The Choir is named for Saint Tikhon (Belavin), a saint who is uniquely honored for his accomplishments and vision in both North America and Russia. While serving as Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of the Aleutians and North America, from 1898 to 1907, he did many things to facilitiate the spread of Orthodoxy in America, including the founding of St. Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, and ministering to the various ethnic groups of Orthodox in America, both in their native languages and in English. Upon his return to Russia, his reputation as an extraordinary archpastor grew, whereupon he was elected Patriarch of All Russia in 1917, the first to hold that high office since the year 1700. Shepherding the Russian Orthodox Church during the extreme difficulties brought on by atheist Communist repression and persecution of religion, Patriarch Tikhon endured immense physical and spiritual trials, including several arrests and imprisonments, which resulted in a martyr’s death in 1925. In 1989 he was glorified as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church.
The educational vision and missionary zeal of Patriarch Tikhon while he was Bishop in North America is reflected in the long-term mission of the Patriarch Tikhon Choir’s organizers. Besides concert activities, a series of educational initiatives are being planned—choral workshops, master classes for conductors, and musical resources—aimed at having a positive impact upon the cultivation and practice of Orthodox liturgical choral singing in North America.
For more information about the life of St. Tikhon, visit the website of the Orthodox Church in America.