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Minneapolis Cathedral to host June 2016 International Music Symposium

MINNEAPOLIS, MN [ISOCM/MW Diocese Communications] — The International Society for Orthodox Church Music [ISOCM] will host a pan-Orthodox Music Symposium at Saint Mary’s Cathedral here from Wednesday, June 22 through Sunday, June 26, 2016.  The event will include presentations and workshops, music reading sessions, and rehearsals and will culminate in a festive hierarchical All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy.  The event will also feature a special concert by the critically acclaimed vocal ensemble Cappella Romana.

Minneapolis Cathedral to host June 2016 International Music SymposiumAccording to Archpriest Ivan Moody, ISOCM’s board chairman, the aim of the symposium is to bring together people involved in all aspects of music in the Orthodox Church — chanters, choir singers, composers, conductors and musicologists.  Father Ivan said, “An event like this reinforces the idea that we can all learn from each other and together enrich the worship of the Church.”

Father Ivan will present the keynote address on the symposium’s theme, “Orthodox Liturgical Music: Finding Beauty and Prayer in the English-Speaking World,” on Saturday, June 25 during a session which will be open to the general public.  Organizers hope the theme will inspire participants to reflect on their role and responsibility in creating a liturgical experience that engages the faithful in the liturgical life of the church.

“Church musicians assist the clergy in leading the divine services,” said Dr. Kurt Sander, one of the organizers for the Minneapolis symposium.  “It is incumbent upon us as directors, singers, and chanters to cultivate an impression of profound beauty within the liturgical act.”  Dr. Sander was also instrumental in organizing the very successful pan-Orthodox music symposium held in Cincinnati in June 2014.

The symposium will feature new music being written for the event by the noted American Orthodox composer, the Archpriest Sergei Glagolev.  “I’m excited about this opportunity, and very happy to work on a setting of the post-communion troparia,” said Father Sergei.  “The text for these two troparia — ‘We have seen the true light’ and ‘Let our mouths be filled’ — serve as the ultimate thanksgiving of the Liturgy and of the Eucharist which we receive.”

The ISOCM is also pleased to announce that the vocal ensemble Cappella Romana will present a special concert of Orthodox liturgical hymns in Minneapolis as part of the symposium.  The concert, under Father Ivan’s direction, will feature the extraordinary Opelo (Requiem) by Stevan Hristić, Peter Mirolybov’s Exapostilarion for the Dormition, and works by Father Ivan himself, Kurt Sander, Father Glagolev and Tikey Zes.  The program will showcase the breadth of creativity found in Orthodox liturgical music from the Byzantine and Slavic traditions to more modern settings from Finland and America.

The selections which Cappella Romana will perform reflect the sense of creativity and diversity reflect the mission of the ISOCM and the success of its conferences and gatherings.  “Past ISOCM events have proved that bringing together musicians from different traditions and different countries is a uniquely effective way of effecting a pan-Orthodox witness both to the universality of the faith and the diversity of its traditions,” said Father Ivan.

The symposium will feature presentations by other international and US-based specialists in the field of liturgical music.

Comprehensive information about all of the presentations, workshops and rehearsals, along with the full schedule, presenter biographies, and hotel reservations, may be found at  Registration is now open on the site.  Those who complete their registration before February 1, 2016 will receive an early-bird discount.

Founded in 2005, the ISOCM seeks to provide an open platform for musicians, musicologists, singers, and composers that encourages dialogue and 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.

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