January 29th marked the beginning of the Byzantine music school for 2024. Gathered for the evening were new students as well as those continuing their musical journey. The opening began with a small blessing of waters and blessing for the teachers and students and a short presentation on the ethos and the role of the chanter in the ecclesiastical hierarchy and as a bridge between the faithful and the altar.

The presentation outlined the distinction between secular music and the music that evokes contrition, byzantine ecclesiastical music. Fr Jean went on to explain the spiritual ethos of the chanter and preparation required to stand on the analogion, using the hymn taken from the weekly Monday praises, “many times while chanting, I am found committing sin, for with my tongue I pronounce songs of praise, yet in my soul I think unseemly things; but correct both Christ God and have mercy on me.” Finally, attention was given to unity of heart as the goal of the choir, and when united, pray chanting and chant praying.

Thereafter, the students convened in their four class groups for the year and were given an outline of the program schedule.

We wish our students a blessed and fruitful year