Thursday, February 14, 2019

Choral Divine Liturgy in New York City, March 10

The feast of Ss Cyril and Methodius is a propitious day to announce that St Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in New York City will present the second part of its ongoing program of classical Slavic Church music on Sunday, March 10, at 6:00 p.m., with music by Artem Vedel (1767-1808) and Mykhailo Verbytsky (1815-70). The Liturgy will be sung in English and Church Slavonic; the church is located at 246 East 15th Street, and the event is free and is open to the public.

Artem Vedel (1767-1808) composed most of his choral works at the turn of the 18th century, when Tsar Paul I banned choral music outside of the Divine Liturgy. An often misunderstood composer and musician, Vedel was never able to fully recover from the blow this prohibition had on his career, and died in a mental asylum in the early 1800s. Verbytsky (1815-1870), born soon after Vedel’s death, was both a musician and a Greek-Catholic priest. These two vocations made the composition of music for the Divine Liturgy and other religious events a natural outlet for his talents, but he also ventured into theatrical music. He is best known for composing the Ukrainian national anthem Shche ne vmerla Ukraïna (“Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished”) to a text by Pavlo Chubynsky, composed in 1862.

The music will be performed by St Mary’s choir-in-residence, the Theoria Chamber Choir, directed by Andrew Skitko, Artistic Director/Conductor. Mr Skitko earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music at Westminster Choir College, and has performed with the world’s leading conductors and orchestras at venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He sings regularly with several choirs, and is a cantor for the Byzantine-Ruthenian Church; he is also an alumnus of the Studium Carpatho-Ruthenorum of the University of Presov, Slovakia, having completed courses in Carpatho-Rusyn history, language, and culture. He has studied Russian choral music and conducting at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary with maestro Vladimir Gorbik, musical director and conductor at the Moscow Representation Church of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery, and has participated in the PaTRAM Russian-American Music Institute.

Fr. Edward G. Cimbala, D.Min, pastor of St. Mary’s will be the celebrant and homilist. The backdrop for the choral event is sure to just as inspiring. St Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church is one of the most unusual religious buildings in Manhattan and provides a beautiful venue for the program of Slavic Liturgical Music. For more information call 212-677-0516.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: