WILKES-BARRE, PA [STOTS]
Hundreds of faithful poured into Saint Stephen Episcopal Cathedral here on Sunday, March 3, 2013 for a concert of liturgical music by students from three Orthodox Christian seminaries.
The concert was performed by students of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA, and Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY, both of which are celebrating their 75th anniversaries, and Holy Trinity Seminary, Jordanville, NY, which is celebrating its 65th Anniversary. Members of the brotherhood of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery also participated. The event marked the first time singers from the three seminaries have collaborated musically. As Saint Tikhon’s choir director, Benedict Sheehan, remarked, “We hope that the success of this event will mark a new era of cooperation between the music departments of all three seminaries.”
The choir was led by renowned music instructor and choir director Vladimir Gorbik, who in his closing remarks thanked everyone for their participation in the Masters Class he had recently offered and for all the hard work put forth by the participants. In the days leading up to the concert, the students participated in a grueling rehearsal schedule, meeting three times daily, as well as singing for the Vigil and Liturgy at the monastery church.
Born in 1970, Mr. Gorbik began his musical studies in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and continued them at the Moscow State Conservatory, where he specialized in choral conducting in 1998 and in orchestral conducting in 2000. Since 1996, he has served as the choral director at the Moscow Representation Church of the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra, and since 1998 has served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the church’s professional men’s chorus, with whom he has made over a dozen outstanding recordings of liturgical services and concert programs. The choir has on numerous occasions sung at patriarchal services in the Moscow Kremlin’s Dormition and accompanied His Holiness, the late Patriarch Aleksy II on his trip to the Holy Land. The choir’s repertoire cultivates the finest repertoire and interpretive traditions of the Moscow School and the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra. In September 2012, he was appointed to the Conducting Faculty of the Moscow State Conservatory.
Closing remarks were offered by the Rector of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey. In praising the choir, he observed how incredible it was for 25 individual male voices, in four separate parts, to join “in harmony” to produce such a masterpiece of a concert. He added that this serves as a reminder of how the three distinct seminaries can work together “in harmony” to promote Orthodox Christian theological education in our country and to form the Church’s future leaders.
The concert performance garnered five standing ovations, with the singers called back to offer four encores. The concert was recorded and will be released on CD in the near future.
A photo gallery is available here.