June 4, 2010
DC: The first diocesan music conference was held at St. John the
Friday the 28th through Saturday the 29th of May, the Cathedral of St.
John the Baptist in Washington, DC, hosted the first interactive
seminar for church musicians, presented by the Eastern American
Diocesan Music Committee. Developed in response to a 2009 survey of
the liturgical musicians of the diocese (and beyond), the conference
was deliberately brief and intensive, focused on the development of
basic skills, such as vocal and conducting technique.
conference began with a Moleben, served by Archpriest Victor Potapov,
rector of the cathedral, and sung by the participants, who had
traveled from as far south as Atlanta, GA and as far north as
Montreal, Canada. Most of the registrants were from ROCOR parishes,
but there were also representatives of other jurisdictions, including
the Carpatho-Russian Church and the OCA.
first interactive seminar was led by vocal pedagogue Inna Petcherkin,
who provided insight to breathing and exercises to relax and develop
muscles needed for proper singing. Thereafter, Youri Petcherkin led
choral warm-ups, exhorting choir directors to do so with their
ensembles at rehearsals. He led several interactive sessions,
demonstrating conducting techniques and having participants try
various exercises as well as taking lead of the group, for instruction
that was literally "hands-on." Meanwhile, Mrs. Petcherkin
provided private, individualized vocal instruction to participants,
gave a lecture entitled "Multiplying
Talents: the Church Singer’s Privileges & Responsibilities."
In the afternoon, Dr.
gave a fascinating lecture, surveying the history of Russian
liturgical music, from 988 to the present. This talk was followed by a
dinner and merry evening of camaraderie, singing, and conversation.
Saturday, Mr. Petcherkin continued his conducting practica, whilst
Mrs. Petcherkin continued to offer lessons. Archpriest George Johnson
gave an informal talk about discipline in the choir.
seminar concluded with a panel discussion, in which presenters
and Eugenia Temidis demonstrated various approaches to singing
services with varying ensembles, followed by lunch.
sisterhood, led by Matushka Maria Potapov and head sister Natalia
Ekzarkhov, provided sustenance throughout the two days of the
conference, serving bountiful and delicious meals and refreshments.
Photo-report of the Conference
Upon completion of the
conference, many participants stayed in the Washington area and took
part in the divine service in St. John the Baptist Cathedral and Holy
Apostles Church in Beltsville, MD.
Saturday, May 29, the All-Night Vigil in St.
John the Baptist Cathedral was led by the rector, Archpriest
Victor Potapov, co-served by Priest John Johnson and Priest Alexander
Resnikoff. The Vigil was adorned with the antiphonal singing of the
parish’s Slavonic and English choirs. Photos and audio of the divine
services in Washington on May 29-30 are available here:
Photo-report of the divine services at St. John the Baptist Cathedral
Vigil at St. John the Baptist Cathedral
at St. John the Baptist Cathedral
Divine Services in Holy
Apostles Church were led in English by rector Archpriest George
Johnson, co-served by parish Deacon Damian Dantinne. The church is
currently located in a rented storefront while major renovations
continue in the new church. On June 3, 2009, through the Lord’s
mercy, the parishioners of Holy Apostles witnessed a pure miracle in
the wondrous gift which was given to us: a beautiful brick country
church situated on two acres of land in Beltsville. The historic St.
Joseph’s church is a disused Catholic cemetery chapel, built in 1880
in the American Queen Anne Revival style.
Photos and audio of the divine services in
Holy Apostles Church on May 29-30 are available here.
Photo-report of the divine services at the Church of the Holy Apostles
Vigil at the Church of the Holy Apostles
at the Church of the Holy Apostles
Office of the Eastern American Diocese
Interview with members of the Eastern American Diocesan Music