[YONKERS, NY / SVOTS COMMUNICATIONS] St. Vladimir's Seminary Chorale delivered a stunning performance of sacred music in the heart of Manhattan on Monday evening, May 7th. With artistic execution and prayerful potency, the singers filled the warm and inviting space of St. Malachy's Chapel with a sound fitting for heaven—and needful on earth.
Through a multi-media presentation titled "ORIENT: Sacred Song and Image" the chorale combined word and image to create an evangelical message that proved to be both spiritually powerful and aesthetically absorbing. The performance employed a variety of iconographic projections and liturgical compositions from the Orthodox Christian tradition, seamlessly matched to create a joyous yet profound experience for concert goers, who listened in rapt attention to the 22-voice chorus and expressed their appreciation to the chorale with a long lasting and standing ovation.
Included in the audience was a special guest, His Grace The Rt. Rev. Nicholas, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn and Resident Assistant to Metropolitan Philip of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese.
Matushka Robin Freeman, a staff member in the Advancement Office at the seminary who holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, created the concert format and conducted in its premiere at IU's Jacobs School of Music in 2010. She served as one of the concert conductors for the New York City premiere, along with Hierodeacon Herman, lecturer in Liturgical Music and Chapel Choir Director at the seminary.
Seminary Chancellor and CEO, Archpriest Chad Hatfield, served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening, and in keeping with concert's theme, he delivered a homily about the Resurrection of Christ, near the conclusion of the program. Following Fr. Chad's homily, the producer of the concert, Dr. Nicholas Reeves, assistant professor of Liturgical Music at the seminary, expressed his profound gratitude to Father Richard Baker, rector of St. Malachy's Chapel (The Actors' Chapel), and to his parishioners, for their generous "gift of space" for the concert venue. The evening concluded with the entire crowd joyously singing the traditional Paschal hymn to the Mother of God, "The Angel Cried."