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Minneapolis conference to explore future of Orthodox Church music

MINNEAPOLIS, MN [ISOCM] — Over 140 participants from 31 states and 5 countries are expected to arrive in the Twin Cities this week for the Society of Orthodox Church Music’s [ISOCM] conference, slated to be held at Saint Mary’s Cathedral here June 23-26, 2016.  The conference will focus on the future of Orthodox Church music in North America and the English speaking world

Minneapolis conference to explore future of Orthodox Church music
Minneapolis’ St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir.

The gathering is the first of its kind to be held in Minnesota by the Finnish-based ISOCM.

“I anticipate with great excitement the beginning of this Symposium,” said Protopresbyter Ivan Moody, who chairs ISOCM’s Board.  “It is a natural extension of the work of the ISOCM, based in Finland, but conceived and organized not only in conjunction with, but by, Orthodox musicians in the USA.”

Father Ivan will present the keynote address, “Music, Beauty, and Prayer,” on Saturday, June 25 at 3:30 pm.  His presentation is open to the public.

Born in 1965, Father Ivan is a composer, conductor, and Orthodox priest.  He is perhaps best known for his work with the Hilliard Ensemble, Trio Mediaeval, the BBC Singers, and Cappella Romana, for which he wrote his largest work to date, The Akáthistos Hymn.  He also serves as President of the International Society for Orthodox Church Music.

The conference also will include a concert by the famed vocal ensemble Cappella Romana at the Basilica of Saint Mary’s in downtown Minneapolis at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 23.  The concert will present Orthodox hymns from Serbia, Finland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, including settings by Stevan Hristić, Pekka Attinen, Archpriest Sergei Glagolev, Tikey Zes, and the world premiere of a composition by Dr. Kurt Sander, Chair of the Music Department at Northern Kentucky University.

Minneapolis conference to explore future of Orthodox Church music
Cappella Roman will perform in concert.

Conference participants from across North America will sing new compositions by Father Glagolev at Saint Mary’s Cathedral during the All-Night Vigil, to be celebrated at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, and at the 8:45 a.m. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday, June 26.  Arranged into three choirs throughout the cathedral, the participants will surround those in attendance. His Grace, Bishop Paul of Chicago and His Eminence, Metropolitan Elia of Oulu, Finland will concelebrate.

“This Symposium will, I hope, be a beginning… of a country-wide initiative that brings Orthodox church musicians — singers, chanters, composers, musicologists — together in both a manifestation of unity and an exploration of future possibilities in the realm of Orthodox church music,” Father Ivan explained.  “We have an outstanding group of speakers, directors and participants, and the opportunity to worship and sing together and to discuss the practical and theoretical aspects of this positively Pentecostal gathering.”

The services, keynote address, and concert by Cappella Romana are open to the public.  Concert tickets may be purchased on-line.  A full schedule of events, presenters’ biographies, and topics of presentations is also available.

ISOCM endeavors to increase awareness of Orthodox liturgical music and chant by hosting gatherings around the globe, publishing resources and proceedings from its events, and facilitating research studies which explore the many facets of Orthodox Christian music.

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