Beautiful Music to Start Your Weekend

This week we are pleased to present a selection from one of the hymns on our new CD, entitled “O Virgin Unwedded.” We hope that this beautiful piece will uplift you and bring comfort during this time of continued uncertainty in our country and the world.

This hymn is available in its entirety on our new CD, “Blessed Art Thou among Women” – Peter Jermihov, Conductor. The CD is available on Amazon, iTunes, and wherever you buy music. To learn about this CD or purchase a copy for yourself, click here.

“Blessed Art Thou among Women” also received another favorable critical review, this time from John Quinn at MusicWeb International. Among other highlights in his review, Mr. Quinn commented, “The singing throughout this disc is of an extremely high quality. Not only does the choir sound superb, but they also evidence great commitment to the music. This is singing from the heart”. You can read the complete review here.

Remembering Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov – Two Year Anniversary

On the second anniversary of Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov’s passing, PaTRAM Institute™ would like to share this video remembering his life and the great contributions he made to the Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox community. Father of PaTRAM Institute’s Chairman and co-founder, Alexis Lukianov, Fr. Valery was a wise, kind and beloved pastor who served our Lord and his flock for over 50 years. Memory Eternal!

Father Valery Video

Christ Is Risen! PaTRAM Institute™ Wishes Everyone A Bright and Happy Easter

Christ Is Risen! Truly He Is Risen!

Христос Воскресe! Воистину Воскресe!

 

PaTRAM Institute™ would like to wish all of our donors, subscribers and friends a very bright and happy Pascha! Thank you for your ongoing support, past, present and future.

In these difficult days, it is especially important that we keep our perspective, help our friends and neighbors and find comfort in prayerful music to ease our fears and help us maintain hope. Our faith in God and our fellow man will help us all get through these trying times and to a brighter future.

In the spirit of the Paschal season please take a minute and watch our Paschal Greeting video.

PaTRAM Institute wishes you, your family and friends the best of health and a Happy Easter.

 

 

UPDATE – 2020 PaTRAM™ Conductors’ and Singers’ Summer Academy

PaTRAM Institute™ has made the decision to cancel our Conductors’ and Singers’ Summer Academy, scheduled for June 25-28, 2020. It has become clear that it will not be possible or safe to gather together at this time.  We remain hopeful that the global pandemic will pass, and we will again be able to invite the Orthodox community to join together to learn and sing to the Glory of God.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our participants.

Meanwhile, we wish you and your loved ones good health and all of God’s blessings.

Stay safe!

Tatiana Geringer

CEO, PaTRAM Institute

Friends & Family Pascha Special!

Register with a friend, and both students will receive their choice of one of our Grammy nominated CDs:

Teach Me Thy Statutes

The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

 

Our Pascha gift to you!

Limited time offer ends May 10

 

To redeem, click here to register.

On the submission form, please enter “PASCHA Special” and the name of the person you’re registering with.

PaTRAM Institute™ Attends the 62nd Grammy Awards

On January 26th, we attended the 62nd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. It was an honor to attend the event, walk the red carpet, and mingle with the talented nominees, who are so completely dedicated to their craft. Congratulations to the winner of this year’s award for Best Choral Performance, “Durufle: Complete Choral Works!”

Presentation of the Grammy for Best Choral Performance

Warm and heartfelt congratulations to Blanton Alspaugh, winner of this year’s Grammy award for Producer of the Year, Classical – these are back-to-back wins for Mr. Alspaugh! We are privileged to know and work with Blanton and his extraordinary team at Soundmirror, Inc.

Producer Blanton Alspaugh accepting his Grammy Award

We wish to thank our Executive Producers, Alex and Katya Lukianov; composer Kurt Sander; Maestro Peter Jermihov; our label, Reference Recordings; Blanton Alspaugh and his team at Soundmirror, Inc; and each of the brilliant choristers of the PaTRAM Institute Singers™ for their efforts in helping to create an exceptional, landmark CD! Bravo!

Executive Producer Katya Lukianov with her two daughters and one of the Founding Board Members of PaTRAM Institute

Several members of PaTRAM Institute attended this year’s awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Executive Producers Alex and Katya Lukianov and their two daughters; Maestro Peter Jermihov; Composer Kurt Sander; and soloist Vadim Gan, among other friends and family. What a night!

The Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony

Executive Producers Alex and Katya Lukianov with soloist Vadim Gan

Introducing the New PaTRAM Institute™ Website!

We are pleased to debut the completely redesigned PaTRAM Institute website ahead of the Grammy Awards Ceremony tomorrow! We have worked to create the best, most updated reflection of our organization, as told through our music, stories, photographs and videos. Though our organization has evolved over the years, through experience and thanks to the feedback of people like you, our vision and mission remain the same: to spread beautiful Orthodox liturgical music throughout the world in order to enlighten our collective minds and hearts.

Take a look “Behind the Recordings” and learn about our journey that began with a revelation! Listen to our music; watch behind the scenes videos, and learn how you can participate. You will find updated information about our Summer Academy, Master Classes, and our exciting 2020 projects and events. We’ve also redesigned our CD pages to make it simpler for you to purchase music from PaTRAM Institute or from your preferred online outlet.  And if you feel moved to support our endeavors for the year ahead, please consider making a donationPlease visit the NEW PaTRAM Institute website today, and let us know what you think! We would love to hear your feedback! 

We invite you to watch the Grammys live tomorrow on CBS All-Access and cheer us on! Our latest CD, The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is nominated for a Grammy award for Best Choral Performance. Congratulations again to composer, Kurt Sander; conductor, Maestro Peter Jermihov; Executive Producers, Alex and Katya Lukianov, and all the members of the PaTRAM Institute Singers™!

2020 PaTRAM™ Institute Conductors’ and Singers’ Summer Academy – Registration Now Open

Join Us This Summer!

We are delighted to announce that registration for the PaTRAM Institute Conductors’ and Singers’ Summer Academy is now open! Our annual academy will take place from June 25th-28th in Howell, NJ.

In 2020 we will be offering 3 fully immersive and rewarding music programs for:

  • CONDUCTORS
  • MIXED CHOIR SINGERS
  • MALE CHOIR SINGERS

For more details on the three programs, click here.

We have assembled a distinguished faculty to guide our participants in practical applications of both conducting and beautiful and prayerful singing for Orthodox worship. Learn from the very best in the field of sacred music, including Grammy nominated Maestro Vladimir Gorbik and composer and conductor Benedict Sheehan, and bring your new knowledge and skills back to your home parish.

Participants of the Academy will have an opportunity to participate in the Hierarchical All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy by either singing or conducting, depending on the track they select.

Lunches, a very special outing and closing banquet are included.

Tuition is as follows:

Mixed or Male Choir Singer Program: $195

Beginner Conductor Program: $245

Intermediate/Advanced Conductor Program: $475

Auditor: $75 for the duration of the Academy or $25/day

(For Auditors: materials, lunches, outing and banquet are not included)

 

Don’t miss this opportunity to join us this summer and take your skills to the next level!

REGISTER NOW!

2019: A Year to Remember for PaTRAM™ Institute

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.

Click here to read more about the 2019 Grammy Awards

 

 

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.

Click here to read more about our Grammy nomination

 

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.

Click here to read more about our October Master Class

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.

Click here to read more about the 2019 Summer Singers’ Academy

 

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.

Click here to read more about the Saratov recording project

 

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!

Click here to make a tax-deductible gift to PaTRAM Institute

Or contact our Executive Director, Alex Milas: a.milas@patraminstitute.org or our CEO, Tatiana Geringer: tgeringer@patraminstitute.org for more information on becoming an Associate Producer, sponsoring a singer and more.

PaTRAM™ Institute appoints Tatiana Zacharin-Geringer as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director

PaTRAM Institute appointed Ms. Zacharin-Geringer as its CEO and a member of the Board of Directors effective November 1, 2019. She succeeds Mr. Alexis V. Lukianov who founded the organization and has been its Chairman and CEO since inception over 5 years ago. Mr. Lukianov will remain as Chairman of the Board, and closely involved in strategy, as well as co-executive producer with Katherine Lukianov for concerts and recordings.

Mr. Lukianov, Chairman of PaTRAM Institute, commented, “We are especially fortunate to have Ms. Zacharin-Geringer lead all aspects, operations and fundraising for PaTRAM Institute. She is a supremely talented and organized executive who will bring an added emphasis on execution to our organization together with her unbridled passion and enthusiasm for our mission to preserve the authenticity of Russian liturgical music for worship. Please join me in congratulating Tatiana on her appointment as our CEO.”

Ms. Zacharin-Geringer has worked with the organization for the past 3 years as its exclusive events planner and manager and has produced workshops, master classes, academies, professional recordings and galas. In addition, she has managed large-scale corporate, private and non-profit events for a variety of clients in New York, Miami, Chicago, Washington, DC and Moscow.  Ms. Zacharin-Geringer has over 20 years of experience in executive management including General Manager of Rus Management Inc, in New York City, an affiliate of the Rostik International Group. She sits on the Board of Life In Motion, an international non-profit organization for Russian children with special physical needs and post-orphanage adaptation. She also holds the position of Chief Scoutmaster and Chairperson of the Joint Council of the St. George’s Pathfinders, a volunteer position in the world-wide scouting organization. Ms. Zacharin-Geringer has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Russian; and holds an MBA in Business Administration. She is bilingual in Russian and English.

Patriarch Tikhon Russian American Music Institute is a non-profit 501-c3 organization in their 6th year of existence and headquartered in Tiburon, CA.

PaTRAM™ Institute appoints Tatiana Zacharin-Geringer as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director

PaTRAM Institute appointed Ms. Zacharin-Geringer as its CEO and a member of the Board of Directors effective November 1, 2019. She succeeds Mr. Alexis V. Lukianov who founded the organization and has been its Chairman and CEO since inception over 5 years ago. Mr. Lukianov will remain as Chairman of the Board, and closely involved in strategy, as well as co-executive producer with Katherine Lukianov for concerts and recordings.

Mr. Lukianov, Chairman of PaTRAM Institute, commented, “We are especially fortunate to have Ms. Zacharin-Geringer lead all aspects, operations and fundraising for PaTRAM Institute. She is a supremely talented and organized executive who will bring an added emphasis on execution to our organization together with her unbridled passion and enthusiasm for our mission to preserve the authenticity of Russian liturgical music for worship. Please join me in congratulating Tatiana on her appointment as our CEO.”

Ms. Zacharin-Geringer has worked with the organization for the past 3 years as its exclusive events planner and manager and has produced workshops, master classes, academies, professional recordings and galas. In addition, she has managed large-scale corporate, private and non-profit events for a variety of clients in New York, Miami, Chicago, Washington, DC and Moscow.  Ms. Zacharin-Geringer has over 20 years of experience in executive management including General Manager of Rus Management Inc, in New York City, an affiliate of the Rostik International Group. She sits on the Board of Life In Motion, an international non-profit organization for Russian children with special physical needs and post-orphanage adaptation. She also holds the position of Chief Scoutmaster and Chairperson of the Joint Council of the St. George’s Pathfinders, a volunteer position in the world-wide scouting organization. Ms. Zacharin-Geringer has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Russian; and holds an MBA in Business Administration. She is bilingual in Russian and English.

Patriarch Tikhon Russian American Music Institute is a non-profit 501-c3 organization in their 6th year of existence and headquartered in Tiburon, CA.

PaTRAM™ Returns From Successful Recording Trip in Saratov, Russia

The PaTRAM Institute Male Choir recently returned from Saratov, Russia, where they recorded the next CD to be released on the Reference Recording label, More Honorable Than the Cherubim. Release date is TBA for 2021.

The new CD is a compendium of hymns to the Theotokos, performed by a fifty-six member male choir. The choir was directed by Grammy nominated Maestro Vladimir Gorbik. The singers hailed from Russia, Serbia, North America, and Australia. Michael Davydov was the featured soloist and the choir featured an unprecedented ten oktavists! Click here to listen to the choir during rehearsal and see more of the gorgeous Nikolsky Monastery.

The first day of rehearsal began with a Moleben at the seminary church in Saratov. The Associate Producers also spent the day watching the choir rehearse. Later that evening, the Kursk Root Icon arrived in Saratov with Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan. The PaTRAM Institute Male Choir sang at the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral to greet the Icon as it arrived. Click here to watch and hear our choir. There was then a Moleben and Akathist at the Cathedral in honor of the Kursk Root Icon. Click here to watch the service and listen to our choir!

On the second day of recording, the PaTRAM Institute Male Choir continued rehearsal at Nikolsky Monastery. While the choir rehearsed, our Associate Producers enjoyed an all-day tour of churches and other points of interest in Saratov.

Our third day of rehearsal on Thursday, August 22nd culminated with a press conference and concert at the Saratov Conservatory. It was an evening to remember! The concert set a record for attendance and included the governor and minister of culture. Bishop Nicholas, carrying the Kursk Root Icon and accompanied by Metropolitan Longin, led the procession into the standing room only auditorium. The hierarchs, and the 1,000+ people in attendance, then witnessed a riveting performance culminating with an encore and standing ovation.

Click here to check out an article about our trip to Saratov that was posted to the Saratov Minister of Culture website.

The next day, the choir then began the professional recording of the new CD with multi-GRAMMY Award-winning production company, Sound Mirror. PaTRAM partnered with Blanton Alspaugh and John Newton of Sound Mirror on our last two CDs, including the Grammy-nominated Teach Me Thy Statutes. It was wonderful to work with them again toward what we hope will be a world-class Disc which showcases the beauty of Russian choral music.

On Sunday the 25th, the PaTRAM Institute Male Choir sang during the Hierarchical service that was held at the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in the presence of the Kursk Root Icon. Metropolitan Longin acknowledged the group and awarded medals of the 1st order to Alexis and Katya Lukianov and Vladimir Gorbik; orders of the 2nd order to John Newton and Blanton Alspaugh of SoundMirror; 3rd order awards to Alex Milas, Tatiana Geringer, Natalia Prokopeca, and Andrei Zemtsov; and Gramotas to Andrei Chervikov, Leann Alspaugh, Oleg Guskov, and Michael Shoshin. Afterwards our group enjoyed a celebratory luncheon with Metropolitan Longin.

Click here to listen to the choir singing during the service.

From there, our group enjoyed a day of relaxation and fun on the Volga River. A boat ride took the group to a relaxing banya, dinner, ad hoc volleyball games, and swim in the beautiful Volga. It was a wonderful day and many new friendships were cemented!

On Monday, it was back to work for the final day of recording for the new CD. You can hear how fantastic the choir sounds by listening to these clips (here and here)! It was overall a very successful experience and we can’t wait to share the CD with you in the near future. PaTRAM was even featured on the local news in Saratov!

Following the final day of recording, many of the singers and support staff began to make their way back home, but some remained to celebrate the Feast of the Dormition. Eleven remaining members of the PaTRAM Institute Male Choir sang with the local choir during the Hierarchical Dormition vigil, which was celebrated by Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan with the Wonderworking Kursk Root icon at the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral. While it was in Russia, more than 18,000 people came to venerate the Icon! We were blessed to have it traveling with us.

Alongside the tremendous effort of the choir, we also had our Associate Producers traveling with us as they enjoyed the Ultimate Russia Insider Experience! The Associate Producers arrived in Moscow a few days before the choir met in Saratov to rehearse and record the new CD.

On their first night in Moscow the Associate Producers were treated to cocktails and dinner on the roof of the Ritz Carlton, overlooking Red Square. The next day, Saturday, they enjoyed a VIP tour of Red Square, the Kremlin, and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. They also experienced a traditional Russian banya at the Sanduni Banya. In the evening, the group had dinner at the White Rabbit, one of the best restaurants in the world with breath-taking views of the city!

On the second full day in Moscow, we began with our choir singing the Liturgy at Podvorye in the morning with our Associate Producers in attendance. The Associate Producers then had lunch at Genatsvale, a wonderful Georgian Restaurant. From there they were treated to a Moscow riverboat excursion and then a tour around the city before dinner.

While in Saratov, the Associate Producers continued to enjoy the VIP experience with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the choir, front-row seats at our concert at the Saratov Conservatory, and tours around the city. If you are interested in the VIP Russia Experience stay tuned for how you can support PaTRAM during the recording of our next CD! All of our recording projects are generously funded by donors like you and we would love to have you involved in the process.