Ukrainian Sacred Music Seminar Hosted by the Seminary!
Ukrainian Sacred Music Seminar Hosted by the Seminary!


Ukrainian Sacred Music Seminar Hosted by the Seminary!

The St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary and the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus cosponsored a Ukrainian Sacred Music Seminar from April 30, through May 1, 2010. This workshop intended for Sacred Music enthusiasts, conductors, cantors and the average faithful parishioner interested in an introductory music appreciation course was held at the facilities of the Seminary at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church Center in South Bound Brook New Jersey. Thirteen participants from our parishes joined in the sessions.

His Eminence Archbishop Antony and Father Bazyl Zawierucha, Rector of the Seminary, opened the course with introductory comments on the centrality of the Sacred Arts and in particular Sacred Music in our expression of our faith. The lecturers and facilitators of the course were Oleh Mahlay, former conductor of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus, and St. Volodymyr Cathedral Choir, Parma, Ohio and  Protodeacon Dr. Ihor Mahlay, also of St. Volodymyr Cathedral, Parma, Ohio.

The core program for the Seminar was an introduction to the history of Ukrainian Sacred Music with an overview of the styles, trends, composers of the 1000 year history of church music in Ukraine. This included presentation of early singing of Kyivan Rus, touching upon the chant system, the big 3 of Bortniansky, Berezovsky, Vedel, and sampling of church music of the modern era. The lecture series was complimented with some enjoyable listening of music and a practicum of good vocal technique and choral production. Selected lectures on technique of singing (good for both conductors and the average singer), various aspects of music in the Church, and the practical application of vocalization were interspersed during the workshop. Saturday evening was highlighted with the singing of Vespers at St. Andrew’s Memorial Church, giving the participants a practical experience of one of the services in our Liturgical Cycle.

Oleh Mahlay, music curator of the Ukrainian Museum-Archives of Cleveland and the current music director of the Kobzarska Sich Ukrainian music programs, is an accomplished conductor, bandura player, and frequent lecturer on Ukrainian music.  He is the former artistic director of the world-renowned Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus, leading performances throughout North America and Europe and recording several discs of music including Golden Echoes of Kyiv: The Divine Liturgy.

Protodeacon Ihor Mahlay has actively served in various capacities within the Ukrainian Orthodox Church most notable as an assistant conductor, music instructor, lecturer in Sacred Arts, coordinator of charitable and educational outreach programs. Following 3 years of study and completion of St. Stephen’s Course of Theology, Ihor Mahlay was ordained into the Diaconate in November of 1997 and is attached to and plays an active role in the pastoral staff at St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Parma, Ohio. Since 1979, Deacon Ihor and Oleh have been involved with organizing and teaching at the Bandura Seminars – Kobzarska Sich at All Saints Camp Ukrainian Orthodox Church Camp in Emlenton Pennsylvania including the establishment of Ukrainian Sacred Music courses

The next Course of Ukrainian Sacred Music will be held during the Bandura  and Vocal Workshops at All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church Camp in Emlenton Pennsylvania on August 11 – 15, 2010.


Ukrainian Sacred Music Workshop           
August 11 – 15, 2010

This four-day workshop provides an opportunity to sing sacred works by Ukrainian master composers and provides practical pointers for church singers, cantors, and conductors alike relative to common areas of church singing. Listening lectures will open up many hidden aspects of sacred music tradition. There will be free time for sport, swimming, and relaxation.

This workshop is designed for older teenagers (ages 15 and older) and adults of all ages.
For further information concerning the summer programs, please visit

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Mailing Address
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
P.O. Box 495
South Bound Brook, NJ 08880

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
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135 Davidson Avenue
Somerset, NJ 08873