Youth Music Program Equips Teens for Ministry
Christopher Holwey, chairman of the Antiochian Archdiocese's Department of Sacred Music, reported during July's Houston Convention that the Department is making great strides in opening up the ministry of music to the Church's youth. Some of the resources mentioned by Mr. Holwey include "a whole music program for our teens," including a leadership program called the Youth Music Ministry Program.
He also highlighted the recent Patristic Nectar Publications release of the Teen Choir and Director's Manuals, practical guides to aid both new and established parish youth choirs, produced by musicians Mrs. Regina Roum and Mrs. Elizabeth Beck. "Our mission is to bring together young Orthodox Christians between the ages of 14 and 18 with a love for music and a desire to serve their Church, to work toward the common goal of understanding the theology of Orthodox hymnography through choral and Byzantine settings, to the glory of God," explained Mr. Holwey.
At the heart of this leadership program are the training sessions held in conjunction with the Sacred Music Institute (SMI). "Our intent was (and is) to help teens learn more about choral music, Byzantine chant, vocal and choral directing techniques, to train them to fully understand their role in sacred music, and their contribution to the music of the Church in their own parish liturgical life," noted Chairman Holwey. In addition to the workshops for teens at SMI, one teen is invited to study under the tutelage of an experienced choir director in the Young Conductor Apprentice Program.