St. Vladimir’s expands Byzantine music program, offers public course


“More than a third of our alumni are in jurisdictions that use Byzantine music,” noted Archpriest Dr. Chad Hatfield, Chancellor/CEO at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary here.  “In order to serve the Church and our students preparing for service in these ecclesial settings, we are fortifying our Byzantine music course offerings and chapel music repertoire for the 2013–2014 Academic Year.

“We are particularly blessed that Mr. Rassem El Massih has joined our faculty as Lecturer in Liturgical Music,” continued Father Chad. “Instructor El Massih is a renowned Church musician who will be teaching ‘Introduction to Byzantine Chant.’”

The Seminary also will be offering a 10-week Byzantine music course to the general public on Wednesday evenings, in collaboration with The Axion Estin Foundation, New Rochelle, NY.  Eleftherios Eleftheriadis, the highly regarded Protopsaltis of Saint Nicholas Shrine Church, Flushing, NY, will introduce students to original texts in Byzantine music notation.  Previously, he had served on the faculty of the Music School of Thessaloniki, Greece.  To register for the course, please call 914–961–8313 x317 or send an e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Bringing two world-renowned Byzantine music instructors to Saint Vladimir’s supports the school’s “Bishop Basil Program in Byzantine Liturgical Music,” begun in 2010, when the seminary Board of Trustees presented His Grace, Bishop Basil (Essey) (alumnus ‘73) of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, with an honorary doctorate and announced the creation of a program in his name “to ensure the heritage of teaching Byzantine music not only continues at Saint Vladimir’s, but also evolves.”  Appropriately, Bishop Basil will be a featured speaker at the seminary’s 75th Anniversary Gala Benefit Banquet on Thursday, November 7, 2013.