A few weeks ago, Benedict Sheehan posted about his trip to Moscow and the planned collaborations with Vladimir Gorbik, which included a Master Class of liturgical music culminating into a concert which took place on March 3rd. Here is the article from the Saint-Tikhon website describing the event.
Hundreds of faithful from PA, NY, NJ, MD, OH, and VA poured into St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, PA this past Sunday, March 3, 2013 to participate in this much anticipated event.
This historic vocal ensemble assembled in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of both St. Tikhon’s and St. Vladimir’s Seminaries and featuring singers from both schools as well as singers from Holy Trinity (Jordanville), who are celebrating their 65th Anniversary, and the St. Tikhon’s Monastery Community. This event marks the first time that singers from each of these institutions have collaborated musically, but as St. Tikhon’s Choir director Benedict Sheehan remarks, “We hope that the success of this event will mark a new era of cooperation between the music departments of all three seminaries.”
The choir was led by renowned music instructor and choir director Vladimir Gorbik who in his closing remarks thanked everyone for their participation in the Masters Class and for all the hard work put forth by the participants. In the days leading up to the concert, the students participated in a grueling rehearsal schedule, meeting three times daily, as well as singing for the Vigil and Liturgy Services at the monastery church.
Vladimir Gorbik (b. 1970) began his musical studies in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and continued them at the Moscow State Conservatory, completing a specialization in choral conducting in 1998 and in orchestral conducting in 2000. Since 1996 he has served as the choral director at the Moscow Representation Church (Metochion or Podvorye) of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery, and since 1998 has been Artistic Director and Conductor of the professional men’s chorus formed at the Metochion. With this choir he has made over a dozen outstanding recordings of both liturgical services and concert programs. The choir has on numerous occasions sung at Patriarchal services in the Dormition Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin, and accompanied Patriarch Alexy II on his trip to the Holy Land. The repertoire of the Metochion’s Men’s Chorus cultivates the finest repertoire and interpretive traditions of the Moscow School and the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra. Videos of their choral performances may be seen on YouTube: TSL Podvorye CHOIR. In September of 2012, Vladimir was appointed to the Conducting Faculty of the Moscow State Conservatory. (Taken from svots.edu)
Closing remarks were offered by the Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey. In praising the choir under the direction of Maestro Gorbik, His Grace said how incredible it was for 25 individual male voices, in 4 separate parts, to join “in harmony” to produce such a masterpiece of a concert. He added that it reminds us how together our three distinct seminaries can work together “in harmony” to promote Orthodox theological education in our country and to spiritually form the future leaders of our Holy Church.
The concert performance received five standing ovations and the singers were called back to give four encores during this live recording event that is slotted to be released as a live recording on CD sometime in the near future.
How extraordinary to hear such splendid, precise, and prayerful, singing from a choir of American students. What a truly remarkable achievement! And what an important witness it is to Orthodox Americans, to show us that we are capable of this excellence.
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