Dr. Danica S. Petrović is a Serbian musicologist, and graduate of the Belgrade Academy of Music and assistant at the Institute of Musicology at the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Belgrade. She studied in Oxford with Egon Wellesz and earned the doctorate from the University of Ljubljana in 1980, with a dissertation on Oktōēchos in the musical tradition of southern Slavs. She was professor of music history at the University of Arts, Novi Sad (1993-2010). From 2001 to her retirement in 2012 she was the director of the Institute of Musicology of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Dr. Petrović’s musicological interests include Slavonic music manuscripts of the 15th to the 19th centuries, Greek-Slavonic and Russian-Serbian cultural links in the 18th century, and links between Serbian music and European musical traditions of the 19th century. Her research has demonstrated the continuity of Serbian music from late medieval times to the present. She has contributed to the complete edition of Stevan Mokranjac’s works, prepared editions of Traditional Serbian Orthodox Church Singing written down by Nenad Barački and Tihomir Ostojić and has been working on the critical edition of the Complete works of Kornelije Stanković.

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An Interview with Dr. Danica Petrovic from Belgrade, Serbia

1. What attracted you to Orthodox musical culture?

It was my mother’s religiosity, life in an Orthodox family and my early interest in medieval history and art. It was the base foundation from which I was attracted to the study of Church music, particularly Orthodox Church music.

2. Your work as a musicologist focuses on Serbian chant and choral music, and much of your work focuses on the 15th-19th Centuries. What did you find most fascinating to study in these areas?

I was born in Yugoslavia, just after the Second World War, so I spent half of my life in the communist state with strong atheist ideology in which church music, particularly Orthodox Church music, was not welcome.

In my elementary and middle music school in Belgrade, we learned about Western European music history, about different music forms and styles. We analyzed and wrote canons, motets, even knew by heart the parts of Latin Mass–but we learned nothing at all about Orthodox Liturgy or about orthodox liturgical music.

Even today you are not able to study specifically church music at any of music schools or academies in Serbia. Traditional Serbian Church Chant is studied in some detail only in Orthodox Seminaries.

The interest in Orthodox Medieval music was brought to Serbia from England, specifically from the University of Oxford where Kosta Manojlovic, during the First World War, arrived to study music. He returned to Serbia after the war and started, with great enthusiasm, to look for medieval music manuscripts with Byzantine neumes in Serbian monasteries and libraries.

Unfortunately, he found only two sources, one from the 15th Century in the National Library in Belgrade and the other from the 18th Century in the Monastery of Dečani. The first one contained two hymns written in Church Slavonic and Greek language by “kyr Stephan the Serb”, and it was the earliest piece of music written down by someone who signed his name as “the Serb.” Manojlovic knew this was music, but he could not read the notation that was used to write it down. It was only after the Second World War thirty years later that Dimitrije Stefanović, a young musicologist from Belgrade who had studied with Egon Wellesz at the University of Oxford, transcribed two hymns composed by kyr Stephan into modern notation and had them performed (1960). So, the beginning of written music in Serbian history was extended from the 19th to the 15th century.

When I started to work with prof. Stefanovic at the Institute of Musicology in Belgrade (1970), my question was: what has happened with the liturgical music of the Serbian Orthodox Church during the turbulent history since the 15th century?

3. You have examined the ties between the musical traditions of Serbia and Russia, and with the West. What, for you, is different about performing Orthodox Church music vs. Western Classical music and, in particular, Western sacred music?

These are two different questions!

At first we have to know that Serbian and Russian liturgical music traditions, although they both originate from the Byzantine sources, developed at a geographically great distance and under very different historical circumstances.

The Christian Mission of two Greek brothers from Byzantium–St. Cyril and St. Methodius in the last quarter of the 9th Century–had a fundamental importance for the Southern Slavs (Bulgarians & Serbs).

Russians received Christianity also from Byzantium, a century later, at the end of the 10th Century. They accepted Cyrilo-Methodian traditions–Glagolitic and Cyrillic letters, translations of liturgical books into the Old Slavonic language, and the main liturgical services. Starting from that unique tradition, they would develop through the centuries their specific liturgical practice, hagiography, hymnography, church architecture, painting and liturgical music.

Western church music developed over the centuries adapting to different stylistic periods. With time the differences between concert and church music, including the performance styles, grew. We can see a similar pattern in Russia and the Ukraine in the 18th Century. In the Balkans this process only started to happen in the 20th Century, especially during the interwar period (1920’s and 1930’s).

The knowledge of and the exposure to the western music influenced primarily the composers who built their work on the modern stylistic elements. This, however, took them further away from the live church services, a process that we can witness to this day.

4. Historically, what have you found to be the role of the Orthodox Church musician and the church choir, both in Serbia, other Slavic countries, and in the diaspora? Do you think these Slavic cultures view the church musician and the church choir similarly or differently?

It would be very difficult, even impossible, for me to include in this answer all other Slavic (and other Orthodox) countries. These countries and churches have vastly different histories, developed under different cultural and/or political influences, and are currently living under different circumstances. I will, therefore, limit my answer to what I know the best, the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Church Choirs and harmonized church music appeared for the first time among the Serbs in the 1840’s and 1850’s. This was an important part of the process of urbanization and the appearance of the urban middle class. The first Serbian Church choirs were established in several towns of the Habsburg Lands (Austro-Hungary) (Pančevo, Novi Sad, Petrinja, Arad, Temišvar, Pešta, Trieste, Kotor, and in Belgrade in the Principality of Serbia since 1853). Only three of the here-mentioned towns are in Serbia today! The Serbian choirs in Austro-Hungary were exclusively tied to the Serbian Church and its activities, although they did perform some secular music as well. On the other hand, in the Principality (later Kingdom) of Serbia, the choirs were founded as the secular singing societies, who also sang at the church services.

5. How do you view the role of composed music, in some instances what could be called “concert music,” in the liturgy, as opposed to the role of chant-based singing, either by a chanter or an ensemble?

Composed, concert, liturgical music has existed in the western traditions for centuries. It has been a part of some Orthodox traditions (Russia and the Ukraine) since the beginning of the 18th Century as well. In the Serbian milieu it started to develop only in the last decades of the 20th Century. The choral music of the Serbian 19th Century composers, as well as the music of numerous composers who worked in the first half of the 20th Century, was fully suited for liturgical use. The development of music education and music as art in general often took composers to new frontiers of creativity and often takes them away from the content, order (flow), and even the purpose and meaning of the liturgy.

6. A major focus of your work emphasizes the life, career, music, and accomplishments of Stevan Mokranjac, describing him as a pioneer of Serbian music. How has he influenced Serbian Orthodox music, and what influence does he have regarding Serbian Orthodox music in America?

The pioneer of the Serbian liturgical music was Kornelije Stanković (1831-1865) –member of the Serbian community in the Habsburg Lands. He was born in a well-to-do Serbian in Buda (part of today’s Budapest) and educated in Vienna. He was introduced to Orthodox choral music at the chapel of the Russian imperial legation (embassy) in Vienna. With the support of the Metropolitan of Karlovci, Josif Rajačić, and the Metropolitan of Serbia, Mihailo, he started the first systematic effort to write down the broad repertoire of the traditional Serbian church chant. I am currently on a project to publish Stankovic’s exceptionally fertile work (over 2000 pages). The largest number of the church chant melodies (hymns) that he wrote down, he also harmonized for a four-part choir.

An important next step in the similar type of work was done at the end of the 19th century by Stevan Mokranjac (1856-1914); born in eastern Serbia, he studied in Belgrade, Munich, Rome and Leipzig. Mokranjac was also an exceptionally important ethnomusicologist (transcriber), chanter, and music teacher. He put a great deal of effort into improving musical literacy of the seminarians and to create a simplified, cleaner melodic line in the church chant melodies. He was able to recognize and express through chords the inner harmonic character of the church chant melodies. The choral music of Stevan Mokranjac remains to this day some of the best music written in Serbian, and one could even say Orthodox, music tradition.

7. What is your impression of the church composer in today’s Serbian and American societies? How did composers of church music function within the Church in the past and is it possible to maintain that relationship in the Church today?

It is difficult to compare a large and varied Orthodox population in the USA, with a small Balkan nation with a long history, situated at the ‘global’ geopolitical crossroads, which often spells conflicts, over many centuries. The modern world changes at an astounding pace, while the traditionalism of the Orthodox churches strives to preserves the inherited; the question that of course gets asked is whether this leads to loss of communication with the contemporary society.

If the modern composers want to tie a part of their work to the liturgical music, it needs to be done in collaboration with the clergy, who would be able to instruct them in the better understanding of the liturgy, meanings and symbolism of certain rites, feasts and specific texts.

8. Generally speaking, what is your impression of Serbian Orthodox music here in America?

I don’t have enough current information to be able to give you a well-informed opinion about the general state of Serbian Orthodox music in the US. At the time (in the interwar period) when most of the choirs in the US were founded it was not easy to obtain music publications from Serbia. After the Second World War these links were almost completely absent for a long time, while the Orthodox music back in the ‘old/home country’ was neither popular nor performed nor published. Serbian parishes in the US continued to use the material they had obtained before, but also the works of Russian composers. An additional challenge was that there were no professional musicians among those early 20th century immigrants. I have had the opportunity to witness the exceptional dedication to the church services of the Branko Radičević” choir (the so called ‘Brankies’) of the Holy Resurrection Cathedral from Chicago (1906). They have more than a century long, great mission.

Another date of great importance for the Serbian orthodox choir music in the US was the foundation of the Serbian Singing Federation (SSF) in 1931; an exceptional undertaking that has substantially contributed to the organization and collaboration of the Serbian singing societies across the North American continent.

The existence of the choirs, large and small singing groups, was of invaluable importance for the communal life of the Serbian parishes, for the upbringing and education of the youth and for the preservation of the local traditions. The dedication of the choir singers to the liturgical life of their parishes was a great contribution and often inspiration for other types of activities. It is important to mention the irreplaceable work of some parish priests who harmonized traditional church chant and even wrote some music for the use of the choirs. I would also like to commend the exceptional efforts of prof. Nikola Resanović on adapting the melodies of the traditional Serbian church chant to the liturgical texts in English.

Among the Serbs in the US and Canada the church choirs had, and still have, a significant educational and social role, not only in their local communities but also more widely in the pan-Orthodox context.

9. If you had an overview of American Orthodox church music, where would you like to have it go?

It is an unrewarding task to give any kind of recommendation from this distance. There are so many different Orthodox traditions gathered together in the US and that is a great treasure of different languages, traditions, and melodies. I would lend my support to that diversity. Any attempt to unify different traditions would only be a loss.

10. What is the relationship between professional Orthodox Church musicians and amateur church musicians? What do you think we here in America can learn from that relationship?

The church belongs to all faithful, to all parishioners who gather there. Musicians are important partners, but they are neither the only nor the most important in the context of liturgical music (in contrast to concert performances). On the one hand, it is important to have a good collaboration with the clergy, on the other hand there is a need for patience and often somewhat tiring work with amateur musicians. From my long experience as a choral singer I know first-hand that it is not always easy, but I believe it is the most beneficial way.

11. In your opinion, how can the American Orthodox church involve more professional musicians, choir conductors, and composers?

It is difficult for me to comment on the situation in the US. The life today is fast and sometimes exhausting. In the US, cities of great distances present an additional challenge. Leading a church choir, selecting the repertoire and preparing the music material, especially if it also included singing at (weekday) services even when the choir was not able to attend, would constitute a proper full-time job. I am not sure though that there are parishes, or indeed priests, who think about church music in that way.

This interview was conducted by Theodore Zajler, Society Board Member-at-Large. Mr. Zajler has assumed the role of Lead Editor of the newly-conceived Society Review. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Degree in Music History and Theory from the University of Evansville and is a tonsured Reader of the Orthodox Church in America.
He is pursuing a Master of Music degree in Music Business at the University of Miami.


  • The Synodal School of Liturgical Music: July 18–July 31. Registration for the 2021 Summer Session is now open.

  • Society of Saint Romanos the Melodist 20th Anniversary Festival: October 1 – 17, 2021.

    Hierarchical Divine Services, Concerts & Symposia.

  • 2021 Concert Tour in Serbia: October 14, 2021 - October 19, 2021

    The PaTRAM Institute Male Choir will perform a concert tour in beautiful Serbia. Maestro Ekaterina Antonenko will conduct the 50 member Male Choir, hailing from the United States, Canada, Serbia, and Russia. Very special venues have been chosen for this exciting project. The PaTRAM Male Choir will also sing divine services with local choirs. More details are forthcoming; sponsored by PaTRAM Institute.

  • PaTRAM Institute™ 2021 CD Recording: October 20, 2021–October 22, 2021

  • This autumn the international Male Choir will gather in Serbia to take part in a landmark, professional CD recording of Rachmaninoff’s “All-Night Vigil”. Maestro Ekaterina Antonenko will conduct the Male Choir. The CD will be produced and mastered by multi-Grammy Award winner Soundmirror. More details are forthcoming; sponsored by PaTRAM Institute.


  • From Fr. Ivan Moody: I am delighted to announce the publication of my latest article,in an issue of Muzikologija stuffed full of excellent contributions: Ways of Living Abroad: The Foreign Composer in Britain after World War II. Many thanks to my friend and colleague Ivana Medić, the editorial team at the Muzikološki Institut in Belgrade and all those who provided valuable commentary and information during the writing process.

  • New Choir Directing School at St Tikhon’s Monastery to open in the fall! Saint Tikhon’s Monastery is pleased to announce the fall 2021 launch of a new residential Music Program. The Saint Tikhon’s Residency in Music provides comprehensive training for Orthdox church music leaders amidst the rich and demanding liturgical life of America’s oldest Orthodox monastery. Residents receive both classroom training and on-the-job experience under the expert guidance of the members of St. Tikhon’s Monastery music staff as well as nationally renown guest faculty. The Music Program is a combination of monthly topical weekend workshop intensives and residency training. The weekend intensives are open to the public, starting Friday evenings and ending Sunday afternoons. Non-resident participants may choose to attend one, several, or all of the weekend intensives. Techniques and skills are presented and briefly coached in the weekend intensives. Residents are then given the opportunity to implement the techniques and skills presented in the intensives as leaders-in-training of services and ensembles at St. Tikhon’s Monastery. The program begins in October 2021 with the first weekend intensive. Entrance exam, auditions, and admissions interviews will occur during weekend intensives. To be put on the mailing list and be kept up to date on program news and registration information email the directors here.

  • Dr. Vladimir Morosan delivers a hugely informative and comprehensive overview entitled: FINDING THE WAY THROUGH THE FOREST: Discerning Relevant Resources for Today's Orthodox Church Choir. See the full lecture below.

3rd Annual Orthodox Music Masterclass 2021; Lecture Series


Dr. Vladimir Morosan:

FINDING THE WAY THROUGH THE FOREST: Discerning Relevant Resources for Today's Orthodox Church Choir. A summary of some of the many available resources for the Orthodox church musician (in order of mention).
  • Two videos offering an excellent historical perspective on the development of Orthodox liturgical singing in North America: “Language in American Orthodox Music: Liturgical and Pastoral Perspectives”–; David Drillock – Keynote address: "Unity in the Church through Song" given at the 2021 St. Vladimir’s Summer Music Institute–;

(small number of scores, some in English, some in other languages, very few PDF

files, mostly MIDI files);

(Contains several downloadable scores in English, others in Church Slavonic);

  • Benedict Sheehan -;

(though focusing on Russian choral music, Musica Russica’s catalog has over 140

individual titles of liturgical music in English, which can be seen here–

(Latest publication: Great and Holy Pascha. The Resurrection of Christ (82 titles,

450 pages);

(site maintained by Carol Surgant; lots of feast-day propers in ROCOR translations,

some a bit awkward to sing in English);

  • Podoben– (large collection of various scores, somewhat uneven in quality and accuracy; not all attributions are accurate, not all English settings are convenient to sing);

  • St. Romanos the Melodist Society– (Fr. George and Matushka Deborah Johnson, ROCOR. Flagship series: The Church Singers’ Companion – 6 volumes, available in hard copy or as PDFs of individual components);

  •– (Site that basically supplanted PSALM Music Press and includes some other publishers’ offerings. Over 300 titles of music, includingFather Sergei Glagolev: Selected Orthodox Sacred Choral Works, volume 1, (and CD by Cappella Romana) and other titles published by PSALM Music Press, as well as compositions and arrangements by Anne Schoepp and Alice Hughes. These are available as PDF downloads in bundles of 5 licenses, for a nominal price. The music is well arranged, and nicely typeset.);

  • Church Slavonic resources:

Select composers:;;;;;;;


(Znamenny Chant resources in neumes and staff notation)–;

  • Education and Training:
  • Tutorial and recordings for learning the 8 stichera Tones (Common and Kievan)–;


The Society Review:


  • The Journal of the ISOCM is happy to announce the schedule for its forthcoming issues: Volume 5 (2), November 2021: Theme issue: GEORGIAN CHANT. Guest editor: Tamar Chkeidze. Volume 6 (1), May 2022: Open issue. Submissions are accepted for peer-review process by 31 December 2021. Conference papers, reports, book and CD reviews are also welcome. Volume 6 (2), November 2022: Theme issue. The JISOCM editorial board invites proposals for the theme and the editor – please contact the editorial secretary here.

  • "Music as Theology" (2021) by Ivan Moody in Spring Musical Times.

  • "Organs in Orthodox Worship: Debate and Identity" (2020) by Harrison Russin in Journal of the International Society for Orthodox Church Music, Vol. 4 (1), Section II: Conference papers, pp. 98–108 ISSN 2342-1258.

  • "Arvo Pärt: Sounding the Sacred" (2020). Peter C. Bouteneff (Editor, Contributor), Jeeffers Engelhardt (Editor, Contributor), Robert Saler (Editor, Contributor): purchase here.

  • "Christian Liturgical Chant and the Musical Reorientation of Arvo Pärt" by Alexander Lingas (2020). Peter C. Bouteneff (Editor, Contributor), Jeeffers Engelhardt (Editor, Contributor), Robert Saler (Editor, Contributor): purchase here.

  • "The Seraphim above: Some Perspectives on the Theology of Orthodox Church Music" by Ivan Moody (2015). Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estética Musical (CESEM), Universidade Nova, Lisbon, FCSH, Av. de Berna, 26C, 1069-061 Lisboa, Portugal.


  • "Memory Eternal by Alexander Kastalsky" – Steven Fox, Conductor; The Clarion Choir: https://www.arkivm


The various Orthodox Churches in America all have official music departments, events and activities, and resources that help Orthodox church musicians in their respective jurisdictions–singers, chanters, conductors, organists, and musicians in the youth ministry, organizers of music events–perform their respective duties in the Church and continue to improve their service and skills. The links to their websites are listed below:


Beyond the "official" music ministries of the canonic Orthodox Churches in America, in the last 30 years we have seen an unprecedented rise in the formation of independent arts organizations devoted to Orthodox arts and culture, fully professional in their personnel and structure. Orthodox Christians and Americans who take an interest in Orthodoxy should be aware of the work of these visionary efforts. Their websites and founders are listed below by date of formation in chronological order:

1) Cappella Romana Mission

“Cappella Romana is a vocal ensemble dedicated to combining passion with scholarship in its exploration of the musical traditions of the Christian East and West, with emphasis on early and contemporary music. Our vision is to give a glimpse of transcendence through the music of the Christian East and West.”


“Cappella Romana is a professional vocal ensemble that performs early and contemporary sacred classical music in the Christian traditions of East and West. The ensemble is known especially for its presentations and recordings of medieval Byzantine chant (the Eastern sibling of Gregorian chant), Greek and Russian Orthodox choral works, and other sacred music that expresses the historic traditions of a unified Christian inheritance.

Cappella Romana brings to life music that meets a deep human need, not only to belong and to have a shared creative experience, but to feel the full range of ethical, emotional, and spiritual effect as expressed through music. We strive to give an experience that allows you, our audience, to feel a sheer joy that cannot be contained by mere words, but through the ineffable sounds of the human voice in song.”

Founded in 1991 by Dr. Alexander Lingas.


2) The Synodal School of Liturgical Music


In the summer of 1992, then-Archbishop Laurus (later Metropolitan) blessed the establishment of a summer program in liturgical music at Holy Trinity Monastery, as part of a broader effort by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) to raise the quality of church singing within ROCOR parishes across the Russian Diaspora. Known as the “liturgical music courses,” the program quickly expanded its mandate to welcome students from across all Orthodox jurisdictions, from all corners of the globe, as well as non-Orthodox students who wish to acquaint themselves with the unique tradition of Russian Orthodox liturgical singing. A few years later, the courses, now known as the “Summer School of Liturgical Music,” became integrated into the Holy Trinity Seminary and accredited by the Board of Regents of the State of New York. In August 2018, in recognition of the program’s growth and church-wide significance, the summer school was separated from the Seminary and began its independent existence under the spiritual aegis of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR; in June 2019, the Synodal School of Liturgical Music Limited was incorporated as a stand alone not-for-profit organization (in the state of Maryland) and has been granted authorization to carry out its activities in the State of New York.”

Founded in 1992 by Fr. Andrey Papkov with the Blessing of Archbishop Laurus.


3) The Pan-Orthodox Society for the Advancement of Liturgical Music (PSALM), is an international grassroots organization of Orthodox Christian musicians from various dioceses and jurisdictions, formed for the purpose of sharing resources and information, primarily in the English language. Its scope has broadened, since its founding in 1999, to develop resources and programs that will support various music departments. The organization hosts a growing Liturgical Music Resource database on its official website, and moderates an active online discussion group via YahooGroups.

Founded in 1999 by Alice Hughes and Anne Schoepp.


4) The Society of Saint Romanos the Melodist–Forming a Vision of Orthodox Culture in America


“Bringing the beauty and depth of Eastern Orthodox culture, in all its varied and ethnic forms, to the Orthodox Faithful and Americans at large.”


“To form a community that fosters creativity in the Church and transformational events.”


“The Society of Saint Romanos the Melodist is a Not-for-Profit 501(c)(3) corporation with tax-exempt status, founded in 2001 to promote Eastern Orthodox culture in general and sacred music in particular. The Society organizes and presents distinctive cultural events that further an awareness of Eastern Orthodoxy in America. These events include commissions of new works of art, concerts of sacred music, presentation of guest-artists, speakers and ensembles, theological seminars, and pilgrimages. The Society is endorsed by Members of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America and sponsors two choral ensembles.

The St. Romanos Cappella, a professional chamber choir, is devoted to the performance of sacred music and is conceived as an ensemble that brings together voices, and on occasion instruments, and repertoire from the Christian East and West. The St. Romanos Choir, an amateur chamber choir, is comprised of church musicians—singers, chanters, choir directors, and composers, and sings repertoire that consists exclusively of a cappella works from the various branches of the Eastern Orthodox Church.”

Founded in 2001 by Dr. Peter Jermihov with the Blessings of five ruling Hierarchs of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and later by nine Hierarchs of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.


5) International Society for Orthodox Church Music (ISOCM)


“The Society has as its aims:

1. The fomentation of contact and sharing of information between Orthodox church musicians and institutions with like aims internationally;

2. The regular organization of international conferences and the publication of the
proceedings thereof;

3. The publication of other resources for Orthodox Church music, including books, music publications and facsimiles.”


“The International Society for Orthodox Church Music (ISOCM) was founded by an international group of musicians and scholars on 18th June 2005, following the First International Conference on Orthodox Church Music, “The Traditions of Orthodox Music,” held at the University of Joensuu, 13–19 June 2005, and with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Leo of Karelia and all Finland.

The Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh International Conferences were heavily subscribed, and the Eighth Conference continues to build on this tradition, thereby vindicating the vision of the founding members of the Society, to bring together musicians of diverse traditions with the Orthodox Church (and, it should be said, from related theological and musicological fields) with the aim of encouraging dialogue and discussion and the sharing of ideas.

The Proceedings of the seven conferences (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017) are currently available for purchase. These webpages are constantly being developed and expanded, so please bookmark this site and return frequently.

The Society also publishes an on-line Journal of articles and content relating to church music.”

Founded in 2005 by Fr. Ivan Moody (with the Blessing of Archbishop Leo of Karelia and all Finland).


6) The Saint John of Damascus Society–Reveiling Orthodox Christianity through Its Sacred Music

“The Saint John of Damascus Society, founded in 2011, is a sacred arts organization that seeks to promote excellence in the liturgical music of the Orthodox Christian Church, regardless of ethnic/national heritage of style, as well as support related outreach, educational, and academic efforts.

“Conceptually, we want to encourage and develop the next generation of Orthodox church musicians, because they aren’t going to appear out of nowhere. We want to cultivate an environment where kids might grow up thinking, “Hey, I could be a cantor or a choir director when I grow up!” That’s not something that can really be a vocation at this stage of the game, and in the super long-term it would be good to contribute in some small way to making it more of one. The National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musician’s booklet, Starting a Youth Music Program in Your Parish, is a good place to start, but it seems to me that there is more that can be done from there. To this end, we hope to eventually set up a scholarship fund to benefit Orthodox college students at Indiana University who want to pursue the study of their Church’s music.”

Founded in 2010 by Richard Barrett.


7) AGES Initiatives, to promote and sustain the Church's Music Ministry.

"Today, many people are engaging with the ancient Christian Faith for the first time after experiencing its worship. Therefore, we believe that the Music Ministry of the Orthodox Church has significant and original contributions to offer to the spiritual life of this country and the world. To this end, AGES Initiatives, Inc. will develop tools and programs to promote and sustain the Church's Music Ministry, using current and emerging technologies."

Founded in 2012 by Fr. Seraphim Dedes with the blessing of Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta.

Executive Director–Richard Barrett.


8) The Orthodox Arts Journal Mission

“The Orthodox Arts Journal publishes articles and news for the promotion of traditional Orthodox liturgical arts. The Journal covers visual arts, music, liturgical ceremony and texts, and relevant art history and theory. The Journal presents these topics together to highlight the unified witness of the arts to the beauty of the Kingdom of God and to promulgate an understanding of how the arts work together in the worship of the Church. In the spirit of the revival of traditional Orthodox liturgical arts sparked by Kontoglou and Ouspensky, the Journal will publicize excellence in contemporary liturgical arts, emphasizing fidelity to the Church’s tradition of beauty and craft.

The Orthodox Arts Journal is not affiliated with any ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The staff and contributors are Orthodox Christians from a variety of backgrounds.”

Founded in 2012 by Andrew Gould with the Blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York (ROCOR).


9) The Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music Institute (PaTRAM Institute™)­–Uniting Musical Excellence with Orthodox Worship

“The mission of PaTRAM Institute™ is to foster the authentic and original splendor of Russian Orthodox choral music together with its astounding spiritual depth, in both the English and Slavonic languages. PaTRAM Institute performs world-class, professional recordings in unique venues featuring its award-winning international ensembles; distinctive concert performance events; and educational programs. We trust that our efforts to spread beautiful liturgical music throughout the world will enlighten our collective minds and hearts.”

“Sacred song is an intrinsic part of Orthodoxy and our most beautiful expression of love for God, Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and the saints. The glorious tradition of church singing dates back a thousand years, yet our musical treasures are being lost. Our hope is to bring about a Renaissance of Orthodox music for the faithful and all who seek beauty and depth and thereby, enrich humanity through the power and splendor of sacred music. We pray that our efforts are God pleasing.” Tatiana Geringer, PaTRAM Institute CEO

Founded in 2013 ­by Katherine and Alexis Lukianov.­­­


10) Institute of Sacred Arts at St. Vladimir’s Seminary

“The Holy Liturgy in the Orthodox Church can be said to be the aspiration towards, if not the actualization of, a “complete work of art” – a synthesis of all the arts – whether it be music, painting, mosaic, embroidery, poetry, architecture, sculpture, choreography, rhetoric, etc., at the service of theology and divine worship. But it so happens that in spite of the richness of artistic beauty to be encountered within the Orthodox Church, the confluence of the arts and theology hardly seems to be a focus of rigorous inquiry in seminaries here in the US. This situation, however, is about to change with the establishment of a permanent Institute of Sacred Arts (ISA) which is being launched at the St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS).

The ISA is an outgrowth of the Sacred Arts Initiative (SAI), reviewed in a previous post.
Like the SAI, the ISA will continue to organize scholarly symposia, conferences and cultural events, and find expression through publications, but it will expand its concept to include a developed curriculum to be offered at SVOTS, exploring the mutual relationship between theology and the arts, or as their mission statement puts it, the “intersection of human creativity and holiness.””

Founded in 2016 as SAI and in 2020 as ISA by Dr. Peter Bouteneff


11) Liturgical Arts Academy

“Fr. Anthony Salzman, pastor of St. Philothea Greek Orthodox Church in Watkinsville, GA and Director of The Liturgical Arts Academy, is himself an iconographer who had the chance to study in Greece, as well as a churchman who saw a training gap that needed to be filled. He and cantor Constantine Kokenes of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Atlanta shared a vision of developing a program to pass these traditions on to the next generation, and together, they came up with the plan.

“The Liturgical Arts Academy to train men and women in the traditional Orthodox arts of chanting and iconography,” is how Fr. Salzman describes it. With the blessing and encouragement of his bishop, Metropolitan Alexios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta, as well as grant support from the Calvin Institute, the Academy held its inaugural weeklong session in May 2018 against the backdrop of the Metropolis’ Diakonia Retreat Center in Salem, South Carolina. His Eminence Alexios celebrated the opening Divine Liturgy, and 30 students were in attendance from all over the United States for the opportunity to learn iconography from Fr. Salzman and Byzantine chant from teachers like John Michael Boyer, protopsaltis of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, and Constantine Kokenes.”

Founded in 2018 by Fr. Anthony Salzman with the Blessing of Metropolitan Alexios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta.


12) The Russian Choral Heritage Foundation has as its mission to ensure that accurate, authentic sources and subsequent high-quality editions of Russian sacred choral music continue to be widely available to performers, scholars, and church musicians around the world. The establishment of its online Orthodox Sacred Music Reference Library is designed to fulfill that mission.

Founded in 2018 by Dr. Vladimir Morosan.


13) Artefact Institute


“Artefact Institute guides participants in crafting an immersive experience that includes both the thinking and talking about and the doing of the components of Christian Culture. A life rich with meaning, beauty, and human connection. These are the true heirlooms of culture, the true “artefacts” of humanity. In the past, culture bestowed these riches upon us without our conscious involvement—often without our even being aware of them. Today we have to cultivate them ourselves, deliberately, consciously, diligently. But how?

We believe that at the core of every thriving human culture, whether small or large, past or present, are three essential elements: common worship, common work, common feast. Articulating the technique of these three elements—and teaching people how to build them up in their own lives and the lives of those around them—is the core mission of Artefact. Whether your community is centered in a physical location, a common interest or goal, or a common faith, Artefact’s expert team of culture creators brings the concrete techniques of culture creation to you, in person.”

Founded in 2019 by Rowan Benedict Sheehan and Talia Maria Sheehan.


– Compiled by Peter Jermihov