St. Vladimir's and St. Tikhon's Choirs Open Icon Exhibit at Villanova University

26 October 2012 • Off–campus • Virginia Nieuwsma

Combined choir warms up at exhibit opening (Photos: stots.edu)Combined choir warms up at exhibit opening (Photos: stots.edu)View a photo gallery of the exhibit opening

An exhibit entitled "Icon: The Way to the Kingdom," will run until December 16 at the Villanova University Art Gallery, housed in the Connelly Center, Villanova, PA. Choirs from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) and St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary (STOTS) in South Canaan, PA, jointly sang a molieben, to launch the exhibit. 

"This is the first time the SVOTS Octet and the STOTS Mission Choir have performed together as one combined choir away from the campus of either institution," noted Octet Director Hierodeacon Herman (Majkrzak), lecturer in Liturgical Music and Chapel Choir Director at SVOTS. "The music director at St. Tikhon's, Benedict Sheehan, and I, have had many occasions to work closely with each other on joint projects, and we see in such events as this, the fruit of our co-operation. Plans are already underway for future collaboration."

Both choirs have very similar make-up, explained Hdn. Herman: each consists of between 8–10 male seminarians who excel musically, and both groups travel regularly to raise awareness of their respective seminaries.Dn. Gregory Hatrack manages traveling SVS Press bookstoreDn. Gregory Hatrack manages traveling SVS Press bookstore

The Very Rev. John Perich, rector of St. Herman of Alaska Church, Gradyville, PA, and administrator of St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, Washington, D.C., gathered and organized the icons for the exhibit, in collaboration with Fr. Richard G. Cannuli, OSA, director and curator of the Villanova University Art Gallery. The display showcases many of the treasures housed in the St. Tikhon's Museum and Icon Repository, as well as pieces from other private collections. Icons in "The Way to the Kingdom" exhibit come from the Russian, Romanian, Cretan, Syrian, Coptic, Greek, Serbian, Ukrainian, and Carpathian-Rusyn traditions, and the exhibit also includes vestments, Gospel books, chalices, and miters. Some of the artifacts have never before been publicly displayed.

His Eminence The Most Rev. Tikhon, archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), and Igumen Sergius, abbot of St. Tikhon's Monastery, presided over the opening, along with other clergy and hierarchs.

The images below represent a sample of St. Tikhon's beautiful photos of the exhibit.