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Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8

Posted By: ByzKat

Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/08/14 07:46 PM

On June 6-8, the first Beginning Cantor's Course will be held at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This intensive weekend course will cover the vocation of the cantor and the hymns of the Divine Liturgy, and is intended to enable anyone with an adequate singing voice and sense of pitch to become an assistant cantor. In the past, this material was spread out over an entire year. With the new weekend format, we hope to better serve prospective cantors from outside the Pittsburgh area, and reduce the time necessary to bring new cantors into the Archeparchy's cantor education program.

The registration fee for the course is $225, which include room and board from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, and all instructional materials. Students who complete the course will be matched with mentors (more experienced cantors) in their area, and can enroll in future Cantor Institute courses.

Space is limited; we ask participants to register by May 15.

Link to flyer with more information
Posted By: Pavloosh

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/09/14 11:46 AM

Is the cantoring of the rather monotonous Ruthenian style or the pleasant melodic Ukrainian style?
Posted By: ByzKat

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/09/14 01:29 PM

To each his own. I should probably have noted that this course is intended for prospective cantors in the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, so we are teaching Subcarpathian prostopinije rather than samoilka (though we have also taught the latter in the past).

The emphasis in the course is on leading congregational singing of the Divine Liturgy, so issues like extempore harmonization are done later in the program. We certainly include enough melodic variety that I hope it's not monotonous!
Posted By: DMD

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/09/14 03:34 PM

Originally Posted by ByzKat
To each his own. I should probably have noted that this course is intended for prospective cantors in the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, so we are teaching Subcarpathian prostopinije rather than samoilka (though we have also taught the latter in the past).

The emphasis in the course is on leading congregational singing of the Divine Liturgy, so issues like extempore harmonization are done later in the program. We certainly include enough melodic variety that I hope it's not monotonous!


Pavloosh's comment reminded me of my earlier comment this afternoon about Bishop Ortynsky being worried about his parishioners beating each other up about how they would sing the responses to the liturgy! What did they call those, 'the good old days'? smile

Seriously, I recall that the late Metropolitan Nicholas gave his blessing to any ACROD faithful interested in the Cantor classes in Pittsburgh. Are those of ACROD, or for that matter OCA parishes where the Rusyn chant is used, welcome to participate and attend? If so they should contact their respective Bishop for his blessing.

If we were closer, I know several folks here who might be interested, but its a long way from upstate NY!
Posted By: haydukovich

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/11/14 06:27 PM

ByzKat

This class would be all in English I assume.

alas - Utah is even farther!

Posted By: ByzKat

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/11/14 10:45 PM

The distance factor is one reason we are teaching it over an entire weekend rather than just one day.

Yes, the language of instruction will be English, and we will be concentrating on teaching the singing of the Divine Liturgy in English. (We recently held a one-day course on the Divine Liturgy in Church Slavonic, and the recordings and materials for that class are on the MCI website.)

It looks like this class may be repeated later this year in California for the Eparchy of Phoenix.

Yours in Christ,
Jeff Mierzejewski
Posted By: Steve Petach

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/12/14 10:54 PM

Originally Posted by Pavloosh
Is the cantoring of the rather monotonous Ruthenian style or the pleasant melodic Ukrainian style?


Wow, nice way to characterize us Ruthenians.... I guess we are just boring, monotonous non pleasant sounding folks, to be avoided like the plague.
Posted By: Steve Petach

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/12/14 10:58 PM

Originally Posted by ByzKat


It looks like this class may be repeated later this year in California for the Eparchy of Phoenix.

Yours in Christ,
Jeff Mierzejewski


I hope that can be possible. I know a number of cantors and prospective cantors who would be interested.
Posted By: DMD

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/13/14 11:48 AM

Originally Posted by Steve Petach
Originally Posted by Pavloosh
Is the cantoring of the rather monotonous Ruthenian style or the pleasant melodic Ukrainian style?


Wow, nice way to characterize us Ruthenians.... I guess we are just boring, monotonous non pleasant sounding folks, to be avoided like the plague.


Back in the day, I think your Didos would have gone behind the church to settle this one! The loser would build his 'new' church down the street to the 'old' church! And that was even before the Orthodox and the celibacy stuff started up....

lol...
Posted By: Pavloosh

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/13/14 12:38 PM

Maybe it's peculiar to the Ruthenian churches in NEPA, but the slow screeching, wailing-like and drawn out singing can get to you after a while. "The Ukrainians really know how to sing beautifully" said one of my Ruthenian friends.
Posted By: DMD

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/13/14 10:55 PM

Originally Posted by Pavloosh
Maybe it's peculiar to the Ruthenian churches in NEPA, but the slow screeching, wailing-like and drawn out singing can get to you after a while. "The Ukrainians really know how to sing beautifully" said one of my Ruthenian friends.


Your comments are,frankly, insensitive, uncalled for and hurtful. Also referring to Rusyn churches and Rusyn chant/prostopenije as "Ruthenian" is not unlike a Russian referring to Ukrainians as Russians.

I would submit that our chant is none of the things you ascribe to it. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IrpQHZIVbJU

Posted By: Pavloosh

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/15/14 08:34 PM

Here's a good example.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNYabhCJVbY
Posted By: Paul B

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/16/14 10:04 AM

There are no qualifications to praise God. Would you rather hear the quality of cathedral Russian professionals or would you rather participate? We are not an exclusive Church.
Posted By: DMD

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/16/14 12:01 PM

I was going to respond, but Paul B beat me to it. A rose by any other name would indeed smell as sweet.

When I referenced my grandfathers' era, I was quite serious. When Bishop Soter Ortynsky came to minister to the Greek Catholic Ruthenians in the first decade of the new century following the defections to Orthodoxy caused by the Archbishop Ireland rebuff to the eastern Church and Father, now St. Alexis Toth, he faced a daunting task and problems which the Congregation for the Orientals in Rome no doubt never envisioned. To them, no doubt, we Ruthenians were all the same and were all 'quaint peasants in odd custumes' and differentiating among us was as non-sensical to them as distinguishing between various African or Middle eastern tribes was to the British Foreign Office or the German Colonial Divisioin in Berlin. We know how well those western European miscalculations have worked out.

John Schweich can document dozens of examples of parishes where peace was elusive between the Hutcul and Rusyn factions, the Galician and Lemko factions and on and on - not to mention the Magyar factions - within Bishop Soter's charge. How the cantor was to chant and how the priest was to read and what dialect would predominate often spilled out into the streets, dividing fledgling parishes perhaps just recovering from the Russian mission activities yet again.

So it is with more than a bit of shock for me to see again - for when I was a boy in the 1960's the UGCC parish was next door to St. Michael's on Clinton Street in Binghamton - the type of stereotypical branding of the Rusyns by some Galicians which apparently still persists. My dad was routinely verbally assaulted for probably twenty years by two men from the neighborhood who were displaced after the war. There was one family that would actually picket cultural events put on by our parish - all dressed up in Ukrainian costumes. It was pathetic.

Fortunately most of the good families from the UGCC were not like that. To them, my dad was like a cousin from the south - which in a way he was as our families came from the Slovak side of Dukla and many of those families came from the Polish side of Dukla.

As the years passed and those fellows passed as well, my dad would take us to dinner every Friday at the UGCC hall for pirohy! We would laugh about which parish made 'better' ones, but pop would simply comment that there is a good reason for a pizza shop on every corner in the little Italy district and smile.

One holiday season a few years ago after my dad died, I was setting up a Rusyn Christmas display at the local museum. The various ethnic groups all participated and the Ukrainians alternated each year between the UOC and UGCC parishes. That year the UGCC parish was up and its display was being finalized by a classmate of mine in elementary school many years ago whose father was one of the more outspoken refugees. We started talking about all of the energy and emotion that went into things when we were kids. As we looked at the Polish, Slovak, Rusyn and the Ukrainian displays we burst out in laughter as the inanity of our grandparents and parents fighting was demonstrated by what to a non-Slav were apparently four interrelated cultures with similar, if not the same, customs.

God bless America is all I can say to that and thank you Baba and Dido for leaving for the New World.

I also remember the kindness of the Basilian fathers who lived in the rectory in the 1960's. They were nice men and two of them went to seminary with my uncle and Godfather an Orthodox priest, the late Father Steve Skasko who grew up in Taylor, PA, and who went to the Basilian seminary in Edmundton during the 'Borba' and was educated well by the good fathers. He married my mom's sister and Father Steven was the first married priest to be ordained in 1938 by Bishop Orestes Chornock.

Anyway, I would never stoop to post a critique of any parish's traditions,singing, repertoire or quality. I truly feel that an apology is in order.
Posted By: Steve Petach

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/19/14 12:39 AM

Pavloosh,

There are also examples of good singing at other parishes. a non prostoponije example, quite beautiful though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnVJ7e9idIs

Or harmonised prostopinije in NJ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PwoncHIwO4&noredirect=1

And even liturgies i am familiar with as I was there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2CfISm__cA

A great harmonisation of the great litany: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK_Srh-CRzA


But, like so many things in life, music is very much personally subjective. One person's chalkboard grating analogy may be another's slice of heaven.

That said; Ja Rusyn byl:
http://www.holosy.sk/ja-rusyn-byl-jesm-i-budu
Posted By: DMD

Re: Beginning Cantor's Course in Pittsburgh, June 6-8 - 05/19/14 11:39 AM

Thanks Steve, you made an old(er) Rusyn American cry a bit...

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