Joensuu, Finland – The 4th International Conference on Orthodox Church Music concluded on Friday, 10 June 2011 here, at the School of Theology, University of Eastern Finland. The conference, hosted by the International Society for Orthodox Church Music (ISOCM), featured participants from twenty different countries presenting papers on a variety of topics related to the conference’s overall theme of “Unity and Variety in Orthodox Music: Theory and Practice.”
“This, the Fourth International Conference on Orthodox Church Music, has been triumphant proof of how necessary ISOCM is in the world, and how genuinely excited people are about it,” according to the Rev. Ivan Moody, Board chairman. “We had participants from more countries than ever before, and they were welcomed into the same hospitable atmosphere as in the past – a setting for genuine learning and exchange – on the practical, theoretical and theological levels.”
Among the topics covered were parish liturgical practice, the theological understanding of music in church, and comparisons of various chant traditions. Conference attendees also sang during vespers and the liturgy celebrated during the week, providing a practical element to the papers presented. In addition, master chant sessions featuring Georgian liturgical music were held, along with a concert of Georgian and modern Byzantine chants.
The presentations made during the conference will be published in 2012. Advance purchases can be made now.
Founded in 2005, the ISOCM seeks to provide an open platform for musicians, musicologists, singers, and composers that encourages dialogue, the exchange of information and ideas, and inspires cooperation. The Society sees the promotion of communication between East and West as one of its priorities. The biannual conferences, hosted at the university in Joensuu, Finland are just one of the ways ISOCM accomplishes this goal.
“In a world that often tends to value uniformity, ISOCM shows that enormous diversity is possible within fundamental unity,” Father Ivan said, adding, “this unity resides in the fundamental truths transmitted by the richness of the huge variety of music written for the hymnology of the Orthodox Church.”
The ISOCM hosts its International Conferences in early June on a bi-annual basis. During this, the fourth conference, it was confirmed to begin planning for the fifth conference in June 2013. Additional information and scheduled dates will be posted on the ISOCM website (www.isocm.com) in the coming months.
For more information, photos, and video clips about the fourth conference, visit: 2011 Conference