WATCH VIDEO! St. Vladimir's Seminary Chorale Delivers Superlative ORIENT Concert in NYC

7 May 2012 • Off-campus Event • By Deborah (Malacky) Belonick

St. Vladimir's Seminary Chorale, performing ORIENT in St. Malachy's Chapel (photo: Vadim Arslanov)St. Vladimir's Seminary Chorale, performing ORIENT in St. Malachy's Chapel (photo: Vadim Arslanov)Stunning, exquisite, arresting, brilliant...there are not enough superlative adjectives to describe the performance of sacred music delivered by St. Vladimir's Seminary Chorale in the heart of Manhattan this past Monday evening. With artistic execution and prayerful potency, the singers filled the warm and inviting space of St. Malachy's Chapel with a sound fitting for heaven—and needful on earth.

Through a multi-media presentation titled "ORIENT: Sacred Song and Image" theMatushka Robin Freeman, ORIENT creator and, along with Hdn. Herman, one of the conductors of the concert (photo: Vadim Arslanov)Matushka Robin Freeman, ORIENT creator and, along with Hdn. Herman, one of the conductors of the concert (photo: Vadim Arslanov) chorale combined word and image to create an evangelical message that proved to be both spiritually powerful and aesthetically absorbing. The performance employed a variety of iconographic projections and liturgical compositions from the Orthodox Christian tradition, seamlessly matched to create a joyous yet profound experience for concert goers, who listened in rapt attention to the 22-voice chorus and expressed their appreciation to the chorale with a long lasting and standing ovation. Included in the audience was a special guest, His Grace, The Rt. Rev. Nicholas, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn and Resident Assistant to Metropolitan Philip of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese.

Seminary Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield, delivering the homily (photo: Vadim Arslanov)Seminary Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield, delivering the homily (photo: Vadim Arslanov)Matushka Robin Freeman, a staff member in the Advancement Office at the seminary who holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, created the concert format and conducted in its premiere at IU's Jacobs School of Music in 2010. She served as one of the concert conductors for the New York City premiere, along with Hierodeacon Herman, lecturer in Liturgical Music and Chapel Choir Director at the seminary.

Seminary Chancellor and CEO, Archpriest Chad Hatfield, served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening, and in keeping with concert's theme, he delivered a homily about the Resurrection of Christ, near the conclusion of the program. Following Fr. Chad's homily, the producer of the concert, Dr. Nicholas Reeves, assistant professor of Liturgical Music at the seminary, expressed his profound gratitude to Father Richard Baker, rector of St. Malachy's Chapel (The Actors' Chapel), and to his parishioners, for their generous "gift of space" for the concert venue. The evening concluded with the entire crowd joyously singing the traditional Paschal hymn to the Mother of God, "The Angel Cried."Producer Dr. Nicholas Reeves (left) with chorale and Fr. Richard Baker (right), rector of St. Malachy's Chapel (photo: Vadim Arslanov)Producer Dr. Nicholas Reeves (left) with chorale and Fr. Richard Baker (right), rector of St. Malachy's Chapel (photo: Vadim Arslanov)

Watch a video clip of ORIENT, including the selections "Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos," by Sergei Rachmaninov, with Matushka Robin Freeman directing, and "In the Flesh Thou Didst Fall Asleep," by Alexander Glazunov, with Hdn. Herman directing, here.

(Video by Dn. Gregory Hatrak, marketing manager SVS Press & Bookstore)

View a PDF of the full concert program from ORIENT here.
See more photos by Vadim Arslanov (visiting photographer from the Orthodox Church in America's Representation Church of the Great Martyr Catherine in Moscow) here.
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St. Vladimir's Seminary would like to thank TD Bank and all our other donors who supported ORIENT! View a complete donor list here.