During their Spring Session April 17-20, 2018, the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops awarded the Order of Saint Romanos to three individuals in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the field of liturgical music in the Orthodox Church in America and beyond.
Established by the Holy Synod of Bishops in 2014 under the patronage of Saint Romanos the Melodist, the Order is awarded to influential arrangers, composers, teachers, and conductors. Past recipients include Archimandrite Roman [Braga], Archpriest Sergei Glagolev, Archpriest Igor Soroka, Prof. Dr. David Drillock, Dr. Vladimir Morosan, Aleksei V. Shipovalnikov, Walter Shymansky and John Sutko.
On Sunday, May 6, the Order of Saint Romanos will be presented to Carol Wetmore during a celebration to be hosted by the faithful of Holy Trinity Church, Randolph, NJ, marking her 50th Anniversary as the parish’s Choir Director. Carol has been a singer, director, and board member for many choral organizations, including the Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir, of which she was President. She co-chairs the Diocese of New York and New Jersey’s Commission on Liturgical Music and has personally organized many music workshops throughout the diocese. A graduate of Duke University, where she majored in English and Music, she went on to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in Music from Rutgers University.
Archpriest Martin Nicolai will be awarded the Order of Saint Romanos on August 19 during this year’s Kuskokwim Conference in Kwethluk, AK, where he resides in retirement. Widely known for strengthening the faith of the Yup’ik people, he and his collaborators produced the first written edition of the Divine Liturgy Hymnal and the traditional “Alaskan Eight Tones” in the Yup’ik language. He further arranged and translated into Yup’ik many beloved Slavonic melodies and authored numerous original compositions, sung today in many parishes. His work has attracted much interest from Orthodox musicians the world over, many of whom have added his works to their own repertoires.
On Sunday, September 2, the Order will be awarded to Kenneth J. Kovach at Saint Theodosius Cathedral, Cleveland, OH, where he has been Choir Master for 47 years. Prior to serving the cathedral, he was Choir Master at Saint John the Baptist Church, Warren, OH. He has been recognized as an “exemplary Ambassador” for the Orthodox Church in America and Orthodox Christianity in general. He is especially known for increasing public awareness of Orthodox Christianity through scores of public liturgical music concerts and presentations and a wide range of civic and cultural activities. A graduate of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA; Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY; Saint Sergius Theological Academy, Paris, France; and the Ecumenical Institute in Geneva, Switzerland, he also holds a Masters degree in Sociology from Case Western Reserve University and completed course work for a Doctoral degree in Sociology.
Additional information will be posted after each award has been presented.