Summer Music Institute

Summer Music Institute: Unity in the Church through Song

A Unique Musical Experience

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Whether you are a beginner or an experienced musician, enhance your craft and immerse yourself in hymns from the Slavic, Byzantine, Coptic, and Georgian chant traditions this June, at the 2021 St. Vladimir’s Seminary Summer Music Institute. The online event, themed “Unity in the Church through Song,” will take place June 2-5, 2021 and will be hosted by the Seminary’s Institute of Sacred Arts (ISA).

Conference participants will also enjoy exclusive presentations by pioneering figures in Orthodox sacred music including keynote lectures, panel discussions, and special pop-up presentations. Lectures and panel discussions will also allow time for Q&A. 

Participants may choose between two tiers of study: Boot Camp & Sacred Music Masterclasses

Are you an experienced church musician looking for some inspiration? Learn exciting new repertoire while refining your particular musical skill in our Masterclasses!

Choose from one of three disciplines: conducting, vocal technique, or composition. Participants will study carefully selected repertoire from four diverse musical traditions and receive individual coaching from their masterclass presenter, as well as feedback from experts in those different musical traditions. Audition material submission required. 

Are you just starting out in church music and eager to be successful? Learn what tools work best and just how to use them in our Boot Camp!

Our instructors will walk you through an essential set of skills, both musical and administrative, that will help you step into a music leadership role in your parish. They will provide you with concrete techniques and tips that will get you started and help you continue to progress beyond our conference.


Sample Schedule

Music Institute Sample Schedule

Conductors will:

  • Learn an essential collection of conducting gestures known as Laban Efforts
  • Analyze what Laban Efforts are most effective for conducting each of the selections from our four Orthodox chant traditions
  • Refine their conducting gesture generally through the study of these contrasting choral styles

Singers will:

  • Learn an essential collection of discrete vocal techniques gathered from across different vocal styles
  • Analyze what vocal techniques are employed in each of the selections from our four Orthodox chant traditions
  • Refine their own singing by authentically performing these contrasting vocal styles

Composers will:

  • Learn an essential collection of discrete compositional elements that are combined to create different choral styles
  • Be guided through identifying the particular compositional characteristics that typify each of our four Orthodox chant traditions
  • Learn to compose in the style of those four traditions by employing those musical characteristics

Boot Camp participants will enjoy six concise, content-packed presentations, complete with resources and suggestions for further study in the following areas:

Musicianship Skills Presentations:

  • Fundamentals of music theory/sight reading
  • Conducting gesture
  • Giving pitches

Administrative Skill Presentations: 

  • Practical considerations for singing music from text (resources etc) 
  • Managing personnel/interpersonal dynamics
  • Resources for putting services together (music and liturgics)

  • Music Notation Software for the Orthodox Church Musician
  • Virtual Choirs: Production and Presentation
  • Introduction To the New St. Tikhon’s Online Music Resource 
  • The Health of OCA Parish Sacred Music Programs in the United States: Presentation on the Comprehensive Study

First Keynote Lecture

Dr. David Drillock,
St Vladimir's Seminary Professor of Liturgical Music, Emeritus

  • Wednesday, June 2 at 7 p.m. EDT

Second Keynote Lecture

His Grace Bishop Daniel Findikyan,
Primate of the Eastern Diocese of America (The Armenian Church)

  • Thursday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. EDT

Third Keynote Lecture

Dr. Timothy Patitsas,
Interim Dean of Hellenic College &Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics

  • Friday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m. EDT

Fourth Keynote Lecture

Mother Christophora,
Abbess of The Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City, PA

  • Saturday, June 5 at 2:45 p.m. EDT

Summer Music Institute Instructors

Anthony J. Maglione

Anthony J. Maglione is the director of Choral Studies and holds the Robert H. McKee Chair of Music at William Jewell College. An active composer, Anthony’s choral works are growing in popularity and are published on GIA’s “Evoking Sound” choral series. In the last several years his music has appeared at state and national-level conventions, on TV, in video games, and has been recorded on Gothic Records, Albany Records, and Centaur Records. As a tenor, Anthony has appeared with Kansas City Baroque Consortium, Sunflower Baroque, and Spire Chamber Ensemble. He currently performs with Kantorei KC and performs and records with The Same Stream Choir. 

Tynan Davis

Tynan Davis is a grammy award-winning mezzo soprano described by the New York Times as “a marvel: a stylish singer whose presence lighted up the stage.” A versatile performer with an easy grace, she has established herself within musical theater, opera, chamber music, and jazz. She has toured with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Orchestra and Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new Phantom of the Opera. Her debut album, TYNAN is a collection of jazz arrangements of classic tunes from musical theater, film, and television featuring members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

Benedict Sheehan

Composer and conductor Benedict Sheehan has been called “a rising star in the choral world” (Catholic Sentinel). He is Director of Music at St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary in Pennsylvania, Artistic Director of The Saint Tikhon Choir, and CEO and Co-founder of the Artefact Institute, a collective of “culture creators.” Benedict’s work as Chorus Master on the 2020 Naxos release of Kastalsky’s Requiem for Fallen Brothers earned him a GRAMMY® nomination. His most recent release, conducting The Saint Tikhon Choir in his own newly-composed Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, has been garnering international critical acclaim. He also appears frequently as a guest conductor with Portland-based ensemble Cappella Romana.

John A Graham

John A. Graham is a scholar, entrepreneur, traveler, student of life, a father and husband, and a teacher. He lives in Tbilisi, Georgia, with his wife and children. He holds a bachelor's degree in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University (2003), a masters, and a doctorate in historical musicology from Princeton University (2015). As an active facilitator of cultural exchange, Graham organizes performance tours in the United States for ensembles such as the critically acclaimed Anchiskhati Church Choir (2016, 2005), the Sakhioba Ensemble (2012), and the Zedashe Folk Ensemble (2007). He also lectures regularly on topics relating to the history and revival of Georgian sacred music, and gives practical workshops on Georgian folk and sacred music. 

Dr Vladimir Morosan

Dr. Vladimir Morosan is one of the leading experts outside Russia in the field of Orthodox liturgical music. A graduate of Occidental College and the University of Illinois with specializations in choral conducting and musicology, he went on to do post-graduate research at the Moscow State Conservatory (under the guidance of Klavdy Ptitsa) and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. His book, Choral Performance in Pre-Revolutionary Russia (UMI Research Press, 1986) remains the definitive study on that subject. He founded Musica Russica, a publishing company specializing in the publication and dissemination of Orthodox choral music throughout the Western world. As founder and artistic director of Archangel Voices, a professional choral ensemble, he has recorded six CDs of Orthodox liturgical music in English; he is also the composer and editor of numerous choral arrangements. He serves as consultant to the Department of Liturgical Music of the Orthodox Church in America. A tonsured reader in the Orthodox Church, he currently serves as director of Liturgical Singing at St. Katherine Orthodox Mission in Carlsbad, CA.

John Michael Boyer

John Michael Boyer is Protopsáltis (First Cantor) of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, director of the Saint John Koukouzelis Institute of Liturgical Arts (, founder and artistic director of Próto, and associate music director of Cappella Romana (  He began studies of Byzantine Chant at age 14 under musicologist Alexander Lingas and went on to study under the late Archon Protopsáltis Lycourgos Angelopoulos and with renowned cantor, composer, and musicologist Ioannis Arvanitis. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA. As a teacher, John helps students of all levels achieve facility and proficiency in the Byzantine musical tradition through a pædagogical approach synthesizing advanced ear training and vocal technique with Byzantine notation, modal theory, and ornamental expression.  This approach is laid out in detail in his forthcoming book, Byzantine Chant: The Received Tradition A Lesson Book, slated for publication in 2021.

Daniel Girgis

 Daniel Girgis is an M.A. candidate at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Class of 2021. He received his PharmD degree from the SUNY University at Buffalo in 2019. He is an ordained chanter and reader in the Coptic Orthodox Church whose research focuses on preserving Coptic tradition through the combination and reconciliation of both the oral transmission of Coptic chant and the analysis of written manuscripts—using these two factors to identify and restore proper ritual practice.


Dr Nicholas Reeves

Dr. Nicholas Reeves is a first-prize recipient of the New York Virtuoso Singer Competition for his composition, In Memoriam Dmitri Shostakovich. Reeves has studied at the Brevard Music Center and holds degrees in composition from Westminster Choir College and Manhattan School of Music, where he received a doctorate (DMA) in classical composition as a student of Richard Danielpour. As a professor, he has lectured and instructed at St. Vladimirs Orthodox Theological Seminary as well as Rider University and is currently on faculty at Adelphi University. He is the co-founder of the Arvo Pärt Project, a unique collaboration between Arvo Pärt and St. Vladimirs Orthodox Theological Seminary to further explain the spiritual content of Pärts music in concerts, lectures, and publications. Milestone events in the life of the project included sold out-concerts at the Kennedy Center, The Phillips Collection, Carnegie Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Temple of Dendur.

Julianna Woodill

Juliana Woodill is a choral director and National Board Certified Teacher in Fairfax County, VA. She grew up singing in the Orthodox Church and has participated in choirs since the age of 8. She received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Musical Theater from Westminster Choir College. She studied conducting with Dr. Joe Miller and sang with the Westminster Symphonic Choir under the baton of many conducting greats, including Christoph Eschenbach, Neeme Jarvi, Pierre Boulez, and Kurt Masur. During her time at Westminster, she conducted the choir at Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox mission in Princeton, NJ. She continues this work today as the choral director at the St. John Orthodox Mission Station in Fairfax, VA, and loves the opportunity to bring the musicianship and skills of the choral world into the church setting. Throughout the last year during pandemic she has spearheaded several national Orthodox virtual choir projects as both editor and conductor in addition to many virtual projects with her high school choirs.

Talia Maria Sheehan

Talia Maria Sheehan has been a professional vocalist and music instructor for over twenty years. Her musical background and performance experience is broad, including rock lead vocals, jazz and classical piano, operatic soprano, and folk and classical ensemble singing. She received her musical education at Westminster Choir College, where she sang in the Westminster Choir under the direction of Joseph Flummerfelt, and appeared with them on many of the great American stages. As a professional ensemble singer she has performed with Cappella Romana, the Grammy-nominated Saint Tikhon Choir, and the Grammy-nominated PaTRAM Institute Singers. She was recently a featured soloist with Bach in Baltimore concert series. Sheehan works at St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary in South Canaan, PA, and teaches voice, music theory, and liturgical music, and directs a children’s choir and a women’s choir. Talia and her husband, composer and conductor Benedict Sheehan, live on the grounds of St. Tikhon's with their seven daughters.

Bishop Daniel Findikyan

A native of Fort Worth, Texas (USA), Bishop (Michael) Daniel Findikyan is primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America and Professor of Liturgical Studies at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary in Armonk, NY. Prior to his election as Primate in May 2018 he served as Director of the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center of the Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern), New York. Bishop Daniel is a member of the brotherhood of the Holy See of Etchmiadzin. He earned his doctorate in Liturgical Studies from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, where he studied under the late Robert F. Taft. S.J. He previously earned the Master of Arts degree in Musicology from the City University of New York, and the Master of Divinity from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary and St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and books and served as the general editor of an innovative and acclaimed Divine Liturgy "pew book," used throughout the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America.

Timothy Patitsas

Timothy G. Patitsas is the Assistant Professor of Ethics at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA. He taught at the St. Nicholas Orthodox Seminary in Seoul, Korea, and at Marymount University in Arlington, VA, before joining the faculty in 2005. His dissertation, "The King Returns to His City: An Interpretation of the Great Week and Bright Week Cycle of the Orthodox Church," combined interests in organic order, liturgy, and the economic and political writings of Jane Jacobs. While his main current interest is the composition of an introduction to the mystical ethics of the Greek Orthodox tradition, he also continues research in epistemology, urban economics, and anthropology. For the past nine years, he has directed the St. Helen’s Pilgrimage, the study abroad program of Holy Cross in Constantinople, Greece, and on Mount Athos.

Mother Christophora

Mother Christophora is the third (and current) abbess of The Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City, PA. She was born into an Orthodox family in Pennsylvania and was very active in her parish as a child and young adult. Mother Christophora attended Penn State University and received a bachelor's degree in psychology. She then worked in the addictions field as a counselor and an administrator for seven years. Mother Christophora became a novice at Transfiguration monastery in 1983 and took her monastic vows in 1986. She was elected abbess and installed by Archbishop Nathaniel on August 6, 1987.

David Drillock

David Drillock is Professor of Liturgical Music, Emeritus of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, where he graduated as a student with a Master of Divinity degree in 1963. He also holds a B.A. from Columbia University, an S.M.M. from Union Theological Seminary and a D.S.M., honoris causa, from St. Vladimir's Seminary. A profoundly influential figure in North American Orthodox Christian liturgical music, Drillock has served as chair of the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Liturgical Music and Translations, authored numerous volumes of liturgical music, and directed several albums of Orthodox Christian choral music.

All Times Eastern






  June 2 June 3 June 4 June 5

10:30 AM


Opening Session

Pop-up Special Interest Presentation

Pop-up Special Interest Presentation

11:30 AM


Panel Discussion: Experts

Panel Discussion: Coaches

Masterclass/Boot Camp, part 5

12:30 PM


Panel Discussion: Experts (Cont'd)

Panel Discussion: Coaches (Cont'd)

Lunch w/
Virtual Social Time

1:00 PM


Lunch w/
Virtual Social Time

Lunch w/
Virtual Social Time

Lunch w/
Virtual Social Time (Cont'd)

1:30 PM


Lunch w/
Virtual Social Time (Cont'd)

Lunch w/
Virtual Social Time (Cont'd)

Masterclass/Boot Camp, part 6

2:00 PM


Masterclass/Boot Camp, part 1

Masterclass/Boot Camp, part 3

Masterclass/Boot Camp, part 6

2:30 PM


Masterclass/Boot Camp, part 1 (Cont'd)

Masterclass/Boot Camp, part 3


2:45 PM


Masterclass/Boot Camp, part 1 (Cont'd)

Masterclass/Boot Camp, part 3 (Cont'd)

Keynote Lecture: Mother Christophora

3:00 PM




Keynote Lecture: Mother Christophora 

3:15 PM


Masterclass/Boot Camp, part 2

Masterclass/Boot Camp, part 4

Keynote Lecture: Mother Christophora

4:15 PM




Closing Prayers

4:30 PM


Pop-up Presentation

Pop-up Presentation


5:30 PM


Dinner w/
Virtual Social Time

Dinner w/
Virtual Social Time


6:30 PM


Keynote Lecture:
Timothy Patitsas

Keynote Lecture: Bishop Daniel Findikyan


7:00 PM

Keynote Lecture: David Drillock

Keynote Lecture:
Timothy Patitsas

Keynote Lecture: Bishop Daniel Findikyan 


8:00 PM

Keynote Lecture: David Drillock 


8:30 PM