Over 125 delegates and observers to the 13th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America here July 22-26, 2002 spent the third afternoon of the convocation sharing insights on the subject of liturgical music in the Orthodox Church in America.
The Very Rev. Alexander Garklavs, coordinator of the OCA’s Pastoral Life Ministries Unit, introduced and moderated the lively and constructive session, which had to be moved to a larger room due to the unexpectedly large number of participants.
Attendees expressed a wide range of opinions and suggestions and expressed various needs in the area of liturgical music to members of the Interim Music Advisory Committee, thus helping draft a mission statement for the Department of Liturgical Music. Mr. Walter Obleschuk, Chairman of the Interim Committee and Choirmaster at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Boston, MA, presented a mission statement draft for the department, which is expected to be reestablished under His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman’s administration.
“The participants in the discussion, which were approximately equally divided among clergy and laity, reaffirmed the vital role that good, well-appointed and well-directed liturgical singing plays in Orthodox worship and evangelistic outreach,” according to Mr. Vladimir Morosan, Interim Committee member and Choirmaster at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Meriden, CT. “They stressed the need for high quality, easily accessible musical respirces. such as those available on the OCA website, but in greater extent and quantity.”
Participants also expressed a desire to develop educational materials for leaders of choral as well as congregational singing on the parish level and to receive training and instruction on the local and regional levels. It was also recommended that educational audio and video tapes be produced and that musical “starter kits” be developed to assist mission parishes in developing appropriate liturgical singing. Concern for increased funds to realize these and other goals also was expressed by participants.
In addition to Mr. Obleschuk and Mr. Morosan, other members of the Interim Music Advisory Committee include Prof. David Drillock, Professor of Liturgical Music at Saint Vladimir Seminary, Crestwood, NY and the Very Rev. Sergei Glagolev, former Professor of Liturgical Music at Saint Vladimir and Saint Tikhon seminaries and life-long friend and mentor of many Orthodox Church musicians.