On March 3, 2013, singers from Holy Trinity, St. Tikhon’s, and St. Vladimir’s Seminaries joined together for the first time to sing a concert under the direction of Vladimir Gorbik, the choir director at the Moscow Representation Church of the Holy Trinity St.Sergius Lavra. The concert commemorated the 75th anniversary of St. Tikhon’s and St. Vladimir’s, and well as the 65th anniversary of Holy Trinity Seminary; it was held at the St. Stephen’s Episcopalian Pro-Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Four members of the Holy Trinity Seminary Choir sang at the concert: Fr. Deacon Ephraim Willmarth, Peter Markevich (fifth-year), Nicholas Kotar (fourth-year), and John Martin (third-year).
In preparation for the concert, Maestro Gorbik prepared the 25 singers over three days of rehearsals at St. Tikhon’s Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. This Master Class was a sequel to an earlier workshop that Gorbik held at St. Vladimir’s Seminary last summer. The repertoire was a challenging mix of Russian sacred music in both English and Church Slavonic. Maestro Gorbik strictly guided the combined choir through each piece, correcting pitch, rhythm, diction, and other subtle nuances.
The choir also sang the weekend divine services at the St. Tikhon’s Monastery Church, under Gorbik’s direction. His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America celebrated at both the vigil and liturgy. All the pieces sung at the concert were also sung at the divine services. After the Saturday vigil, the monastery prepared a meal for the singers and worshippers in attendance, and Maestro Gorbik gave a talk and answered questions about his work.
Sunday’s concert was held at 6:30 in the evening in Wilkes-Barre. The concert venue was a large Episcopalian church with excellent acoustics. The concert lasted approximately two hours. Nicholas Kotar sang in a trio “Eis Polla Eti Despota,” and John Martin was a soloist for “By the Waters of Babylon.” After the end of the concert, the singers received five standing ovations and performed four encores.
The concert recording will be possibly be made available as a CD. The video to which we have provided a link was produced by St. Tikhon’s Seminary. We have also included a link to an additional article.