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Over 100 musicians, directors, composers, chanters, singers, and musicologists are gathering at Minneapolis’ historic Saint Mary’s Cathedral June 20-24, 2018 to explore the history and future creativity of Orthodox Church music at this year’s Pan-Orthodox Music Symposium, organized by the International Society for Orthodox Church Music [ISOCM].

A variety of presentations focusing on the theme, “Ancient and Modern Creativity,” will be offered during the Symposium.  Delivering the keynote address will be Dr. Nicolae Gheorghi of the University of Bucharest, who will explore how national Church music and Byzantine chant are successfully employed in local parish communities across Romania.

“The Symposium allows us to experience the beauty of worship through music, and the rich, diverse musical traditions found here in North America,” said Deacon John Black, a Symposium organizer.  “It’s a testimony to how well the liturgical arts, and music in particular, can be a vehicle to see our ‘unity of the Faith’ in a real way.”

Presiding at the celebration of the All-Night Vigil on Saturday, June 23 and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday, June 24 will be His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon—an added blessing for this year’s Symposium.

“This is a unique opportunity in North America, where regardless of jurisdiction or ethnic background, we are assembling to praise God in the Liturgy, using the language of the people, worshipping together as Orthodox Christians in America,” Deacon John added.

A number of new compositions and settings by English-speaking composers will be presented during the gathering.  A new setting of the Anaphora, composed by Mark Hrebinka of Maine, will be sung during Sunday’s Divine Liturgy.  Mark wrote the piece for a concert during the 2014 Symposium at the University of Northern Kentucky.  Another new setting slated to be presented is “Blessed be the Name of the Lord,” composed by Protopresbyter Ivan Moody, who chairs ISOCM’s Board.  Additionally, Protopsaltis John Boyer of Portland, OR, has translated select hymns for the All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy into English, making the ancient chant more accessible for English-language parish communities.

The liturgical services and keynote address are open to the public.  A full schedule of events, presenter biographies, and presentation topics is available online.

ISOCM works 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 that explore the many facets of Orthodox Christian music.