On October 2-6, the Twenty-eighth Annual Russian Orthodox Church Musicians’ (ROCM) Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia took place at Holy Epiphany Parish in Boston. Over seventy people from across North America and even some from Europe participated in the conference. This year’s conference was devoted to the memory of Vladimir Pavlovich Roudenko, who for many years served as the director of the Holy Epiphany parish choir.
The main theme of the conference was “Continuity and Growth: Ensuring the Future of Liturgical Chant in Our Parishes.” The talks and lectures began on October 3 after a short service of supplication, held in one of the conference halls of the host hotel in a nearby suburb of Boston. Lectures were delivered for three straight days. Dr. Peter Jermihov was the featured faculty member and choir director. Among the lecturers were experienced church choir directors, musicians, and scholars. Aside from the lectures, there were master-classes workshops, and many rehearsals devoted to learning new music and preparing for the divine services of Saturday and Sunday. On Thursday evening, Konevets Quartet put on a concert of liturgical and folk compositions. An energetic wave of applause followed every song in the folk program. Those who would like to review the full program may do so by clicking here.
His Grace Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada presided over the All-night Vigil and Divine Liturgy. Fr. Andre Papkov, the chair of the Liturgical Music Commission of the Church Abroad, who was unable to come to Boston on account of his health, was commemorated at the Liturgy among the sick. At the services, aside from P. Jermihov, directors included A. Roudenko, V. Krassovsky, Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky, L. Doohovskoy, G. Kotar, M. Ganson, N. Schuler, and N. Ganson. The powerful choir sang with inspiration and majesty. The faithful were communed from three chalices. It was joyous to see many young children and youth in the church. The conference happened to fall on the Feast of the Conception of the Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist of Lord John. Holy Epiphany Parish considers every feast of the Forerunner John a sort of parish feast; therefore, the locals embraced the festive arch-episcopal service on this day with a special joy and gratitude to All-merciful God.
The conference concluded with a picnic-style banquet in the Holy Epiphany churchyard, with unseasonably warm weather and no-less-warm a family atmosphere. After the meal, the conference participants were invited for tea to the house of the rector, Fr. Victor Boldewskul.
The organizers thank Fr. Victor, the parishioners, and the sisterhood of Holy Epiphany for their financial and practical support, as well the ROCOR Fund for Assistance and its donors for a grant that helped subsidize registration costs for all participants in the conference.
The Synodal Liturgical Music Commission will, in the near future, announce the site of the twenty-ninth annual conference on its site: rocmconference.org.