Byzantine Chant, The Received Tradition made its formal classroom debut this week! The book has served as the chief instructional text for the thirty-eight chant students of The Liturgical Arts Academy (TLAA) at the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta’s Diakonia Retreat Center in Salem, South Carolina. Over five intense days of classroom instruction and services, beginning, intermediate, and advanced students from all over North America have mastered author John Michael Boyer’s exercises and absorbed its theoretical and practical lessons.
John himself has been teaching the Advanced chant section from his textbook. He has been working with experienced cantors in a masterclass format to refine their expression of more complex pieces. That’s not all; he has also led the Academy’s student choirs for services in the extraordinary Panagia Chapel, including a Vespers with His Grace Bp. Sevastianos of Zela, and a “Small” Vigil (festal Vespers and Matins) that was five hours long. John also led a choir of TLAA’s men in some sample recordings of music from his forthcoming volume of Christmas chants in the Chapel’s warm and resonant acoustic.
Saturday is when we all go home, and it feels like it will be all too soon. Next year at TLAA!