South Canaan, Pa. — St. Tikhon’s Seminary has partnered with the newly launched Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture to hold a benefit concert in Philadelphia on Sunday, November 6 at 4:00 PM in the McInnis Auditorium on Eastern University’s campus, located in St. Davids, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.
The performance, entitled “Psalms & Hymns,” will feature Russian Orthodox sacred music in English that highlights the biblical foundations of Orthodox Christian liturgy. An ensemble made up of select singers from the St. Tikhon’s Seminary choir and a group of professional vocalists from the Chamber Choir of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery will perform the program under the direction of Benedict Sheehan. The performance is the third public concert featuring the highly regarded Chamber Choir of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, which celebrated the release of its inaugural CD with a concert in New York City last year.
“While the liturgical life of the Orthodox Church has certainly evolved and deepened over the course of two millennia, spanning as it has a multitude of cultures and languages, it continues to, as it were, breathe the air of Holy Scripture,” says Sheehan, who teaches liturgical music at St. Tikhon’s Seminary in addition to directing the choirs. “The Psalms remain the core of Orthodox services, and likewise the rich body of hymnography that we now possess in Orthodoxy grows entirely out of an original foundation of psalmody. Psalms and hymns interact seamlessly within our services, and the language of psalms, and of Scripture in general, is vividly mirrored in the words of the hymns.”
The music in the program will draw on the thousand-year-old tradition of monastic singing in Russia, as still practiced today at St. Tikhon’s Monastery. Znamenny Chant from medieval Russia will be featured alongside more recent arrangements by composers from the Moscow Synodal School and the Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery. Also included on the program will be arrangements by the late Deacon Sergei Trubachev (1919-1995), as well as an original work by Benedict Sheehan, based on medieval znamenny chant. All selections will be sung in English.
Joining the choir as canonarch—a liturgical soloist in Orthodox monastic practice—will be Hierodeacon Herman (Majkrzak) of St. Tikhon’s Monastery brotherhood and teacher of liturgics at St. Tikhon’s Seminary.
McInnis Auditorium is located on the main campus of Eastern University at 1300 Eagle Road Saint Davids, PA 19087. A campus map is available for download. Seating is limited, so please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Proceeds from the event will benefit St. Tikhon’s Theological Seminary and the Orthodox Center at Eastern University. Tickets will be available at the door and are $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for students. Direct donations above that level are most welcome.
The Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture is a new academic program offered by the Agora Institute of Eastern University in Philadelphia. Students at the Center benefit from a rigorous education in the Great Books of Eastern Christianity, a regular cycle of Orthodox worship, and are able to pursue accredited degrees in 35+ different fields through the Templeton Honors College and Eastern University. Eastern University’s scenic 90+ acre campus is located on a former estate in the historic “Main Line” area of suburban Philadelphia, close to the St. David’s train station (5 minutes) and a brief (20 minute) train ride into downtown Philadelphia. Contact orthodox@agorainstitut
More about the Chamber Choir
The Chamber Choir of St. Tikhon’s Monastery is a professional vocal ensemble under the auspices of St. Tikhon’s Monastery in Pennsylvania, America’s oldest Orthodox monastery. Founded in 2015 by artistic director, Benedict Sheehan, and Archimandrite Sergius, abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, the Chamber Choir’s mission is to explore, promote, and build up the tradition of Orthodox sacred music in America, and to bring people of today’s world into contact with the living tradition of ancient Christianity through vibrant and inspiring choral singing. The group is comprised of some of the finest solo and ensemble singers in the New York area and around North America.