Seminary Receives Donation from Axion Estin Foundation

23 March 2012 • On-campus Event

(from left) Angelo Lampousis, AEF's director, Christos Chalkias, Fr. Nicholas Anctil, Nicholas Kyriakos, Fr. Alexander Rentel, chapel ecclesiarch,and Hierodeacon Herman, chapel music director.(from left) Angelo Lampousis, AEF's director, Christos Chalkias, Fr. Nicholas Anctil, Nicholas Kyriakos, Fr. Alexander Rentel, chapel ecclesiarch,and Hierodeacon Herman, chapel music director.The St. Vladimir's Seminary community was immersed this past Friday in the poetic splendor of Byzantine psaltic art, as part of an evening in which the Axion Estin Foundation (AEF) honored our school. Chapel services were sung in traditional Byzantine style, and at a reception following, the foundation presented the seminary with a much-needed contribution to its Byzantine music collection. AEF’s mission is to identify opportunities to introduce Byzantine Music content into academic curricula in the United States. St. Vladimir’s began to dialogue with the foundation in 2010, and since that time has taken full advantage of AEF’s generous and helpful offerings.

On Friday, renowned chanter Christos Chalkias led the singing of the "Akathist Hymn." Mr. Chalkias was visiting New York as the featured artist in a program titled “Christos Chalkias Chant and Oud Performance,” which was co-presented by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and AEF, as part of the museum’s “Byzantine and Islam: A Festival for All Ages” exhibition. Presiding priests at the service included seminary faculty members Archpriest Alexander Rentel, Assistant Professor of Canon Law and Byzantine Studies, and Archpriest Harry Pappas, Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Theology; and visiting Priest Nicholas G. Anctil, rector of Holy Trinity Church in New Rochelle, New York, where AEF originated.(from left) Seminarian Harrison Russin; Angelo Lampousis of AEF, and Christos Chalkias, chanter, during the Atkathist.(from left) Seminarian Harrison Russin; Angelo Lampousis of AEF, and Christos Chalkias, chanter, during the Atkathist.

At the reception following the service, Mr. Nicholas Kyriakos presented the seminary with 20-volume English-language translation of the “Great Theory of Music,” by Chrysanthos of Madytos (1770–1846). The work contains simplified Byzantine notation and is the most referenced source in Byzantine music education. The volumes were funded by The Rev. Peter N. Kyriakos Endowment Fund and published by AEF (2010); Mr. Nicholas Kyriakos is the son of the late Fr. Peter Kyriakos.

“Our family was proud to support the publication of this work in my father’s memory,” said Mr. Kyriakos. “We hope it will be of great use in the education of your students.”