The seventh Ukrainian Sacred Music Workshop was held from Wednesday, August 7 through Sunday August 11, 2013 at All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church Camp in Emlenton, Pennsylvania. The course was sponsored by the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and was held in conjunction with the annual bandura and vocal courses known as Kobzarska Sich. The participants of the Ukrainian Sacred Music were church choir singers, choir conductors, cantors, and choral enthusiasts of Ukrainian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic parishes. All participants had the opportunity to learn new things about Ukrainian sacred music, sing unique compositions, and become better vocalists.
The course was facilitated and lead by Oleh Mahlay (present artistic director and conductor of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus and former musical director of the Kobzarska Sich Bandura and Vocal Program) and Rev. Protodeacon Dr. Ihor Mahlay (St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of Parma, Ohio). The administrator of the course was Anatoli Murha (President of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus). The core curriculum for the course focused on presenting an overview of the rich history of the Ukrainian Church Music and singing selections of a wide repertoire of church music, normally not possible in the average parish setting. In addition to the basic curriculum, time was devoted to basic chanting technique and providing participants with an opportunity given for some conducting coaching. Lectures where given on the topics of Liturgical structure, place and beauty of the Sacred Arts, and instruction with practicum of choir singing and leading. During the course of rehearsing, the singers also had a chance to receive vocal coaching from conductor Oleh Mahlay.
Special focus for this year's seminar was the music of Oleksander Koshyts, an early 20-th century composer, and Hryhory Vereta, a contemporary composer and bandurist in Ukraine.
The tranquil setting of the mountains of western Pennsylvania on the banks of the Allegheny River, along with the conducive facilities and the beauty of a traditional Carpathian wooden chapel provided a perfect setting for such a spiritual and musically enriching course. The workshop concluded with the Divine Liturgy served by Father Paisius McGrath and Protodeacon Ihor Mahlay at St. Thomas Chapel. The responses were sung by the combined choir of the workshop along with participants from the bandura course, with some workshop participants having the opportunity to conduct the choir.
The dates for the 2014 UKRAINIAN SACRED MUSIC WORKSHOP have been set: Wednesday August 6th to August 10th, 2014. For further information and dates for future courses visit www.bandura.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.