Another very important aspect of AECMC's mission is the establishment of a summer programme in liturgical music in Europe. This is part of a broader effort by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) to raise the quality of church singing across the Russian Diaspora. The programme is designed for regular training and education of existing and future singers and choir conductors across European parishes, with academic advising and support from the existing Synodal School of Liturgical Music (USA).
We also offer separate training courses for readers and altar servers.
The Liturgical Music School of ROCOR in Europe is located in Cologne (Germany).
On July 7, 2023, the first year of study at the ROCOR Liturgical Music School (European Department) successfully completed. Classes in Russian were held daily for two weeks on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Great Martyr Panteleimon in Cologne (Germany). Three groups of students were formed. Participants of the main programme for choir directors and singers mastered more than 100 hours of study load in nine subjects and participated in 11 divine services.
For those unable to attend the full course, a seven-day training workshop was offered. The main purpose of this option was to get acquainted with the work of the school, gain certain knowledge and skills, gain practical experience in participating in services, as well as the opportunity to ask questions of interest to experienced teachers. Separately from the process of training singers and choir directors, a group of readers was formed. During the seven-day course, theoretical and practical classes were offered on the typicon, liturgical books, the skills of correct reading on the kliros (including vocal training) and the peculiarities of reading various texts.
In total, 31 students from Germany, Ireland, Estonia, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Macedonia took part in the offered programmes. The training aroused great interest among students, many noted a large number of theoretical and practical skills acquired during this time. The opportunity to participate in divine services allowed students to experience in practice the difference in the order of services, to practice in conducting the choir. A large number of participants made it possible to divide the students into two kliros and conduct services with antiphonal singing of two choirs. This experience is almost impossible in parishes at the present time due to the small number of singers. Festive services in the middle of the training were led by Bishop Job of Stuttgart, vicar of the German diocese.
All teachers appreciated the high initial level of the students and their enthusiasm. The participants became friends during this period, and majority of them expressed their willingness to return next summer to continue the course. The organizers and teachers of the school express their gratitude to His Eminence Metropolitan Mark and His Grace Bishop Irenei for their support of such an important undertaking, as well as deep gratitude to the parish of St. Panteleimon for the excellent organization of housing and educational conditions.
Look forward to seeing you
in Cologne next summer!