New York– The Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Music completed its second year of operation off with a concert at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity on June 16, entitled, “We Have Seen the Light.”
With over 300 people in attendance the Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir performed a number of ecclesiastical hymns drawn from the rich liturgical tradition of the Orthodox Church. A world premiere of a musical composition in honor of Archbishop Demetrios of America which was composed by Dr. Grammenos Karanos, Assistant Professor of Byzantine Music at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, was also performed. The composition was based entirely on St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians 2:1-13. Those in attendance particularly enjoyed the exquisite performance by a select number of the youngest students enlisted in ASBM. The evening finished with the Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir performing a selection of Greek folksongs. A reception followed for everyone who attended the concert in the Cathedral Hall. The entire concert can be viewed online at www.asbm.goarch.org.
ASBM welcomed this year 37 students through her doors. The school undertook a number of projects at the end of last year in order to facilitate the students for this year. One major project was that ASBM produced its first publication entitled, “The Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Music: Theory and Practice Guide.” This completely color book which also included an audio CD with the all the musical examples used in the book did not only prove decisive for the students of ASBM but more than 1,000 copies of the book were purchased nationally and international—even as far as China and Pakistan! The school’s administration, however, did not stop there. In the technological world that exist today, the book was digitized and is now available in an eBooks version available through iTunes. The eBook format has all the audio files embedded within so that with the use of simple headphones one can listen and learn practically anywhere (visit …. To order your digital version). Archdeacon Panteleimon Papadopoulos, Director of ASBM, remarked, “I am very proud of the hard work that our administration has put into producing, with the grace of God, this new book. It has been enthusiastically received throughout this country and internationally. It is strong affirmation that the beauty of our ecclesiastical musical heritage is a treasure that more and more people are gaining an appreciation for. I wholeheartedly congratulation the book’s two authors, the Rev. Dn. Aristidis Garinis and Dr. Demetrios Kehagias as well as all those who contributed to its publication. God has indeed blessed their labor of love abundantly.” With the academic oversight of Dr. Grammenos Karanos, professor of Byzantine Music at Hellenic College and Holy Cross, the book is also current with the terminology used throughout the Byzantine musicological world and has been established as the official textbook for incoming students at Hellenic College and Holy Cross.
Additionally, ASBM is currently completing the production of a revolutionary interactive DVD for the learning of Byzantine Music which they hope to release this fall. This totally interactive DVD will teach Byzantine Music in the Rosetta-Stone style making learning fun and fast for students of all ages. Archdeacon Panteleimon also commented, “I wholeheartedly thank Rev. Dn. Aristidis Garinis and Professor Karanos for their outstanding cooperation and creative vision for making this DVD a reality. I believe it marks a historic moment in the history of learning and teaching Byzantine Music.”Among the other items that have continued to grow from ASBM is the Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir (ABC). This choir has been an outgrowth of ASBM and serves not only as vehicle to promote the beauty of Byzantine Music to the general public but also offers ASBM students the incentive to continue to work hard in learning Byzantine music since they too will enjoy being members of the choir in due time. In fact, already 6 students of ASBM are members of the choir! ABC is primarily comprised of established chanters from throughout the Direct Archdiocesan District who have studied Byzantine music and have received advanced degrees in the music. The choir, in less than two years, has already performed at very prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall in NYC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and other universities and institutions. It is the hope of ABC to continue to expand its public promotion of Byzantine Music. The choir just produced a CD in honor of Archbishop Demetrios of America which can be purchased through iTunes. Coming this December 2012, ABC will be back at Carnegie Hall for an end of the year Christmas concert.
For more information, or for the purchase of resources produced by the Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Music and or the Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir, please visit www.asbm.goarch.org.