Annual Church Music Conference in Montreal Comes to a Close
annual Church Music Conference, held in Montreal, Quebec,
from 8-12 October 2003 was dedicated to the memory of Archimandrite
Feodor (Golitsyn), a renowned scholar of church music. Archimandrite
Feodor educated several generations of church singers and
choir directors in Canada, and, most of all, in the Cathedral
city of the Canadian Diocese.
Still, a great deal of effort was needed to hold the Conference
(organized by the Church Music Committee of the Synod of Bishops
under the presidency of the First Hierarch of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Metropolitan Laurus) in
Montreal. A year and a half or two years ago, our parish,
which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, had to rebuild
itself almost from nothing, and now has the honor, and, I
must add, the good fortune to be able to, welcome our dear
guests, said the Rector of St. Nicholas Cathedral, Priest
George Lagodich. Our savings were lost, the restoration
of the Cathedral, terribly damaged by fire in 1998, seemed
a only a dream, the number of parishioners fell drastically...But
by the mercy of God, peace has and brotherl love reign once
again, and the coordinated, selfless labors of the parishioners
have begun to bear fruit. Just how many parishioners we have
now you will see for yourselves, for they all look forward
to hearing your voices, the finest voices of our Church!
The most renowned choir directors participated in the Conference,
specialists in the art of church music and singers from American
and Canadian Russia:
Priest Andrei Papkov and Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky, Prof.
Marina Ledkovsky and Prof. Dennis Brierly, George Skok and
Peter Fekula, Vladimir Krassovsky, Irina Mozyleva and Nicolas
Schidlovsky. Of course, the list of Conferees is much longer.
The choir director of St. Danilov Monastery in Moscow, Georgii
Safonov, was invited as well.
A parish organizing committee coordinated the effort: Rector
Fr. George Lagodich, the choir director of St. Nicholas Cathedral,
Nicholas Androsoff, Ilya Dubelshtein and Matushka Nina Lagodich.
No little help was provided to this difficult endeavor by
Subdeacon Peter Paganuzzi and Gregory Borovik, two Cathedral
basses, during the singing of the vigil, with two kliroses,
and the hierarchal liturgy.
His Grace Bishop Gabriel, who heads the Eastern Canadian Diocese,
arrived in time for Saturday vigil. Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky
of St. Seraphim Church in Novo Diveevo, NY, and George Skok
(Toronto), led the two choirs. On Sunday, 12 October, the
combined choir during the liturgy was directed by George Safonov
and Peter Fekula. Bishop Gabriel officiated in concelebration
with Priests George Lagodich, Stelian Liabotis, Andrei Papkov
and Michael Metni along with Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky and
Deacon Vasilii Milonov.
The parishioners of St. Nicholas Cathedral know the hierarchal
service well, and their choir is renowned for its splendor
and harmony. But such masterly and powerful choral singing,
especially of the two-kliros sort, was never before heard
by even the elder worshipers, let alone the younger ones.
After liturgy, all were invited to a festive trapeza luncheon
prepared by the Cathedral Sisterhood headed by Olga Ivanovna
Safoniuk. As a surprise for their guests, the song and dance
ensemble Russian Designs, made up of students
of the Cathedrals A.S. Pushkin Parish School, gave a