The All-European Liturgical Summer School concludes

On July 7, 2023, the Liturgical Music Summer School operated by the All-European Church Music Committee of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia successfully completed its work. The School took place under the aegis of the Synodal Liturgical Music Commission. Classes were held daily for two weeks on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Great Martyr Panteleimon in Cologne, Germany, formed of three groups of students. Participants of the main program — for choir directors and singers — undertook more than 100 hours of study in nine subjects, and participated in the musical provision of eleven divine services.

For those unable to attend the full course, a seven-day training workshop was offered, aimed at acquainting participants with the work of the school, and providing the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills, practical experience in participating in services, as well as the opportunity to ask questions of experienced teachers. Separately, a group of readers was formed: during the seven-day course, theoretical and practical classes were offered for the church readers on the Ustav, liturgical books, the skills of correct reading on kliros (including vocal training) and the peculiarities of reading various texts.

In total, 31 students from Germany, Ireland, Estonia, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden and Macedonia took part in the Summer School’s programs. The practical training in particular was of great interest among students, many of whom remarked on the large number of theoretical and practical skills acquired during this time. The opportunity to participate in Divine Services — including festive services headed by His Grace Bishop Job of Stuttgart, Vicar Bishop of the German Diocese — allowed students to experience “in practice” the different orders of service, as well as gain experience in conducting the choir. The large size of the student group made it possible to divide into two klirosi and conduct services with full antiphonal singing — an experience almost impossible in parishes in most cases.

The Summer School teachers noted the high level of skills already present in their students, even in the initial year of the school, as well as their enthusiasm. The participants themselves developed friendships throughout the School period, expressing already their desire to return next summer to continue the course.

The organizers and teachers of the school have expressed their gratitude to His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany and His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe for their support of such an important undertaking, as well as deep gratitude to the parish of St Panteleimon for the excellent organization of housing and educational provisions.

More information about the All-European Music Committee and its programs can be found on its web site.



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