My Life in Church Music

Prof. David Drillock

St. Vladimir’s Summer Institute 2004

I grew up in Osceola Mills, a very small town in central Pennsylvania located midway between Penn State University and the Horseshoe Curve near Altoona. The church, St. Mary’s (Nativity of the Virgin), was one of the early churches brought over to Orthodoxy from Uniatism in 1893 by Father Alexis Toth, now canonized a saint. Subsequently, many of the priests assigned to this parish were trained in Russia. As a result, even though the parish had Uniate beginnings, it was not long after its conversion to Orthodoxy that the Russian liturgical tradition thoroughly replaced those liturgical practices that usually are associated with Uniate churches—the choir replaced the cantor, Bakhmetev and the works of the Russian choral masters replaced Carpatho-Russian chanting, and the epistle was usually read in the typical Russian style.

Throughout the first part of the twentieth century the parish also had a trained choir director who not only taught church singing but also basic catechism and the Russian language. The parish, in times both good and bad, always had a good church choir. Of course, singing was done in Church Slavonic, even though in the early fifties very few of the singers either spoke or understood Russian. Until I was a freshman in high school, I remember that all services were conducted in Church Slavonic—no English was used. In 1948 when my uncle died, in order to have some English at the burial service, a priest was invited from Ohio, the late Fr. Andrew Glagolev, who came for the burial service and offered a litany, some prayers, and the sermon in English.

This began to change when Fr. John Nehrebecki was assigned as the priest in 1951. I remember the first attempt to introduce English at the Liturgy. Fr. John chanted the petitions for the Little Litany in English, the choir responded in Church Slavonic. Two years later when Fr. Basil Buchovecky was the pastor, an attempt to introduce English singing met with this reaction. Again it was the Little Litany. Fr. Basil began the litany with the first petition Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord. There was silence. No response. Fr. Basil continued with the next petition, to which the choir responded Gospodi Pomilyui. Even though this attempt met with failure, Fr. Basil did not give up. He decided that on a particular Saturday morning at which no church services were scheduled, an all-English liturgy would be celebrated. The youth group would sing the responses. His wife, Ruth, was musical and taught us to sing the responses, using the English Divine Liturgy book written by Fr. Andrew Glagolev and published by the FROC. It was not too long after that first English Liturgy sung by our youth group that the choir began to sing in English. When I was a senior in high school, Fr. Macarius Targonsky was assigned as parish priest Fr. Targonsky had experience as a choir director and he appointed himself as teacher of the choir. Within a very short time, the choir was singing many more hymns of the Liturgy in English and had learned English music for a complete wedding service. During Fr. Nicholas Solak’s pastorate all services were totally done in English.

The difficult transition to the use of English in the Divine services was not unique to St. Mary’s in Osceola Mills. A Divine Liturgy music book in English, the work of Fr. Andrew Glagolev, was published by the Federated Russian Orthodox Clubs in 1948. I would like to read the complete introductory message written as a foreward to this book by Fr. Glagolev.

During the last few years, it is becoming more and more evident, with the departure of the founders and builders of our Russian Orthodox parishes in America from this life, that parochial responsibilities involving chorus participation, church reading and chanting, participation in administration, etc., are gradually coming into the hands of our American youth.

Our youth, having been educated in American schools, naturally know their secondary language, the Russian tongue, imperfectly. Thus many of them do not truly comprehend our church services, although the liturgical melodies are next to their hearts. For our youth grew up in the Church, singing in the church choir, and faithfully attending church services and the local parochial school. Yet we are now experiencing the inevitable trying time in our church life, when our American environment has necessitated the translation of parts of our church services into the English language.

Many such translations have been made, and I feel that it is not for us to praise or criticize them at this time. Every translator is right in his own way. However, up to this time, we possess no translation which would; 1) accurately fit Russian church melody, 2) be correct and conform with the official editions of our Liturgy and services in general.

With the official edition of the Divine Liturgy, (I speak of the accepted translation of Hapgood, in general) an attempt to accomplish points 1) and 2) has been discerned in this present volume; the melodies have been retained FULL Y. It is our hope that this volume of the DIVINE LITURGY of the Russian Orthodox Church in ENGLISH LANGUAGE may be beneficial as a handbook for our parochial schools in their work with Liturgical music (in the English language.)
Celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Divine Liturgy or singing chosen parts of it in English must, of course, be sanctioned by the local pastors of the various parishes. We can only advise the youth to consult with their pastor in this matter.
This present undertaking offers the less complex compositions, although there is an almost unlimited wealth of sacred music from which we can further profit in the future. We have ONLY BEGUN THIS WORK, and there is yet much to be done.

With the invoking of God’s blessing on you, the supporters of this work, we beseech you to remember those of our parents who still cherish dearly our Russian speech and Russian melodies. It will be as difficult for them to sacrifice our Russian lyrics as it is for you, the younger generation, to fully maintain them.
Having sacrificed language—let us retain our traditional melodies.

That wonderful introduction tells us much about the very careful approach taken by the church in introducing English in the Russian Orthodox Church. First, we notice the absence of any reference to a missionary perspective. The reason for the introduction of English is that the children of the Russian immigrants, being trained in American schools, are not capable of speaking, reading, or understanding the language of their parents and grandparents. Thus, we are now experiencing the inevitable trying time when our American environment has necessitated the use of English in our church services. And this introduction of English must be done very carefully, with the full blessing and cooperation of the local pastors.

The second point stressed by Fr. Glagolev concerns the adequacy of the English translations. Although there are many translations that have been undertaken, none so far adequately fits the Russian melodies and none so far is “correct and conforms with the official editions of our Liturgy.” In his book Fr. Glagolev has used the Hapgood translation for it has been accepted. In his musical arrangements Fr. Glagolev states that “the melodies have been retained FULLY.” He concludes with a plea—“having sacrificed language, let us retain or traditional melodies.”

In perusing the book, one finds included among the selections compositions of Fr. Andrew Glagolev. These are not traditional Russian melodies, but new church compositions by one of the first Orthodox church composers writing in English for liturgical use.

This was not the first such endeavor. In 1938 Fr. Michael Gelsinger, a priest of the Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese, published a small book, Orthodox Hymns in English, which contained forty-five hymns in English. Included in the collection were the hymns for the Liturgy and selected pieces to “encourage some participation in singing Vespers and Orthros.” These adaptations of Fr. Gelsinger were based on traditional Russian settings of the tones, simple settings by Russian composers such as Bortniansky, Arkhangelsky, Dvoretsky etc, and modifications of the Greek melodies of Sakellarides.

Then in 1946, Archpriest Joseph Havriliak, using the English translations of Archpriest Michael Gelsinger, privately printed an “Orthodox Missal for Priest and Choir in English.” The music for the Liturgy was composed by Fr. Havriliak and, as stated in the Preface, was the first attempt to present a complete setting for an Orthodox Mass (sic) to be sung in English.” This work was dedicated not only “to the present and future generations of American-born and English-speaking children and faithful converts in our holy Faith, but more especially to the young generation of priests and singers and choir directors through whose efforts...the number and fervency of our converts shall be increased.” The book was approved and authorized for use by Metropolitan Benjamin, the Patriarchal Exarch for the Americas. There is little indication that this private publication ever had a wide distribution or use.

In 1950 the Syrian Antiochian Archdiocese published “Three Divine Liturgies in Music” for use in the churches of that archdiocese. Metropolitan Antony Bashir, who later was to become a very strong advocate for Orthodox unity in America, strongly believed that if his parishes were to exist in America, they would have to adopt the English language as the official language in which services were celebrated. The publication of this book was instrumental in putting into action the metropolitan’s desire. The book is interesting for two reasons. All the music in the book was prepared and arranged for four-voices by an Orthodox friend of the Syrians, Professor Michael Hilko who was the choir director at St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church in Passaic, New Jersey. The first liturgy was in English and contained harmonizations by Professor Hilko. There were settings based on Byzantine melodies and Russian Bakhmetev tonal melodies. The Cherubic Hymn was Bortniasky’s Number 5. For the two Arabic liturgies that followed, Prof. Hilko was given the Arabic text in phoenetics and then someone sang the melodies to him. He reproduced them in western notation and then arranged them for four part harmony. Prof. Hilko’s music can still be heard in Antiochian churches. In fact, Fr. Lazor often remarks that he has to go to an Antiochian church to hear his favorite Russian church melodies.

In May, 1951, Bishop Fan Stylian Noli, of the Albanian Orthodox Church in America, published an “Eastern Orthodox Hymnal.” From the time he heard the Liturgy sung in the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City in 1907, he had the desire to introduce Russian church music to “any congregation within my reach.” The hymnal was intended to make this music available to “all the Orthodox Christians in America who sooner or later will have to conduct their services in English.” The music was rendered according to the rhythm of the old Slavonic text in order to fit the various settings by the Russian composers. Also included in the book were several Byzantine hymns which Bishop Noli translated from the Greek and then arranged in four-part harmony.

I have just referred to church music in English published in the late 40’s and early 50’s of the past century that were more or less sanctioned for use by hierarchs of various jurisdictions in America. During this same period there were a number of choir directors who were adapting the Russian church settings of hymns into English for use by their choirs at local Orthodox churches scattered throughout the United States. Among the most active were the Soroka brothers: Fathers Igor and Vladimir Soroka in western Pennsylvania and Fr. Leonard in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Luke Bakoota in Bridgeport, Connecticut; Deacon Dzubay in Minneapolis, and Fr. Dimitry Ressetar and his sons, John in Cleveland, Ohio and Daniel in eastern Pennsylvania; Fr. Boris Geeza in the military; Fr. Daniel Hubiak in Detroit, Michigan; and Fr. Sergei Glagolev in Encino, California, to mention just a few. Priests who had been formerly choir directors before ordination also were trying their hand at adapting Russian music to English. Many settings painfully struggled to keep the Russian meter and syllable count in tact. For example, it was not unusual to see the first antiphon at the Liturgy begin in this way: the Slavonic, Blagoslvi dushe moya gospoda (10 syllables). and the corresponding English: Bless the Lord and worship Him, O my soul (10 syllables). Or the setting of Nicholas Brill in Indiana for the response of the litany: Gospodi pomilyui (6 syllables): Lord our God have mercy (6 syllables). However, by and large the translations used were those found in the Service Book of Isabel Hapgood. It was not unusual during the late 40’s and early 50’s, when English was being introduced in parishes of the Russian “Metropolia” that two services would be celebrated on Sunday morning. The service of the typika, called by many as “Pro-liturgy” would be sung in English and then a second service, the Divine Liturgy, would follow, celebrated in Church Slavonic. In Minneapolis where there were two priests, as in the Cathedral on 2nd street, an early English liturgy would be followed by a Slavonic Liturgy.

Most Orthodox Christians in America know the name of Isabel Hapgood but very few know much about her life and activities. Let me say just a few words about this really great benefactor of American Orthodoxy.

Isabel Hapgood was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 21, 1850 to EnglishScottish parents. A graduate of the famous women’s school in Farmington, Connecticut, she was especially gifted at languages, having mastered French, Latin, German, and then after graduation Russian, Polish, and Church Slavonic. She engaged a Russian lady to achieve fluency in spoken Russian. Even before her first visit to Russia in 1887 she had already published several translations from Russian into English including works by Tolstoy and Gogol. Hapgood’s translations of Russian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and Polish literature appeared throughout the following years and almost up to the end of her life, including more works by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, a 16-volume edition of Turgenev’s Novels and stories, Gorky’s novels, Chekhov’s The Seagull, and Leskov’s Cathedral Folk.

When she first came to Russia in 1887 she already had a reputation as a translator of Russian literary works. This reputation opened the doors to important persons and institutions in the Slavic world. She made the acquaintance of poets, writers, painters, composers, conductors and choirmasters. She got to know the Procurator of the Holy Synod, Konstantine Pobedonovtsev as well as several members of the higher clergy. She received invitations to Imperial ceremonies. She even attended a royal ball at the Winter Palace and she with her mother spent an entire summer at Tolstoy’s estate, Yasnaya Polyana.

Isabel Hapgood returned to Russian almost annually after that first visit. She was especially attracted to church institutions and she would visit the great cathedrals, monasteries and parish churches where she would collect materials for future work. She became close friends with bishops, clergy and church musicians. After attending a weekday Vespers at St Sophia’s Cathedral in Kiev, where she was especially moved by the singing of the male and boy’s choir, she wrote:

I stood among the pillars, a little removed from the principal aisle, one afternoon, near sunset, listening to the melodious intoning of the priest, the soft chanting of the week-day choir at vespers ... That simple music, so perfectly fitted for church use, will bring the most callous into a devotional mood long before the end of the services.

As a result of this experience she wanted to make the services and the beauty of the Orthodox liturgy available in English. This she began to do back in the United States. Archbishop Nicholas, Russian Orthodox bishop of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, gave her a complete set of Church Slavonic books for her work. He was the first to see and to approve the arrangement of the services which she selected for her work. She worked eleven years on this project, during which time she received encouragement from Pobedonovtsev who had a sympathetic and practical interest in this endeavor. Much more important was the deep interest and practical advice that she received from Archbishop Tikhon during his appointment as head of the Russian Orthodox Mission to North America.

For her Service Book, Miss Hapgood used the church Slavonic texts as used by the Russian Orthodox Church at that time, often comparing them with the Greek. For the Scriptural readings she used the King James version of the Bible, and for the Psalms she used for the most part the book of Book of Common Prayer. Several places in the book were revised by the Cathedral priest, Father Alexander Hotovitzky, who was described by Isabel Hapgood as a “very able and thoroughly competent priest.” Even the Archbishop Tikhon made several revisions.

Financing for publication was received from several places. Archbishop Tikhon provided one thousand dollars from the Holy Synod. A two thousand dollar grant from the Russian Imperial Government was procured by the Russian Ambassador, Count Sergei Witte. St. Nicholas Cathedral covered the remaining costs by providing a loan of $6,000. For her work of eleven years, Miss Hapgood received an honorarium of $500. The Cathedral sold The Service Book for $4.00, with a twenty-five per cent discount for orders of ten or more copies.

The book was first published in 1906. A second edition was printed in 1922. Patriarch Tikhon sent this endorsement for this second addition: “Our Patriarchal Blessing be upon Our American flock, always so near to Our heart; and upon Our never-to-be-forgotten American friends, and unto you all. Our Patriarchal Blessing and prayerful greeting.”

As most of us are familiar with Miss Hapgood’s translations, I will not discuss the quality of them. Needless to say they were a significant improvement over earlier attempts such as the Rites and Ceremonies of the Greek Church in Russia, the work of John Glen King which was published in London in 1772, or the translations of the Horologion, the Oktoechos, and the General Menaion by the scholar, Nicholas Orloff, who occupied the chair of Professor of Russian at Oxford University. I can still remember Fr. Solak reading the troparia from Orloff’s translation of the Oktoechos at a Saturday Vigil in Manhattan. After we sang the 9th heirmos of Tone 7, Fr. Solak in a loud voice, started the troparion with Orloff’s translation: “Shut your mouths”; he never got to finish the rest of that troparion as all in the chapel couldn’t help but break out in a soft laughter…clearly, Hapgood’s translation was much better. After the second edition of 1922 was printed, six reprints of the Hapgood Service Book were issued by the Syrian Antiochian Archdiocese. Metropolitan Anthony Bashir, recommended her book and called it “an English-language classic of Orthodox church literature.”

Isabel Hapgood can be remembered not only for her translation of the Service Book. She was very interested in Russian Church music and was a real supporter of the church singing at St Nicholas Cathedral in New York City. Marina Ledkovsky wrote this about her endeavors in this area:

After the consecration of St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York in 1903, Hapgood was involved in organizing its choir. The generous financial backing of the great American philanthropist and admirer of Russian ecclesiastical music, Charles R. Crane, made it possible to invite the highly competent choirmaster, Ivan Timofeevich Gorokhov; Gorokhov came from Moscow, where he had been an assistant to Kastalsky at the Synodal Choir School. He brought with him six adult male singers; the boy voices came from the Russian colony in New York. At the insistence of Charles Crane, the choir was patterned on the famous Moscow Synodal Schoir, consisting of male voices only. Beginning in 1913, Hapgood assisted the choirmaster in the organization of public concerts, and her energetic support led to extraordinary success. She frequently accompanied the choir as a lecturer and publicized the group in magazines and newspapers. In her articles she expressed her wish for a strong foundation for the Orthodox Church in America through its “angelic” liturgical singing. This successful enterprise came to an end after the 1917 events, because the Holy Synod was no longer able to provide funds for its churches in America.

Although it was not until the 40’s that Orthodox music in English was published for specific use in the Orthodox Church, already at the end of the nineteenth century octavo editions of selected Russian church composers were being published for glee clubs, high school choruses and semi-professional oratorio societies. As early as 1891 The Lord’s Prayer from Tchaikovksy’s Liturgy was published by the G. Schirmer Music Company of Boston. At the beginning of the century representative works of almost every major Russian church composer were published in English by J. Fisher and Brother of New York, the Boston Music Company, and E. C. Schirmer Music Company of Boston, and G. Schirmer, Inc. of New York. School choruses used these for their concerts and Protestant, especially Episcopal, church choirs sang these selections as anthems at their worship services. However, there is very little indication that they were used for Orthodox church services. Many of the translations were quite inaccurate—some weren’t even translations but simply very liberal paraphrases of the original text. This is probably the main reason why were did not find acceptance and use by the Orthodox. Here is the text of the Cherubic Hymn as translated by Nathan Haskell Dole, set to the music of Mikhail Glinka, and published in 1927 by G. Shirmer.

Like glad Cherubim in heav’nly chorus, moulded fair in marv’lous form.

Who thrice holy songs and praises sing for aye to God, the blessed Trinity.

So we now far from our hearts do lay all our care,

ev’ry earth-born care from our hearts we lay.

Amen. We exalt the Lord of Creation, yea the Lord of Creation. Who reigneth high above the ranks of all the angels, unseen by keenest eyes of mortals. Halleluia, Halleluia, Halleluia.

I entered St. Vladimir’s in the fall of 1956, directly after completing high school. There were about six or seven students who were enrolled in college and seminary simultaneously. I was enrolled at Columbia College in New York City while living at the seminary and taking courses in both schools each semester. Little did I think that I would never leave St. Vladimir’s. That was the farthest thing from my mind. In fact, coming from such a small Pennsylvania town, I would count the days until my next break when I could leave New York City, which I called a concrete jungle, and return home to the country. But in the course of my student years this changed.

My memories of those very first years are very pleasant. I especially remember the warm, friendly relationship that we as seminarians had with our seminary professors. At that time the seminary did not have its own property but rented several apartments in Manhattan at 121 street and Broadway, directly across the street from Union Theological Seminary. It was not unusual for the professors who lived in that same apartment building to come into our apartments and simply talk to us in the evenings. We would also see them several times a day—in the elevator, on the street, at the grocery store—in addition to chapel services and lectures. The faculty was very close with the students. I think that was very good and beneficial to both students and faculty.

It was during the spring semester of my first year that I began to direct the seminary choir. Because our regular student director, John Kozak, was completing his studies at Columbia and had several evening courses, I would direct the choir at those services in his absence. Most of the daily services were sung in both English and Church Slavonic. The ordinary parts of the service, Gladsome Light, the Prokeimena, and the Litanies were sung in English. The propers, the changing parts of the services, the stichera on Lord I call, the Apostikha, and the Troparia, were mostly sung in Church Slavonic. Once a week the services were conducted in English and Greek, with the students of the Syrian Archdiocese, as it was called at that time, singing the responses in Byzantine chant.

For the most part, the music that was sung in English, was arranged by the former professor of church music at the seminary, Professor Leonid Troitsky. It would be fair to say that at that time it surely was not the seminary and its choir that had any kind of influence on the style of music that was being sung in our churches—just the opposite. It was a secular choir, the Don Cossack Choir and its very energetic director, Serge Jaroff that had a profound influence on the type of music selected and the way in which it was sung, or, as in many cases, tried to be sung, in so many churches of Slavic orientation. Serge Jaroff studied at the Moscow Synodal School of Church Singing and participated in the first public performance of Rachmaninoff’s Liturgy, which was sung by the Moscow Synodal Choir under Serge Danilin’s direction on November 25, 1910. Here is what Rachmaninoff wrote about that performance:

The Choir sang beautifully. For one number of the Liturgy, “We Praise Thee”, the whole Choir supplies a humming accompaniment for the solo of a boy soprano. At that performance the voice rang out in such crystalline, ethereal beauty against the rich, deep harmonies of the choral background that I experienced a moment of sheer delight. After the performance I asked to see the boy soloist. A shy, blushing lad was presented to me, and I patted him on the shoulder and thanked him for his exquisite singing. Years later, after a Berlin concert of the Don Cossacks, its very able conductor, Sergei Jaroff, was introduced to me and he said at once that he had already met me. I have a good memory for faces, but I could not recall him. “Where was it we met?” I asked, and he told me that he was the boy who had sung the soprano role in the Liturgy.

Not long after his graduation from the Moscow School, Jaroff, like so many others, joined the White Army and in 1920 we find him in a field near Istanbul in Turkey, where hungry Russian soldiers from the Don River Valley were encamped. Among the Cossack 6 foot giants was a small Cossack lieutenant, Serge Jaroff, considered by his enormous brothers too little to be of much use. One night it occurred to him that others might enjoy the choruses sung by his comrades who sang in the former regimental choirs. He selected the most impressive voices and wielded tenors, baritones, and basses into an ensemble. Within weeks he had a chorus of thirty men singing a repertoire assembled out of their capacious memories. Thus was born the Don Cossack Choir.

In the spring of 1921 they were shipped to a Greek island, Lemnos, where they sang with the Greek choir at the services held in the village church and gave open air concerts entertaining the occupying French and English troops. In 1923, after a concert given at Orthodox cathedral in Sophia, Bulgaria, one of the members of the congregation, a concert manager, sent them on their first tour. They traveled from continent to continent until 1939, when the Second World War broke out. All the members of the Chorus succeeded in escaping to America where they all became residents and received US citizenship. During the fall and winter of each year the choir would tour Europe, the spring would find them giving concerts in the United States, from the smallest of towns to the largest cities, and in summer they would be singing in the South American countries. They literally sang in every part of the world: Europe, Africa, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the North and South America. Overall, the group gave over 9,000 concerts.
In terms of conducting style, Jaroff wrote:

I feared that the choir would develop into a singing machine, so I tried to maintain a certain tension, with fine-tuning of familiar pieces and alterations of tempo. In this way I kept constant control, preventing the choir from falling into a set pattern.
OPEN TO ME THE DOORS OF REPENTANCE -Artemius Vedel’ (1772-1808)

This setting by Vedel was extremely popular and could be heard in many of our churches as a “concert number” sung at the Liturgy during the priest’s communion during the pre-Lenten and Lenten Sundays.

Especially when the seminary was located on Broadway in Manhattan, ordinations of students in the Russian “Metropolia” as the OCA was called, took place at the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral on East 2nd Street in New York City. The Cathedral Choir was under the direction of Nicholas Afonsky. Prior to coming to the United States, Nicholas Afonsky was the director of the Metropolitan Choir in Paris, France. Nicholas Afonsky came to the United States at the invitation of the OCA church in South River, New Jersey and in the early 50’s accepted the offer of the Cathedral to become its choral director. Afonsky was a masterful choral conductor whose taste, style, and interpretation of church singing was probably reflective of the old St. Petersburg School. As director of the Cathedral Choir his influence of taste and performance of church music in America in the 50’s and 60’s cannot be underestimated.

AUGMENTED LITANY: Afonsky - Cathedral Choir

Hearing that Litany, one can see how a typical Liturgy at the Cathedral lasted over three  hours, beginning at 10 and ending after 1 pm. That includes no communicants at the Sunday Eucharist. The fact that recordings of both the Don Cossack Chorus and the Cathedral Choir were available—Don Cossacks on the Decca label, the Cathedral Choir on the Westminster and Monitor labels—contributed much to the influence that these choirs had on the choir directors of our churches at that time.

When I arrived at the seminary in 1956, the professor of liturgical music at St. Vladimir’s was Boris Mikhailovitch Ledkovsky who was appointed to that position in 1952. Born in 1894, the son of Protopresbyter Michael Ledkovsky who was the Inspector (dean) at the Theological Seminary in Novo-Cherkassk, Boris Ledkovsky began his secondary education at the Novocherkassk Theological Seminary, where, as he wrote later “there were many useful courses in music for future choir conductors. Choral singing was taught so well that a musically gifted person graduated as an excellently trained choirmaster.”
Following graduation from secondary school Boris Ledkovsky enrolled at the Moscow Conservatory where he studied theory, composition, counterpoint and voice training. Among his professors were Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, who was the director of the Conservatory at that time, and Alexander Kastal’sky, the noted composer, choral director, and future director of the Moscow Synodal School of Church Music, located directly across the street from the Conservatory. Kastal’sky was also the choir director of the Uspenskii Cathedral located in the Kremlin. Ledkovsky possessed an extremely magnificent contra-bass voice and sang in the choirs directed by Kastal’sky. He often told me that it was Kastal’ sky and the Moscow Synodal School that had a great influence on his musical tastes, his church compositions, and his directing style.

Ledkovsky volunteered for service in the White Army and after its demobilization, he moved to Sophia, Bulgaria where he was appointed director at the Russian Embassy Church and then as director of the St Alexander Nevskii Cathedral Choir and simultaneously choirmaster at the Sophia State Opera. From 1937 until the beginning of the war in 1941, he toured all over Germany with his own male choir, the Black Sea Cossacks. Following the war he was conductor of the Berlin Resurrection Cathedral Choir and also toured Germany with his newly-founded mixed choir, simply called the “Russian Cathedral Choir.” Fleeing persecution in Berlin from the Soviets, he fled to the Western section in 1948 where he reorganized the “Black Sea Cossack Choir” and toured throughout Germany and the Scandinavian countries.

He and his family (wife and three children) arrived in America in 1951. In 1952 he was appointed choir director at the Synod Cathedral in New York City where the ruling primate was Metropolitan Anastassy In 1953 he joined the faculty of St. Vladimir’s Seminary as professor of liturgical music.

Professor Ledkovsky spoke very little English and in my second year of studies, in 1957, I became his assistant, helping with choir rehearsals and the first year course in church singing. As a choral director his manner of conducting was quite reserved and one might say, elegant. He never allowed himself to take liberties in front of the choir. He stood very erect, using a very narrow conducting plane, limiting his hand movements mostly to simple vertical “strokes,” keeping an extremely strict rhythm. Never did I see excessive swinging of arms, emotional gestures and other eccentricities often used by most choral “maestros.” His gestures were very limited and when used, quite refined. This style went hand in hand with the style of the music for which he became so well known. With our seminary choir he often became frustrated when we would sing “flat”—podnizhaet as he would repeat over and over. In order to keep us on pitch, he would often raise the pitch from one tone to tones higher than called for by the composition. Most of the time, at least according to his facial expressions, this “choral technique” worked. Of course, all of us were singing, standing on our tip toes with eyebrows raised. I sang baritone and I remember remarking after one concert that I sang half of the program in falsetto.

Professor Ledkovsky had a positive influence in changing the style of church singing in the Orthodox Churches in America. He was an ardent follower of the Moscow School of Music and strove first and foremost to purify choral singing from the popular compositions of the so-called Italian school of Russian church composers. This is what predominated in most of the churches following the Slavic musical tradition. Such compositions were overly elaborate musical settings which called attention to themselves by overemphasizing certain elements at the expense of others equally important. Often distorted were the meanings of words or phrases by the attempt to achieve an emotional musical effect. The works of the Russian composers who followed the “Italian” school (Vedel’, Deghtarev, Davydov, Turchaninov, Bortniansky, etc.) are adorned with arioso solos, bold or daring passages of extraordinary leaps or runs, trills, and grace notes; in general all of those vocal devices which gave the greatest possibilities for a vocal soloist to display his or her beautiful, voluminous, and cultivated voice. Such works greatly encouraged a subjective interpretation. The religious idea was certainly animated but the required correspondence of text to music was clearly lacking.

The archpriest Dmitry Razuvmovsky summed up the works of such composers in this way: “Not one of these works proved to be perlect and edifying in a church sense, because in each work the music predominates over the text, most often not at all expressing its meaning.” It is quite surprising that even today many of the works of such composers have not only survived but still can be heard on any given Sunday in the cathedrals and city churches throughout Russia today. Even though Kastal’sky and the other composers associated with the Moscow Synodal School wrote compositions quite different from those referred to above, many Russian choir directors in America refused to sing the works of Kastal’sky because he, after the close of the School, became an employee of the Bolshevik government, devoting the rest of his life to folk songs and the so-called “work” songs for the proletariat.

In his compositions, Boris Ledkovsky attempted to convey what he so often referred to as “tserkovnost’”, i.e, churchly. And, like the teachers of the Moscow Synodal School, Ledkovksy believed that such “tserkovnost’” can be found in the old Russian chants. Like his teacher Kastal’sky, Ledkovsky helped to establish a new tradition here in America in church music by returning to the indigenous Russian church unison melodies and using those melodies as the basis for the composing of church music, very much in the way that western composers used the Gregorian chant melodies as cantus firrni for their polyphonic compositions. However, here Ledkovsky was also influenced by Ivan Gardner, who maintained that the church chants are the “canonical” melodies that are acceptable for use in church and these follow more stringent rules regarding text and music. At no time should music predominate over text. Repetition of words, not found in the chant settings, distorts the meaning of the text and should not be tolerated. In his harmonized settings of church chants, Ledkovsky followed such precepts.
Ledkovsky composed his own All-Night Vigil, replacing Bakhmetev and taking as his basis for his arrangements the Znamenny and Kievan tonal chants. His tonal melodies for stikhera were arranged in close harmony, thus making them accessible for performance by small church choirs, even limited to four singers. In his “Obikhod” he preserved the original chant melody. He also subordinated the musical measure to the text and made every attempt not to sacrifice the sense or stress in a word or phrase in order to accommodate the musical measure. This fundamental church rule was neglected by Russian composers too frequently in the last two centuries in which the sacred texts were frequently sacrificed to the rhythm and dramatic melodic harmonizations of the music. Ledkovsky’s “Obikhod” was published in 1959 and selections from it became a regular feature of the seminary’s choral repertoire. It also was the standard for the Vigil heard weekly at the Synodal Cathedral in New York City, although Professor Ledkovsky often complained to me that Metropolitan Anastassy liked Bortniansky and, even though he felt that Bortniansky music was not good “tserkovnaya muzyka” (church music), he felt obliged to sing it in order to please the metropolitan. We now hear a recording of the Synodal Choir directed by Ledkovsky as it sings his arrangement of “Blessed is the Man,” Kievan chant.

BLESSED IS THE MAN - Kievan Chant, B. Ledkovsky, Synodal Choir

The seminary male choir gave several concerts of liturgical music in the late 50’s and early 60’s with Boris Ledkovksy directing. It is truly amazing how he was able to bring the level of the choir’s singing to the point that it could give concerts. Because of the style of singing and of Ledkovsky’s strong beliefs that church music must be “churchly,” oftentimes the comments heard from those who attended such concerts ranged from “Everything sounded the same”; “Why don’t you select numbers that are different?”; or “It was like a two-hour church service.” Those who understood music and could appreciate good choral singing often commented on the blend of the choir. This is what pleased Professor Ledkovksy the most—individual voices were not displayed; it was as though one voice was singing in four parts.

In 1961 the first recording by the seminary choir was produced. Boris Ledkovsky directed and, for the most part, the selections were settings of chant done by Ledkovsky plus a few of his own compositions.

GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST - Znamenny Chant, B. Ledkovsky, SVS Male Choir

In 1961 Fr. John Meyendorff encouraged me to study on a more serious level the history of Orthodox church music and introduced me to Prof. Milos Velimirovic, a Serbian Orthodox professor at Yale University who was giving a course on Byzantine music. I traveled to New Haven every other week, took the course on Byzantine music, and then would spend the afternoon meeting with Prof. Velimirovic in his office. Over tea we would discuss many aspects of Orthodox church music. He would tutor me in the history of this music and I would explain to him the structure and the meaning of the liturgical services, of which he had little knowledge or understanding. It was Prof. Velimirovic who guided me in my thesis on the early Slavic kondakaria from which sprang my real thirst to delve much deeper into the old Russian chant and the scholarly studies on this music done by Russian musicologists at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries.

I might take this opportunity to mention two other musicologists who I have been fortunate to have met during my younger days at the seminary, both of whom were friends of Professor Boris Ledkovsky and who were admirers of his compositional talents.

I met Professor Alfred Swan in the late 1950’s at a lecture which he presented at the then St. Seraphim’s Church in Upper Manhattan. Swan, a British-born musicologist who taught at Swarthmore and Haverford Colleges, spent his life studying the old Russian chants and the Russian folk-songs and in his compositions used harmonizations that were drawn from the intonations of the village folk-singers. His ideas concerning the relationship of the two are contained in his book, Russian Music and its Sources in Chant and Folk-Song, published posthumously in 1973.

I met Dr. Johann von Gardner (1898-1983), eminent Russian-born musicologist, in 1965 when Barbara and I visited my brother who was in the military and stationed in Germany. He held the chair of Russian Liturgical Music at the University of Munich and I had the pleasure of spending one afternoon in his apartment discussing Russian chant. The author of two scholarly books and over 300 articles on liturgical music, Gardner was especially as well as several major scholarly books. Gardner was especially fond of Ledkovsky and dedicated his original composition of the Beatitudes to him and the St. Vladimir’s Seminary Choir.

It was in the summer of 1956, two months before I came to seminary, that Fr. Georges Florovsky had just left St Vladimir’s and began to teach at Harvard. He was replaced by Fr Alexander Schmemann who was appointed as vice-dean of the seminary. Fr. Schmemann was truly a remarkable man and an exceptional leader. I can still remember the lectures given by Fr. Schmemann. There was nothing more exciting than going to one of his church history lectures—it was almost like going to the movies. He made ancient church history come alive. All of our professors, Fathers Schmemann and Meyendorff and Professors Verhovskoy, Kesich, Arseniev, Bogolepov, etc. were able to convey to us not only their knowledge but their deep conviction that Orthodoxy was not a treasure that was to be just preserved but that it was a power, a force that should be taught and preached to the modem world. Because of their commitment and zeal one couldn’t help but feel that our teachers were in touch with God, and they were able to convey that sort of holy relationship to us.

I completed my first year at St Vladimir’s without incident and when I returned after my first summer break, I was asked to be the student director of the seminary choir. Of course, they really had no other choice. Even though I had very little experience, both FI. Schmemann and Professor Verhovsky who served as dean of students, expressed confidence that I could do the job and promised to give me as much help as possible. And when I said that I would want to sing English as much as possible and that I wanted all students to sing in the choir and participate in the Lenten Sunday visits to parishes, they agreed to support me in these efforts. I still remember the night before our first parish visit. I don’t think I slept for five minutes, as throughout the entire night I was giving pitches to myself and “worrying” about all sorts of possible breakdowns by the tenors, baritones, and basses. I became very close to Professor Ledkovsky and can remember so vividly how, when I would excitedly show him some piece of music that I had heard and was asking him why we shouldn’t sing it, he would look at me, shake his head, and simply reply, “Ny, David, eto ne tserkovno” (But, David, this is not churchly).

In 1959 the Seminary inaugurated a special program for the training of psalm readers and choir directors. This program was certified by the New York State Board of Regents. We have the first graduate of that program, Michael Pilat, here as a participant at this year’s institute.

In 1962, just before the seminary was getting ready to move to Crestwood, a second recording was released by the choir, this time, however, I directed and the bulk of the recording was the music in English for Great Vespers.

BLESS THE LORD -- Kievan Chant, B. Ledkovsky, arr. Drillock

During my latter years as a student there were two issues of musical interpretation which occupied many of my thoughts and discussions with Professor Ledkovsky—blend and tempo. Ledkovsky went to great pains attempting to achieve what he would call a “church blend,” a sound that would not draw the worshipper’s attention to either the music or the voices that were executing the music. This led one opera singer to comment that there is no identifiable “sound” of the choir—all the voices are so hushed that it deprives the singer of singing in a “natural” way, thus the sound produced by the seminary choir is unnatural and not at all beautiful. In the late fifties a patron of Russian church music, Ladd Johnson, visited the seminary and insisted that I listen to a recording of a choir from Russia. That recording was the All-Night Vigil of Sergei Rachmaninoff, sung by the USSR Academic Russian Choir under the direction of Alexander Sveshnikov, a People’s Artist of the USSR. I was simply infatuated with that recording and from that day on I knew what kind of choral blend on which to set my sights.

BOGORODITSE DEVO – S. Rachmaninov, Alexander Sveshnikov, dir.

It was through a recording that my question regarding appropriate tempo for church singing was resolved. The choir of Petyr Pyotrozhinsky of the Synod Church in Paris had issued a recording of the Saturday Vigil. The selections were very simply, probably the same music that was sung by the ordinary choir at the weekly Saturday Vigils. I was particularly taken aback by the way the choir sang “From my youth.” The tempo in contrast with what was heard in our American churches would have to be called “faster than fast.” And yet when I listened to the recording I was amazed how clearly the words were executed—every syllable could easily be understood. Even at that time when the seminary choir sang in what I would call a slow to moderate tempo, students upon hearing the choir for the first time would complain that we are singing too fast and it is impious—not conducive to prayer. I think that it was this recording that enabled me to work at singing a bit faster and giving more attention to clear pronunciation.

FROM MY YOUTH - Valaam Chant, P. Potorjinsky

One of Professor Verhovskoy’s responsibilities as dean of students was to make sure that all of us students were in our rooms by 11 pm. Many times he would come to the apartment around 10 pm and spend the hour until 11 talking to us in a most informal way. He would speak mostly about “feology” but at times he would also talk about his experiences as a student at St. Sergius Institute in Paris, France. When he would speak with me, he often spoke about music. He once told me of his experiences as a bass singer in the choir and with real delight told of how one vacation period the student choir at St Sergius went on tour, singing at the services and presenting concerts in Orthodox churches throughout Western Europe. I would like to play a recording of the stikheron apostikha for the Sunday before Christmas, House of Ephratha, sung by the St. Sergius Institute choir, Michael Ossorguine as canonarch. This is especially interesting in view of the fact that this Institute is devoting sessions to the Slavic podoben melodies.

O HOUSE OF EPHRATHA - St Sergius Institute Choir,  M. Ossorguine (1956)

Professor Verhovskoy’s story about that vacation tour of the St. Sergius choir came back to me in January of 1961 when I got together eight students to give a short program of music at St. Seraphim’s Church in Manhattan. As it was during the winter break, only a few students were at the seminary, mostly those who were simultaneously enrolled in college. After the program, on our way back to the seminary, we remarked how well we sounded and the idea of a tour throughout America came to my mind. The next day I spoke with Professor Verhovskoy and Fr. Schmemann about this. The result was the organization of the first summer octet. Fr. Alexander making calls to priests according to an itinerary that Alexander Doumouras and I put together. Fr. Doumouras was the economos, Fr. Hopko the preacher, Oleg Olas the driver, etc. {Fr. Lazor and Kucynda, Fr Hopko and Alexander Doumouras, Stephen Kopestonsky and Oleg Olas, Peter Tutko and I as director and leader. That summer of 1962 the Octet from St. Vladimir’s Seminary visited some 80 parishes throughout the United States, going as far west as Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The following summer a second Octet traveled to the west coast. The Octets were instrumental for several reasons: 1) public relations 2) student recruitment 3) fund raising and 4) promoting liturgical music done well in English in a style that was more conducive to worship than the concert stage. Each Octet also transported with them a bookstore of materials—books, records, icons—that were little known to thousands of Orthodox and non-Orthodox who attended the services and concerts given at local churches by the Summer Octet.

Already as a result of the annual Lenten visits to parishes on the east coast and the annual concerts which we gave in New York City, and especially by the lectures given by Fr. Alexander throughout the entire country in churches and college campuses, an awareness that liturgical worship and church singing were not only vestiges of an “ancient, colorful rite” but something that was relevant and meaningful to contemporary life was beginning to take hold.

Then, in 1964 a recording of the Divine Liturgy in English with Prof Ledkovsky directing was made. The choir was recognized, as one reviewer for the New York Times put it, as “almost a professional chorus” and among church people, it was known not only for its “prayerful” renditions of church music but also as the choir most responsible in America for arousing interest in the ancient liturgical chants of the Russian Orthodox Church.

TROPARION - Tone 4, Greek Chant, B. Ledkovsky (in English) SVS Male Choir

At this time Prof. Ledkovsky’s work at St. Vladimir’s was limited to one rehearsal a week. He also continued to compose music for the choir, which Professor Drillock would adapt to English. He was commissioned by the school to write a “Vespers,” which in turn was adapted for English and published by St. Vladimir’s in 1976. Prof. Ledkovsky never saw the published work as he died in 1975.

Father Alexander’s reputation for his work in liturgical theology and in articulating a vision for Orthodox worship in America was becoming more and more widespread. As one alumnus priest has written:

Many liturgical practices that we in the Orthodox Church in America have come to regard as “everyday” were, in fact, not common here prior to Fr. Alexander. The practice of frequent communion, evening Presanctified Liturgies, General Confession, and the reading aloud of the Eucharistic Prayers have become the norm in many parishes. Other practices, such as Baptismal Liturgies, are still in development.

Fr. Alexander did not consider himself a “liturgical innovator,” he neither created or improvised a liturgical theology, What he strongly believed in, and this can be found over and over again in so many of his writings, was that the most clearly accessible expression of the Orthodox faith and its teachings can be found in its liturgical life, and that it is in worship, in Orthodox liturgy, that the real purpose of man’s existence is being revealed.

Perhaps what most people do not realize is how much Fr. Alexander knew and appreciated church singing, He was familiar with most of the so-called classics of Russian church composers and especially looked forward to hearing Turchaninov’s Vercheri Tvoeya” (Of Thy Mystical Supper) of Holy Thursday, Tebe Odeyushagocya of Holy Friday and Da Molchit (Let all mortal flesh keep silent) of Holy Saturday. It was always amusing to hear him give the pitch to the clergy to sing “Come let us worship” at the Liturgy and then begin on a different pitch from what he gave. But on a more serious note, he would often speak about the importance of hymnology in Orthodox worship and how our hymns were the “key” to knowing and understanding the theology of the church. This is how Fr. Schmemann expressed it in his memoirs:

Bright Tuesday, May 1, 1973. Pascha. Holy Week. Essentially, bright days such as are needed. And truly that is all that is needed. I am convinced that if people would really hear Holy Week, Pascha, the Resurrection, Pentecost, the Dormition, there would be no need for theology. All of theology is there. All that is needed for one’s spirit, heart, mind and soul. How could people spend centuries discussing justification and redemption? It is all in these services. Not only is it revealed, it simply flows in one’s heart and mind. The more I live, the more I am convinced that most people love something else and expect something else from religion and in religion.

We read how much he enjoyed the singing.

Monday, April 16, 1973. I remember the Akathist on Friday evening and the Liturgy on Saturday. While we were having communion in the altar, the choir was singing “Hail, Mary, whose joy is radiant.” The choir sang beautifully and the whole service was like rain on my heart after a drought.

But perhaps nothing more sums up Fr. Alexander’s love for liturgical worship and the interrelationship between the theology and the hymnology. Father Alexander Schmemann gives a vivid description of the power that song in worship had on his own personal experience of faith. He wrote:

Thousands of theological and philosophical books have been written about faith, and indeed, there are rational and scientific principles which apply....But no step by step explanation can match the vigil on the eve of the Annunciation when finally, after the service’s lengthy development, the long awaited hymn “With the voice of the archangel we cry to Thee, O pure one” is sung. At that moment the whole world, with all its suffering and torment, with all its weariness and evil, with its jealousy, pettiness, and emptiness, suddenly is purified and begins to radiate a Spring that is truly beyond this world. Is this just emotionalism, is it some kind of mental breakdown or self-hypnosis? No, human beings have forgotten the truth about the world, about life, about human nature, about the soul’s purity and its first-created purpose. But at that moment, the truth breaks through, and suddenly we know once again that it is possible to breathe openly and fill our lungs with the pure air of heaven, of spirit, of love. In that moment, and others like it, something is revealed which impels me to say with boundless conviction: yes, this is truth, this is beauty, and nothing on earth compares to it. In that moment, I know that heaven has descended to earth, and that the soul has found what it has thirsted for and sought so blindly and painfully.

It was with the purpose of relating Orthodox liturgical theology with Orthodox practice that the first summer Institute of Liturgical Music and Pastoral Practice was organized by the Seminary in 1978. I remember planning the program together with Fr. Schmemann and Fr. Glagolev whom we co-opted to organize this first summer Institute. The Summer Institute has been held continuously for 27 years and has brought almost two thousand of Orthodox pastors, choir directors, singers, and lay persons interested in theology to the seminary campus for one week of intensive study, prayer, and fellowship. The Institute has given the seminary an opportunity to present its understanding of the relationship between music and theology, especially liturgical theology, to not only seminarians enrolled at the school but to a much wider population, the choir directors and singers who are actually responsible for the music as it is sung in our churches.

In 1970 the teaching of Byzantine music was added to the seminary’s curriculum and four years later two courses in Serbian church chant. Fr. Sergei Glagolev was added to the faculty as a teacher of composition. Mark Bailey replaced Fr. Sergei when he had to retire because of illness. Mrs. Erickson joined the faculty as a teacher of conducting and lecturer in the history of Byzantine music and notation. Conducting courses were regularly offered in the evening as part of the extension program and many laypersons interested in becoming choir directors enrolled in these courses. As a result of these additions, in 1985 the Board of Regents gave the seminary the right to offer the degree of Master of Arts to those students who successfully completed the music program.

At the time when the seminary inaugurated the Summer Institute, the use of English as the language of worship was no longer a major issue. Two themes that I think have been particularly emphasized in the Institute’s music section over the years relate to the role of the choir and the singer in liturgical prayer and the form and function of the components of liturgical worship and their implications for church music.

The music faculty of the Institute have continuously emphasized that the singers have a specific liturgical function. Along with the bishop, the priest, the deacon, and the reader, the singer is a co-minister at the liturgy. Singers are not present just for the sake of replacing the congregation in singing hymns or, as one theologian has put it, for “praying” on behalf of the congregation. They are leaders of the congregation and, as indicated in the rite of the ordination of a chanter, they have a teaching responsibility. It is unfortunate that in the 17th century in southwestern Rus’ upstairs galleries were constructed over the western entrance to the Orthodox churches for the purpose of placing the choirs in these balconies, in imitation of the western practice. The change in the physical place of the choir—from the kliros located in front of the ikonostasis to the upstairs balcony in the rear of the church—emphasized the change in the understanding of the choir director and the singer, from that of a leader and teacher of the congregation to that of a musical performer for the enhancement of the service.

Almost all institutes have included lectures for the music participants devoted to the various components of our liturgy. There are differences of both form and function of the litany, the Cherubic Hymn, the troparion, the stikheron, and psalmody which have implications in their corresponding musical form, style, and manner of performance.

In order to encourage the “restoration” of Orthodox liturgical services in parishes, a program was put in place consisting of the following: Fr. Alexander energetically spent as much time as he could teaching, preaching and publishing—regular articles in St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, the pamphlet Holy Week, and the books Introduction to Liturgical Theology, Great Lent, Of Water and the Spirit, the Eucharist, etc. Together with Fr. Alexander’s writings, the seminary’s press undertook the publication of liturgical music books and the recording of music for such services.

Not many people today remember the time when Holy Saturday was the day on which priests made house to house calls blessing Easter baskets. That wonderful service that Fr. Alexander referred to as the climax of the liturgical year was little known. In order to make better known the wonderful music of that service and to encourage its restoration in the parish cycle of holy week services, the seminary male choir made a recording of selected hymns—Great and Holy Saturday, Orthodox Liturgical Music. At the same time work began on the publication of a series of music books for the Lenten and Holy Week season. In 1972 the sixth recording of music sung by the seminary choir, The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts was released. The following year, 1973, SVS Press released Holy Week, Volume 1, The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Then in 1977 the seminary choir produced its next recording, Pascha and in 1980 SVS Press released the Pascha music book. Holy Week, Volume 2 was released in 1983. These were cooperative endeavors in which I was greatly assisted by both John and Helen Erickson and so many students who had musical abilities—student directors of the choir, composers, and singersjust interested in helping to provide the church with liturgical music in English.

THE ANGEL CRIED - Balakirev, arr. Erickson, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Male Choir

It was that recording and its inclusion in the Pascha book that has contributed to its very widespread use in so many of our Orthodox churches to this day. In the fall of 1978 a mixed choir was organized at the seminary consisting of some 80 singers, students of the seminary and alumni from the metropolitan New York area. Called St. Vladimir’s Liturgical Chorale, this group produced two recordings; Orthodox Hymns of Christmas which was recorded in 1979 and The Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church which was produced in 1982. All of the selections recorded in this second recording were included in the music book, The Divine Liturgy, which was printed and released by the Press in that same year, 1982.

WE MAGNIFY - B. Ledkovsky, arr. Drillock, St Vladimir’s Liturgical Chorale

I would like to conclude my presentation with a few closing remarks. Over the past fifty years there has been quite a transformation in the Orthodox Church worship here in America. And I feel that I have been most fortunate with the role that God has given me at St. Vladimir’s. There is no doubt that the Seminary is a busy. However, all of the activity that has taken place here has only one purpose, one goal—to serve the Church. This is why the Chapel is in fact the center, the heart of the seminary. It is here that we gather daily to offer our work to Christ and to give thanks for all that He has given to us. And God truly has given us so much for which to be grateful.

So many times alumni when asked what they remember most about seminary life answer that it is the chapel and the liturgical services that they not only remember the most but also miss the most. The services of Holy Week and Pascha, the baptism of a new-born child, the marriage of a student, the ordination of a deacon, a priest, and the burial of a dear professor ... these will be the memories that I will cherish the most.