This year marked the 25th Anniversary of our Summer School of Liturgical Music, Holy Trinity Seminary's fully-accredited certificate program in liturgical music. Interested participants came from throughout the country to strengthen their musical skills and scholarship in pursuit of the art of directing choirs in the Russian Orthodox Church. They took courses in musicianship, singing, liturgics and Russian music history, learning such chants as Znamenniy and contemporary polyphony. This year's 25th Anniversary was celebrated with a marvelous gala in Chicago's Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral, where the director of the music program, Archpriest Andre Papkov, serves and functions as dean of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Nebraska.
Seth Davidenko, currently a third-year seminarian, started attending the Summer School while still in High School as a member of his parish choir. Describing his motivation for enrolling as a form of responsibility to the Church, he explains, "If I'm going to walk around in a cassock, I have to learn my role." Learning the interconnections between the choir, priests, and deacon, he was impressed by the fact that musicality intricately ties all aspects of the liturgy together. Therefore, a deep study of the Typikon is essential, and he is grateful that he had the opportunity to do so in a formal setting under qualified and knowledgeable instructors.