PaTRAM Institute has had a banner year! 2019 unfolded with our first sashay down the red carpet at the Grammy Awards! Our Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance for the Teach Me Thy Statutes CD brought Orthodox music and the PaTRAM name to the global stage. This was a true celebration of the sacred choral arts! To our delight, 9 months later, The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom earned PaTRAM its second Grammy nomination! All of this could not have been possible without our sponsors and donors, who funded our recordings. The Producers Circle Dinner at the chic Havana Club helped PaTRAM reach a new fundraising record of $125,000 for this summer’s professional CD recording in Saratov, Russia and secured sponsorships for two deserving amateur singers. The More Honorable than the Cherubim 2019 recording in Saratov brought together 56 male singers and an unprecedented 10 oktavists from five countries. We were blessed to be accompanied by the 700 year-old Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign. Beyond producing the music for a new CD, the PaTRAM Male Singers performed a concert for a standing room only audience at the Saratov Conservatory and participated in the Transfiguration and Dormition services along with local choirs. We call this bridging the gap in US-Russia relations!
On the educational front, PaTRAM continued to foster the orthodox choral arts across North America with our Master Classes and the Annual Summer Academy. The preeminent Grammy nominated Maestro Vladimir Gorbik returned to the US to conduct three Master Classes for Male Choir, and our Singer Summer Academy attracted all levels of singers to our Mixed Choir and Male Choir dual track. We invite you to enjoy the highlights of our first ever Year in Review 2019 newsletter and join us in 2020!
Tatiana Geringer, CEO
A Night to Remember at the Grammy Awards!
The PaTRAM Team made its red-carpet debut at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on February 10, 2019. We were honored and humbled to be listed among the foremost choral ensembles in the world and truly overjoyed to attend the Awards Ceremony. For the first time, Orthodox music has come to the forefront of the world stage!
Written by the famed Russian composer, Pavel Chesnokov, and superbly performed by the PaTRAM Institute Male Choir under the direction of highly esteemed conductor Vladimir Gorbik, the Teach Me Thy Statutes CD represents some of the Orthodox world’s greatest music. The 42 vocalists, with a massive bass section, immerse the listener into the authentic Russian monastic style of singing through its fullness and richness of sonority. Alexis and Katherine Lukianov were the Executive Producers on the album, and Blanton Alspaugh of SoundMirror and producer of Teach Me Thy Statutes took home the win for Producer of the Year!
Teach Me Thy Statutes also garnered Music Web International’s Record of the Year 2018 award.
The CD was recorded and mastered by the multi-Grammy winner and nominee, SoundMirror in Saratov, Russia and is distributed by multi-Grammy recording company, Reference Recording
Alexis and Katherine Lukianov were Associate Producers of the album Memory Eternal, performed by the Clarion Choir, which also received a Grammy nomination in the Best Choral Performance category.
Our NEW Masterpiece and PaTRAM’s Second GRAMMY NOMINATION!
PaTRAM was thrilled to receive its SECOND GRAMMY NOMINATION for this landmark work. Commissioned from and composed by Dr. Kurt Sander, The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is an ORIGINAL recording of Orthodox choral music and the first and only complete setting of the Divine Liturgy in the English-language. Rooted in classical, 19th century Russian models, Sander’s Divine Liturgy beautifully unifies the musical fabric of the composition with the spiritual journey of the faithful. Under the superb leadership of Maestro Peter Jermihov this new jewel of choral a cappella splendor was recorded beneath the magnificently frescoed, soaring cupolas of New Gracanica Church at the New Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Monastery outside Chicago.
The release was recorded and mastered by the multi-Grammy winner and nominee, SoundMirror and is distributed by multi-Grammy recording company, Reference Recordings.
Fostering the Sacred Choral Arts with Leading Educational Programs
The indomitable Maestro Gorbik traveled to the US to conduct three Master Classes for Male Choir. All the Master Classes were tuition-free. The first Master Class, held in early spring during the Eastern American Diocesan Lenten Retreat, attracted many experienced singers and culminated with the Master Class choir singing the hierarchical All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy. In September PaTRAM Institute co-sponsored a mini-Master Class along with the St. Alexander Nevsky Foundation held in conjunction with the Feast Day of Saint Alexander Nevsky. The third Master Class was held in October during the Eastern American Diocese Pastoral Conference at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY. This coincided with the EAD’s celebration of the 35th anniversary of Metropolitan Hilarion’s consecration to the episcopate and in the presence of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign and the Myrrh-Streaming Iveron Icon of the Mother of God of Hawaii. During one of the choir practices with Maestro Gorbik, the choir was singing the Anaphora written by Fr. Silouan. At that moment Fr. Silouan happened to walk by and, upon hearing his Anaphora being sung, told the Maestro and choir that he never imagined it could sound so beautiful.
The Summer Singers’ Academy held in June at the beautiful St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral featured two independent course threads for Mixed Choir and Male Choir. The all-encompassing Mixed Choir curriculum, designed and overseen by Academy Executive Director, Katya Lukianov and staffed by a stellar faculty, taught the students the mechanics of singing, how to best emote prayerful singing and provided a deep knowledge of choral music roots and practical applications. Round-table and panel discussions allowed students to openly discuss important and pressing topics. In a very short time, the participants coalesced into a unified choir. Maestro Gorbik led the Master Classes for experienced male singers, instructing them in the techniques of making their singing as prayerful as possible to the glory of God and for the faithful. The culmination of the Academy was a hierarchical Divine Liturgy officiated by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, His Grace Bishop Luke and many clergy. Highlighted by the singing of the combined choirs of the Academy, the service was as colorful an image in sight as it was in sound.
The Master Classes and Academies deliver transformational experiences as attested by the participants and help accomplish PaTRAM’s mission of promoting and preserving the sacred musical treasures of the orthodox world.
The Saratov Project: a Wonderworking Icon, a History-Making Recording, and a Standing-room Only Concert
With the special permission and blessing from Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, the 700 year-old Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign traveled to Russia with the PaTRAM choir and was accompanied by Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan. During our time in Saratov more than 18,000 people venerated this holy relic. It was truly a sight to behold as both believers and those new to the faith lined up to pray and be in the presence of the magnificent icon.
Once we learned that the Kursk Root Icon would be accompanying our Choir, we knew that the 2019 PaTRAM Institute International Male Choir Recording must honor the Most Immaculate Lady, the Holy Theotokos! The musical project entitled More Honorable Than the Cherubim brought together singers from five countries to form a 56-member male choir including an unprecedented 10 oktavists. Our Grammy-nominated Maestro Vladimir Gorbik deftly achieved a sound so beautifully deep and moving that local people huddled outside the church and on the balconies of adjacent buildings in hopes of catching the exquisite sounds coming from the St. Nicholas Church! The compendium of hymns to the Holy Mother by various composers was recorded by the multi-Grammy Award-winning production company SoundMirror. Alongside the tremendous effort of the choir, we also had our Associate Producers traveling with us as they enjoyed the Ultimate VIP Russia Insider Experience with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the choir and the recording.
Additionally, the PaTRAM Male Choir had the distinct pleasure of performing their repertoire in concert at the Saratov Conservatory. It was truly an evening to remember! His Grace Bishop Nicholas, carrying the Kursk Root Icon and accompanied by His Eminence Longin, Metropolitan of Saratov and Volsk, led the procession into the standing room only auditorium. The Hierarchs then watched along with a full house as the Choir gave a riveting performance culminating in an encore and 5+ minute standing ovation.
To cap off an already incredible trip, Metropolitan Longin awarded medals and “grammotas” (certificates) to the PaTRAM team, Maestro Vladimir Gorbik and his assistant and the SoundMirror team following the hierarchical Liturgy at the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral and in the presence of the Wonderworking Kursk Icon and thousands of worshippers.
PRODUCERS CIRCLE DINNER
With your help, we are introducing more people around the world to the beauty and power of Russian liturgical music! Donations from the Producers Circle Dinner held at the exclusive Grand Havana Club in NYC set a new fundraising record of $125,000 for this summer’s 2019 CD recording in Saratov, Russia and secured sponsorships for two deserving amateur singers. Our two Associate Producers traveled with us to Moscow and Saratov and experienced the magnificence of Russia and participated first-hand in the making of what we hope will be another award-winning album. It was truly an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime journey!
AND ON TO 2020!
We are pleased to announce our initiatives and special projects for 2020! Here are the highlights, with more details to come over the next year:
-Cheer on PaTRAM at the Grammy Awards on Jan 26, 2020! Stay tuned for our story at the Grammys!
-Release of Blessed Art Thou among Women CD recorded in 2018 St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in loving memory of Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov, father of the Co-Founder and Chairman of PaTRAM Institute, Alexis Lukianov, Spring 2020. Maestro Peter Jermihov is the conductor.
-Master Class for Male Choir at the Eastern American Diocesan Great Lent Retreat, with Maestro Gorbik, March 2020
-Exclusive Producers Circle Dinner to honor our donors and sponsors and build support for the 2020 Recording, May 2020
-Singer and Conductor Academy at the beautiful St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral, NJ, June 2020
-A first of its kind international male choir CD recording in Moscow, conducted by Grammy nominated Maestro Vladimir Gorbik, October 2020
-A world premiere performance of “Russian Cross” with international stage and screen star Evgeny Mironov in partnership with the Life in Motion charity at Zaradye Hall, Moscow, October 2020
-Concert of Rachmaninoff’s sacred music, Moscow, October 2020
The October recording and concerts are landmark opportunities to unite East and West as our organization brings together singers from different countries who share the same language, culture, and beliefs to create beautiful and prayerful music. Our next CD and concerts will feature more than forty singers from the US, Russia, Canada, Serbia, and Australia.
And so much more!
We Need Your Help!
Help us introduce more people around the world to the beauty and power of Russian liturgical music! Consider making a donation to PaTRAM to help us fund these projects and more in the year ahead.
All administrative costs and overhead are generously funded by the Lukianov Family Foundation. However, our recording projects and concerts are solely funded by donors like you. 100% of all donations are applied to our projects. We want to continue to bring you the highest level of sacred prayerful music. Become part of our team and give generously to help us create and produce our 2020 album and concerts.
We invite you to join our Producers’ Circle and become an Associate Producer on our next CD. Experience the making of our album first-hand in Russia, join us for our concerts and have the “VIP Russia insider” adventure of a lifetime with our incomparable hosts, Alex and Katya Lukianov and the PaTRAM team!
Or you may choose to sponsor a singer and help us build the choir for the 2020 landmark CD. All donations, large and small, are sincerely appreciated!
Or contact our Executive Director, Alex Milas: firstname.lastname@example.org or our CEO, Tatiana Geringer: email@example.com for more information on becoming an Associate Producer, sponsoring a singer and more.