Playing the “Music” of Liturgy

Witnessed the yearly piano recital of my two oldest today in the public hall of the Waltham Public Library. Hearing their lovely melodies and inspired playing reminded me of one of my boss’ best articles on the subject of music, inspiration, and worship. Enjoy!

pianist

Katertyna Tereshchenko, Pianist by Ralf Roletschek; online at wikipedia.org

This past summer, my 10 year-old son made a significant breakthrough in his piano playing.  All last year, I watched him practice as though practicing was just one more task on his “to do” list before breakfast.  He marched through 20 minutes of practicing just as he marched through “make my bed,” “feed the dog,” and “pack my snack.”  Where was the joy, the appreciation of beauty, the sense of accomplishment?  Masterpieces from Bach to Bizet were reduced to equal footing with readied backpacks and signed permission slips.  The tasks were accomplished.   And music was nowhere to be heard. Continue reading

Advertisements

Acquainted With Grief

November 15/28, 2015
Commencement of Advent & the Nativity Fast

nativityThat most wonderful time of the year is again upon us, but what truly makes it sparkle with wonder? As millions of refugees worldwide flee their homelands looking for a place to lay their heads, it is important for us to remember the humble and destitute circumstances chosen by the Lord of Glory for His first Advent into the world. For this reason and many others pertaining to our salvation, the Church has designed these several weeks leading up to our Lord’s Nativity in human flesh to be a time of fasting and increased prayer. But in the rush to hunt down gifts for every person on the planet and attend every holiday party offered, it is easy to forget our eternal destiny and the place where true life can be found. So where can a weary shopper go, besides church, to pray more, shop less, and truly wonder at the condescension of our God? Continue reading

The Beauty of Language

IMG_5286June 6, Birthday of Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

It has happened to me twice now, so there is no denying its power. We travel today to the Moscow Pushkin Museum on the anniversary of A. S. Pushkin’s birthday Jun 6, 1799 for a concert of poetry and music performed by children of the age of my own. The show begins with a recitation of the great author’s poetry. Just like several years ago when I came for the same event for the first time, I understood not a word of it. But just like then, I still could not help but weep for the beauty of it. Continue reading

Lenten Music Concert in Boston

3rdannualhymnfestival-posterFor those who might not have been close to the concert we did in New York/New Jersey, the Boston Byzantine Choir is doing the same program right here in the Boston area, and for the first time, in a non-Orthodox Church! Please join us at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Dedham on Saturday, April 5 at 4pm in the afternoon for a time of spiritual enlightenment and refreshment.

Byzantine Concert in New York

bbc-concert-flyer-Mar-15-2014To all our readers in the New York area, please come to a free Byzantine Lenten music concert that our family will be singing in. The flyer is on the left for those who wish to promote it. Saturday, March 15, 2014 at St. Anthony’s Orthodox Church in Bergenfield, NJ. It’s our choir director’s home parish before he went off to school and became a famous choir director, so it is going to be a bit of a homecoming, featuring many pieces from our Lenten CD released just last year. Also, for those interested in a deeper look at Byzantine chant, a master class will be offered for a small fee. Hope to see you all there. Stay tuned for more information about a concert upcoming in April in the Boston area. It will be our first time ever singing in a non-Orthodox Church!

24 Days of Christmas

IMG_3540The secret is out or at least it should be. Those of us celebrating Christmas on the Old Calendar (O.C. January 7) are still very much within the season, the 12 appointed days of celebration after the event, which makes it a total of 24 if you count somewhat the 12 days celebrated after December 25. So if you are the type that thinks Christmas comes and goes too quickly, think about visiting a Russian, Serbian, or even a Bulgarian Orthodox Church on the Julian Calendar. Then hold on to your tree, keep up those decorations, and don’t throw away that fruit cake because the O.C. gives us another 12 days to party! Continue reading