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Music Symposium to go Online in June 2020

Registration open for New York-based event

Yonkers, NY – Plans for the 2020 Pan-Orthodox Music Symposium have been reconfigured to a global online format, Thursday, June 11 through Saturday, June 13, 2020.

The event, cohosted by St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVS) and the International Society for Orthodox Church Music (ISOCM) will explore the theme of “Music as Liturgy” with masterclasses, keynote presentations, and workshops.

“The reality of the COVID-19 pandemic has required us to abandon the in-person format, but the number of registrants has been quite amazing, and we wanted to find a way to deliver an outstanding musical experience in spite of current circumstances,” according to Protopresbyter Ivan Moody, chair of the ISOCM board.

Registration is open for the Symposium and nearly 100 participants have already registered for the three-day event open to choir directors, singers, chanters, composers, musicologists, church school educators, clergy, youth leaders, and readers interested in developing their liturgical music skill sets from the comfort and safety of their homes.

The 8 masterclass topics and presenters include:

  • Vocal Techniques (Katie Boardman – Antiochian Archdiocese)

  • Choral Leadership (Dr. Tamara Petijevic – Serbian Orthodox Church)

  • Introduction to Liturgical Conducting (Robin Freeman – Orthodox Church in America)

  • Advanced Liturgical Conducting (Dr. Peter Jermihov – Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia)

  • Byzantine Chant for Beginners (Amy Hogg – Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese)

  • Advanced Byzantine Chant (John Michael Boyer – Greek Orthodox Archdiocese)

  • Composing in the Orthodox Context (Nazo Zakkak – Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese)

  • Engaging Young People with Music (Maria Sheehan – Orthodox Church in America)

Each masterclass will provide participants with 6+ hours of concentrated learning over three days, while additional workshop sessions will explore other themes for application in parish life:

  • Introduction to liturgical theology

  • Training for reading and chanting

  • Arranging settings for voices

  • Achieving a unified choral sound

  • Para-liturgical activities

  • The spiritual dimension of the church musician

“By evolving this gathering to an online format, we’re able to provide a wide range of church music offerings – in some ways we’re doing even more than we could have in person!” said Dr. Peter Bouteneff, Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the seminary’s Institute of Sacred Arts. “This event will benefit singers, choir directors, and composers seeking to ‘up their game.’”

The complete schedule, available here, also includes a keynote presentation by Dr. Susan Ashbrook Harvey on the Symposium theme of “Music as Liturgy,” and a keynote presentation by Father Ivan Moody exploring the Symposium theme from an alternate perspective, “Liturgy as Music.”

Attendees will also have an opportunity to join a virtual coffee chat exploring current trends in liturgical music, sing in a music reading session of new compositions written honoring the noted American Orthodox composer, the Archpriest Sergei Glagolev, and participate in a virtual Akathist service to the miracle-working icon of the Sitka Mother of God.

Scholarships are available to offset the registration fees, with information and applications available at:

Seating is limited for some of the masterclasses, so early registration is encouraged. All presentations will be in English. The updated and expanded schedule, presentation abstracts, speaker biographies, along with registration details are available on the Symposium website.


About the International Society for Orthodox Church Music

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 and hosts biannual conferences, at the University of Eastern Finland on its Joensuu campus. The Society also hosts regional symposia and gatherings elsewhere throughout the world to help create opportunities for collaboration and the sharing of knowledge in the field of Orthodox liturgical music.

About St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary serves Christ, his Church, and the world through Orthodox Christian theological education, research, and scholarship, and the promotion of inter-Orthodox cooperation. The pan-Orthodox graduate school of theology within the canonical jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) is located in New York’s Westchester County. The Seminary’s programs are registered by the New York State Education Department and are accredited nationally by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. The Seminary grants the degrees of Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.), Master of Theology (Th.M.), Master of Divinity (M.Div.), and Master of Arts (M.A.). The seminary’s Institute of Sacred Arts makes events like the Symposium possible for the general public.

For more information about the Seminary, visit:

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