Pan-Orthodox Music Symposium
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Vkontakte
  • Messanger
  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Pan-Orthodox Music SymposiumCreative Spirit Found in Church Music is a Reality of Our Existence

Minneapolis, Minn. – The feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist was celebrated on Sunday, June 24 by over 100 singers, conductors, chanters, composers, and musicologists participating in this year’s Pan-Orthodox Music Symposium held at the historic St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral here.

The four-day event, sponsored by the International Society for Orthodox Church Music (ISOCM), concluded with a hierarchical all-night vigil and divine liturgy celebrated by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America.

“Creativity is found in the councils of the Church, in the defense of icons, and in the development of our liturgical music throughout the ages,” Metropolitan Tikhon told participants, “Creativity is not an innovation but rather the fruit of the Holy Spirit active in a human heart. It might even be argued that creativity is the foundation of our Tradition.”

For Devin Barnes, of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Kansas City, MO, “The symposium felt uniquely Pan-Orthodox, organized in a way that respected different Orthodox musical traditions,” Devin said. “The focus was on well-composed, traditional Orthodox hymnody that fit the English language well. It presented all of the music as part of the same Orthodox faith no matter the repertoire or genre.”

Devin was joined by other chanters from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, and over 100 other participants from 26 states and 7 countries, representing 10 Orthodox jurisdictions, Roman Catholic, Byzantine Catholic, and Lutheran traditions.

Metropolitan Tikhon also encouraged participants to reflect on their role in working towards unity in North America. “This symposium is a significant event – we are here with one heart, mouth, and mind, worshipping our Lord, using different traditions of chant and singing, from different places, coming together in a remarkable choral symphony. It is a testimony to the years of transformation which have taken place on this continent.

“We are all hopeful of that Orthodox unity in the broader ecclesiastical context, but we also know that we already have that unity in the Faith,” Metropolitan Tikhon noted, adding, “This unity in singing, in prayer, and in worship is a concrete way hopefully leading us to that broader unity for which we all pray.”

Enthusiasts of Byzantine chant and polyphony alike were represented during the conference and the liturgical services. Devin said, “Although we were in different choirs, I heard everyone singing along with each other, and feeding off one another’s joy and energy. It felt like the Holy Spirit was truly with us.”

The positive response from participants at this ISOCM event, along with those who attended the 2016 Symposium is encouraging for continued cooperation among church musicians from different administrative jurisdictions.

Plans are already under way to identify themes and topics reflecting the diverse musical traditions found in the English-speaking world. It is expected the next ISOCM regional event in North America will take place in 2020.

An audio clip with selections from the vigil and liturgy professionally recorded is available here

and a CD is expected to be produced later this year, being made available for purchase from the ISOCM.

Video of the Primatial divine liturgy:

Video of the All-night vigil:

The Society is also hosting a regional conference in Prague, 23-25 November 2018 ( and its regular biannual international Conference in Joensuu, Finland, 10–16 June 2019, when participants will explore the theme of “Sounds of the Holy: from Manuscript to Performance.”
More information about the Society and future events are available at

Dear readers,

This is one of the five free articles that you can read in their entirety.

To access the unlimited number of full articles, please:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Vkontakte
  • Messanger
  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

About the Author

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne was born and raised in France. She taught English before entering the Cistercian Order. She translated and published articles relevant to her interest in Cistercian spirituality, the Middle Ages, and Orthodoxy. She moved to the United States in 2001, converted to Orthodoxy in 2008, and married. Her husband is an Orthodox priest. She continued to publish articles, a Cistercian texts anthology, then finally launched her career in literary translation, while teaching French. If you are interested in having your book translated into French, she can be contacted here Newsletter

Don't miss out on important news and updates. Subscribe to our free bi-weekly newsletter.


Popular Posts

January 17 (old calendar) / Janu... Living with the Church 95584

January 17 (old calendar) / January 30 (new) Fast Venerable and Godbearing Father Anthony the Great (356). Ven. Anthony of Dymsk (Novgorod—ca. 1224...

January 30 Living with the Church 95582

January 30  Fast Synaxis of the Ecumenical Teachers and Hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom. Hieromartyr Hippol...

17 janvier (ancien calendrier) /... 95580

17 janvier (ancien calendrier) / 30 janvier (nouveau) Jour de jeûne Saint Antoine le Grand, moine en Égypte (356) ; saint Genou, évêque de Cahors (...

30 janvier 95578

30 janvier Jour de jeûne Synaxe des saints Hiérarques Basile le Grand, Grégoire le Théologien et Jean Chrysostome ; saint Hippolyte de Rome, martyr...

The Russian Church denounces pre... From the Web 95586

On January 29, the French daily La Croix published an article signed Pierre Sautreuil on the current situation of the Russian Church in Ukraine. Pl...

“L’Église russe dénonce de... 95573

Le quotidien La Croix a publié et mis en ligne l’article suivant : “L’Église russe dénonce des pressions sur ses paroisses en Ukraine&#...

Soirée de prière pour l’un... 95564

La prochaine soirée de prière, de toutes les paroisses orthodoxes de la région parisienne, pour l’unité de l’Église orthodoxe aura lieu le me...

Communiqué of St. Sergius Instit... Declarations 95538

On January 28, 2019, at the end of its meeting, the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute (Paris) Board of Directors issued the following comm...

OCA Holy Synod of Bishops issued... Declarations 95532

On Monday, January 28, 2019, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA...

Jean-François Colosimo’s letter... France 95525

Sunday, January 27, 2019, Feast of the translation of the relics of St. John Chrysostom. For more than a quarter of a century, since the fall of 19...

Lettre de démission et de consid... 95523

Dimanche 27 janvier 2019, en la fête de la translation des reliques de saint Jean Chrysostome. Cela fait maintenant plus d’un quart de siècle, depu...

“Monastères, les trésors c... 95519

Un documentaire (42:29) diffusé par la chaîne de télévision Arte, intitulé “Monastères, les trésors cachés de la Géorgie”, est en ligne...