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PAOI Offers Spring 2003 Community Education Programs

Dec 10, 2002 11:07 AM EST

Berkeley, CA -- The Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (PAOI) will offer two educational opportunities for the community beginning in February 2003. The first course will be eight weeks of instruction in Byzantine Chant taught by John Boyer. The second will be a one-day workshop, "The Educating Community" for parish leaders and religious educators led by Dr. Anton Vrame.

"Introduction to Byzantine Chant" will be an eight-week course taught on Thursday evenings at the Institute, taught by John Boyer. Course participants will learn to read the musical notation of Byzantine Music, begin to develop skills in Byzantine Chant in Greek and English, and learn the order of services. The course will begin on February 6, 2003 and continue until March 27. The cost for the course is $200 plus course materials.

This course is apropos for someone interested in Byzantine Music, whether a choir member or assistant at the chanter stand. According to Institute Director, Anton Vrame, "We are offering this course for the community so that we can maintain our Byzantine musical tradition. The art of Byzantine Chant will be lost in the United States unless we begin to instruct members of the community and teach them to chant in Greek and English. Gone are the days when we can expect a chanter to arrive from overseas and take care of everything for us."

John Michael Boyer, the chanter at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in San Francisco, will teach the course in Byzantine Chant. Boyer has lectured at workshops and seminars on Eastern Orthodox liturgical music, and directed the Byzantine Chant scholars at the 2001 San Francisco Diocese Greek Orthodox Church Music Conference, for which he also prepared transcriptions and English adaptations for the Great Vespers and Orthros (Matins) services. He began studies of Byzantine Chant at age 14 under musicologist Alexander Lingas at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Portland. In 1996 and 1999, he furthered his studies in Byzantine Chant in Athens under Lycourgos Angelopoulos, director of the Greek Byzantine Choir. He has been a coach for Chanticleer and the Minnesota Symphony. He has received critical acclaim for his solo chant performances in the recordings and concerts of Cappella Romana, the vocal ensemble specializing in early and contemporary music of the Christian East and West.

The Educating Community The second course will be a one-day workshop, "The Educating Community," led by Dr. Anton Vrame. This workshop, designed for parish leaders and religious educators, will focus on the entire life of a parish as the primary educator. "The workshop starts from the premise that everything the parish is doing is teaching people about what it means to be and to live as an Orthodox Christian," according to Vrame. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their parish experiences for the positive and negative educational influences they might have. Strategies will be provided and shared for developing and enhancing the range and quality of parish ministries. This workshop will be held Saturday, March 22 at the Ascension Cathedral in Oakland. The cost, which includes lunch and program materials, is $30.

Anton Vrame is the Director of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute. He is one of a handful of Orthodox specialists in Christian Education in the world. He is the author of "The Educating Icon: Teaching Wisdom and Holiness in the Orthodox Way." Before coming to the Institute, he taught Christian Education at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, and St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Crestwood.

"The PAOI exists to serve the faithful of the Bay Area," according to Vrame. "We are offering these two opportunities, to begin in a small way, in order to offer what we can at this time to enhance the quality of parish life, support the work of the clergy, and to better equip the people who volunteer in our for their ministries. We are not trying to duplicate the education that's already occurring in parishes."

For more information on either course and to obtain registration materials, please contact the Institute (510) 649-3450 or by e-mail [email protected]

By Albert H. Lee
[email protected]