? If we’re not taking church and everything we do in it seriously, then we’re just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. You can’t raise the bar when you still have to convince people that there’s a bar to be raised in the first place.” Along similar lines, I had a conversation recently with a longtime Orthodox choir director, somebody with a doctorate in conducting and decades of experience, who remarked that in a conversation with Fr. Ivan Moody, it came up that in Finland one must have a Masters degree in choral conducting to be choir director. “What a concept,” this person said. “Yeah,” I replied, “here it would be more like a disqualification.”

The difficult reality is that the circumstances we face in the world of American Orthodox church music are such that, in the main, they weigh the overall level down; the efforts of the would-be musical leaders do not pull it up. And, as long as this is the case, we Orthodox musicians in America are going to be hard-pressed to make much of a case for the best that Orthodox music can be with our own efforts. We will rely on non-Orthodox musicians to bring out the best elements of our liturgical music, we will have to record and perform in non-Orthodox churches because we have not adequately provided for the acoustic environment in our own — in short, we will be the audience for the professional performances and recordings of our own music, not the singers, and it will be because, frankly, we’re not good enough for it to be otherwise.

And we haven’t even begun to talk about issues like professional levels of pay. I am going to guess that there are 10 people in the United States who are able to make anything like a living off of being Orthodox church musicians, and that’s rounding up from the cases I know about for sure. I’ll limit my comments here, but a place to start is the simple fact that a decent undergraduate musical education isn’t cheap, let alone any level of education beyond that, and it would be nice to think that people who are serving the Church with such an education could at least make their student loan payments with what they’re paid. I’ll leave that there for now; a lot of parishes obviously struggle to pay priests (if they pay their priest), let alone anything else, so compensation is complicated, but it’s still something that needs to be addressed. There is a connection between time, talent, and treasure that must be acknowledged as part and parcel of the solution to the overall problem I’m discussing.

Orthodox musicians, ultimately I’m talking to you here, and we have a lot of work to do. As I used to tell my choir, I’m not asking you to do anything I don’t also expect of myself. Our task is complex, and while concerts, recordings, and conferences are great, the need is long-term and must be addressed in ways that are systemic and cultural, too. We must inspire the non-musician to do better, inspire the congregation to care, inspire ourselves and our colleagues to stay sharp, and somehow to get a culture in place that will form future generations of church musicians as singers, as composers, as teachers, and as leaders. We have to do all of that prayerfully and in love, and we must be mindful that our ultimate goal is service to God, just as it is for the priest and for the member of the congregation.

Cappella Romana is proof that it can be done at a professional level. PaTRAM also exists for this purpose, as did PSALM, and it’s also why Kurt Sander organized his Pan-Orthodox Liturgical Music Symposium this last June. I helped to found The Saint John of Damascus Society because I most certainly believe this is worthwhile, and I have advocated a particular model that would help with a big chunk of what we have to do, both in terms of teaching the next generation to sing and to understand why we need to learn to sing. In general, we all need to find ways of playing with people better than we are, and using those opportunities to get better ourselves.

How do we do that? As a place to start, visit parishes, monasteries, seminaries, etc. where those people are. Get to know them. Sing with them if they’ll let you, and see what you learn by worshiping with them at the psalterion or in the choir loft. Buy them coffee and ask them questions. That’s really hard when your parish isn’t anywhere close to anybody else, no question, so then you have to make it a point to attend gatherings of Orthodox church musicians so you can have a chance to get to know people. Go to choir conventions, sacred music institutes, liturgical singing seminars, symposia. That’s often not easy or cheap, but if you can’t afford it, ask for help, either from your parish as a whole or from individuals who are sympathetic. Present it as something along the lines of a mission trip, only for music. Hopefully they can at least get the costs down to something manageable. Better yet, if you can, bring at least one choir member with you so that they, too, can see that there’s a bigger world out there. Then, don’t stop there; start going to the things that will challenge you, and don’t just go to the events where your friends will be. (You’ll make friends at everything you go to, I promise.) You’ll learn even more that way. And when you do see your friends, don’t just revel in making a decent sound with somebody else who can make a decent sound; yes, it’s fun and feels great to bathe in a sound that’s resonant and in tune, but go beyond that. Force yourself beyond relaxing and enjoying so that you are listening and watching, and subsequently learning from what you hear and see. That’s how you get better, or at least that’s where you can start.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Theodore wants to write some more “Alleluia” while sitting on my lap. Gotta start somewhere.

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18 Responses to “How you get better as an Orthodox musician”


  1. 1 Elizabeth Philo 16 December 2014 at 10:41 pm

    This is spot on! Thank you for writing it and for not giving up. I had the pleasure of meeting you (and your family) briefly at the choir conference in Cleveland last year. I too felt enthused, encouraged, and challenged to do better as a musician.

    • 2 Richard Barrett 16 December 2014 at 11:03 pm

      Hello Matushka! I of course remember you – how could I forget, particularly with the Washington state connections? I’m glad you enjoyed the piece, and it’s great to hear from you. Spread the word, my friend!

  2. 3 Adam Kemner 17 December 2014 at 9:14 am

    Hear! Hear! It’s not a problem just for Orthodox, but Greek Catholics and Latins as well. I would comment that Liturgical music requires two more elements. The first is a firm grounding in liturgics (even priests do not get a well rounded education in that, as evidenced by poorly designed acoustical spaces). If one does not have a firm understanding of what is going o nin the Liturgy and why, then the musical aspects suffer immensely. Among Greek Catholics from eastern Europe, a cantor had to have seminary training what included theology on top of music. I believe that Orthodox psaltai also had theological training in the old countries.

    The second element is spiritual formation. Some people have a hard time getting Koukouzeles etal because there is a lack of understanding that liturgical music is not extrinsic to worship, a sort of pretty add on that is nice to have, but is intrinsic to public worship. It is a vehicle or medium of prayer. Thus, a church musician has to be formed spiritually, because that person is guiding others to and in prayer. The foundation of spiritual is humility, and this must be developed as well as all other aspects of the spiritual life.

    ‘Tis a great post. It gives voice to many of my own frustrations.

    In Christ,
    Adam

    • 4 Richard Barrett 17 December 2014 at 11:42 am

      The thing about spiritual formation is that there are gobs and gobs of pieces out there, from decent to platitudinous, that will talk about the spiritual formation of musicians. The best is probably Bp. BASIL’s “The Ministry of Church Singers”, although even that has to be read somewhat critically. Thing is, of course spiritual formation is fundamental; however, it does not follow that proper spiritual formation means that the Virgin Mary is going to appear and give us a scroll to eat, thus magically eliminating the need for practical musical formation. Most of us are going to have to learn the normal way, and there is very little emphasis on that in our discourse.

      Thanks for the comment and the kind words, Adam!

  3. 5 G Z Thompson 17 December 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I feel like there should be some commentary made about the perils of non-musicians dictating the musical choices of the musicians. There certainly has to be some push-and-pull in there – the priest has some pastoral responsibility for the congregation, there are normative issues the priest may be more aware of, and some people really do want to sing along (and sometimes it really is appropriate) – but taking the vocation of a church musician seriously means taking their artistic choices seriously. What are your thoughts on this?

    • 6 Richard Barrett 17 December 2014 at 2:36 pm

      I’ll answer the question this way — I stepped into a choir directing position where the week-to-week repertoire was a hodgepodge of stuff that that particular choir had no business singing. Much of it was too difficult for the people who were there, they couldn’t reliably cover the parts (there was one Sunday where I had to jump from bass to tenor to alto for much of the morning, depending on where the greatest need was), and they certainly couldn’t sing it consistently either in tune or singing the right notes. This was pretty typical of everything they did (the Pascha service was such an overreach that it still makes me shake my head), and they defended it by saying “It’s what everybody knows”, even though it was clear to me that nobody “knew” it as I might define the word. Still, it was what they liked to sing.

      So, I changed the repertoire. I made a musical choice that this choir needed to learn to fight its weight, and picked repertoire accordingly. I explained why, I had the priest’s support (or so it seemed), and… well, we’ll just say that in the long haul, the priest’s support didn’t hold up; nobody who mattered cared about my musical explanations, and nobody who cared (or agreed with me) mattered (whether or not one side outweighed the other numerically is a different question). It made for a very difficult set of circumstances for everybody, and nothing I did made much difference. The members of the choir and the congregation who didn’t want change, no matter how much of an improvement it may have represented, didn’t want it, and because they made the most noise, they represented “everybody”, even if they were really a vocal minority. The priest, ultimately, felt that to maintain order he had to listen to the side that made the most noise.

      All of this is to say, yes, in theory, non-musicians shouldn’t dictate musical choices. In practice, the best way to do things is to do it right from the get-go, and if you have to change things, make sure priestly support is rock-solid, and that you have people who will be vocal in their support of what you’re doing. This requires education of priests and participants alike, which perhaps become something of a problem of snakes eating their own tail, but there you go.

      In other words… it’s complicated, and there are bigger problems, but yes, you’re right.

      • 7 James Hargrave 17 December 2014 at 3:08 pm

        Once a congregation is used to certain melodies, those melodies become ‘the only way to do it,’ and change is tough. I’ve never been pleased when my congregation changes from using ‘the right melody that we always do’ to something unfamiliar.

        I’m a grown-up; I don’t raise a stink and I give the benefit of the doubt. Usually, after two or three years, I recognize the changes for the improvement that they are and they become the new normal. But the person making the changes absolutely has to fight for them, and it’s always an uphill battle.

        I’d imagine the places to start would be with stuff that the congregation isn’t trying to sing along with- all the stuff that *does* change week-to-week. If you can get that stuff to sound a lot better, more people will give you the benefit of the doubt. With the stuff that people treat as sing-along-able, you’d do well to start by finding an easier arrangement of the same melody, so that the choir can fight their weight without the sound becoming alien.

        The more that parishioners are committed to their church even if they don’t like some aspect (like the music), the more leeway you’ll have. The more they’re committed personally to you, the more leeway you’ll have. But you’ll have to earn every scrap of respect several times over.

        The best way really is to get it right from the start. The problem is that, at the start, a new mission doesn’t have music as a priority at *all.* Nice music is something you worry about once you get the fundamentals; it’s not a fundamental. By the time a congregation is up and running, “we’ve been doing just fine all this time without taking music seriously; obviously it isn’t important.”

        What would it take to support good music in new missions right from the word go?

      • 8 Richard Barrett 17 December 2014 at 3:24 pm

        I’d say that the place to start would be to make sure that there is a competent musician as part of the kernel of any new mission, and that budgeting for music be done from the get-go, even if you don’t have somebody who can do it up front. Seek out help if you need it; The Saint John of Damascus Society, for example, has provided some assistance in getting new missions in touch with resources, and that’s borne fruit, I think. Encourage a living connection with the musical tradition; just learning everything from a book doesn’t work. So, if you can, invite people who can help for a visit so that they can give a push in the right direction. As suggested in this piece, participate in gatherings and network from the get-go.

        Commit, learn, educate, and budget for doing so.

      • 9 James Hargrave 17 December 2014 at 3:26 pm

        I’ve seen *one* congregation that transitioned successfully from really horrible mishmashed, Amero-Antiochian congregational singing to the best English-language Byzantine chant I’ve heard anywhere. (My experience is small.) The new psalti are so good that they chanted Metropolitan Joseph’s enthronement. As far as I can tell, the folks who just loved the old way are now delighted by the church’s new sound.

        Here’s how the change happened. First, the people making the change were a cadre of young men who’d been born and raised in the congregation. Second, the older guy who’d been reluctantly in charge of music was delighted to hand his responsibilities over to the young guys. Third, the priest backed them. Fourth, these young men worked really, really, really hard to be as good as they could be.

        I think the congregation accepted the change mostly because these young psalti were their own kids, and they were proud of them. But, back when I knew the congregation well, they really were proud of their terrible terrible music.

      • 10 Richard Barrett 17 December 2014 at 4:29 pm

        Yeah, that’s a very good recipe for it. Good for them.

  4. 11 James Hargrave 17 December 2014 at 2:45 pm

    A good read.

    In my experience, a parish with ‘good’ music means one with at least four people who are committed to sing every Sunday and always want to sing better, plus a priest and at least a faction of the congregation who support this effort. Most parishes have less than this. Having a competent (much less a *trained*) musician, and especially a director, is a bonus barely to be dreamed of. An actual *budget* for music, or acoustical considerations in temple design? Unheard of.

    Because most parishes have never experienced competent music, let alone anything that someone like you would consider ‘good,’ they’re content to go on being bad. Most importantly, this is a failure on the part of the congregation to make serious effort to glorify God in all his glory. It’s also an evangelistic failure. Yes, the glory of God can make itself known even through a lousy choir, but all aspects of evangelism work better when the parish isn’t practicing deliberate sabotage.

    There’s a long way to go. Keep up the good work.

    • 12 James Hargrave 17 December 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Of course my ‘most’ is based entirely on personal experience, tending towards small mission settings, often in languages with little liturgical translation. It may not be a representative ‘most.’

  5. 13 Rrd. John Paise 23 December 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Thank you for this article. It has voiced so eloquently what I have felt for a long time. I see a kind of double standard with artistic expression in American Orthodoxy. On the one hand we want beautiful vestments for the clergy, not self-styled home sewn robes. We want our incense to come from monasteries made traditionally, not Nagchampra on a stick from Dollar General. Proper icons whether painted or laminate reproductions of great iconographic works, not water colors or crayon renderings from our children hanging in our churches. Yet, as you stated when it comes to music there are many who fell that trying to execute music well interferes with prayerfulness. I think quite the contrary. When we struggle to execute the hymnody with a lack-luster effort we interfere with our ability to pray through the music. However, when the hymnody is well rehearsed and known then the musician can focus his or her intent on prayer. A question for you Richard; what are your thoughts on congregational singing and if it is done, how is it best executed. Thanks again. I don’t feel so alone in my thoughts.

    • 14 Richard Barrett 31 December 2014 at 8:58 pm

      Hi John! Congregational singing is, as I’m sure you and everybody else is aware, a complicated issue. I don’t have a problem with congregational singing per se; what I have a problem with is congregational singing being used as an ideological club to force the services into being something the services weren’t intended to be. How it is best executed, in any event, is plainly not “everybody sings everything”; that doesn’t, and can’t, work, for any number of practical reasons. Rather, the liturgical actions and responses, when executed properly between altar, antiphonal choirs, and congregation, function as a really beautiful dance, and it’s a dance that, just like the church building, has a cruciform shape. There’s no one right answer to how things are divided, but one of the problems is that if the congregation is conditioned to sing everything, then it becomes very difficult to cycle things through different modes and musical textures the way they’re supposed to be. However a model of congregational singing is implemented, it has to take these things into account. I used to direct the choir at a parish that insisted on the “everybody sings everything” model, and every time there was a bishop’s visit, the hierarchical Trisagion was a trainwreck, because nobody understood that was supposed to be different, and no matter how you warned them, they didn’t pay any attention or care.

      Anyway, it’s not a concrete answer, but it’s a complicated topic, so that will have to do for now. Thanks for the kind comments and the question, and happy new year!

  6. 15 Natasha Papkova 14 January 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Everyone forgets that the Summer School of Liturgical Music at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, has been around for 23 years. It specializes in the Russian Orthodox Slavonic chant and music, and has graduated quite a few excellent choir conductors, among them Kurt Sander (who is a current faculty member) and his wife Larissa. You must attend 3 summer sessions and pass all the exams to receive a certificate. Students have come with graduate music degrees and those who were told by the priest that they have to learn how to sing and conduct a choir. Age wise – 16 to 80 have attended. The classes are taught in English and Russian and translation is available. Contact http://sslm.hts.edu. The site is a bit outdated, but is being worked on as we write.

    • 16 Richard Barrett 14 January 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Thanks! SSLM was pointed out to me elsewhere, and yes, it’s an oversight on my part. Apologies! As I said in that context:

      [You are] quite right that I have left out discussion of some efforts in ROCOR, and [that my lack of awareness is] because I am in the Greek Archdiocese at present [and late of the Antiochian Archdiocese]. While not up on SSLM or ROCM, I am familiar with some of ROCOR’s musical undertakings; Kurt and Larissa Sander are dear friends, I’ve known them for years and have collaborated/are collaborating on a number of things with them, and I attended the Diocesan Liturgical Music Seminar that they ran in Cleveland summer of 2013. I also know and consider friends (whether or not that is reciprocal is a separate question) people like Sergei Furmanov, Jared Brewer, Nicky Kotar, and Laryssa Doohovskoy, so I’m not entirely ignorant of ROCOR’s happenings. And, yes, I’m in the Greek Archdiocese now, but I’m not a GOA partisan by any stretch; I spent many years at an Antiochian parish before that, and [in December] I was part of the crew singing for the Patriarch Tikhon Choir’s recording sessions with Vladimir Gorbik. I’ve chosen to live on a particular block, let’s say, and I like it here, but that doesn’t mean I don’t go on regular walks around the rest of the neighborhood, or that I don’t visit my friends’ homes when they invite me.


  1. 1 St. Paul’s Choir School, Harvard Square | Leitourgeia kai Qurbana: Contra den Zeitgeist Trackback on 17 December 2014 at 12:50 pm
  2. 2 Follow up on choir schools, with a suggested course of action | Leitourgeia kai Qurbana: Contra den Zeitgeist Trackback on 22 December 2014 at 3:00 pm

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