Memory eternal to the ever-memorable Father Valery on the third anniversary of his repose in the Lord. Christ is Risen!

Memory eternal entoned by Alexis Lukianov with the PaTRAM Institute Singers, Blessed Art Thou among Women CD.

Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov was born on December 21, 1927 in the city of Shanghai (Republic of China) into the family of Simeon Mikhailovich Lukianov and Zoya Stepanovna Suhanova. He completed the full curriculum at the classical gymnasium, receiving his Certificate of Maturity in 1945. As a result of the wartime situation in China, he was evacuated in January 1949 to a refugee camp on the island of Tubabao (Philippines) and arrived in the United States in 1950.

In 1951, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served for two years in the Corps of Engineers. On June 13, 1954, he married Irene Petrovna Motcharsky, daughter of Mitred Archpriest Peter and Raisa Vasilyevna Motcharsky; they had five sons: Alexis, Serge, Nicholas, John, and Alexander. On June 15, 1955 Fr. Valery graduated cum laude from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering Degree.

After working as a civil engineer for several years, he enrolled at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York and graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Theology Degree. In 1959, Fr. Valery was tonsured a reader, then, successively, ordained a subdeacon, deacon (by His Eminence John, Archbishop of San Francisco, now gloried as a saint), and presbyter (by Metropolitan Philaret Voznensensky) and, over the course of nearly 60 years, rose through virtually all the clerical honors and awards to the rank of a mitred protopresbyter with the honor to wear 2 pectoral crosses, the highest rank of a married priest.

Having been assigned rector of St. Alexander Nevsky Church in Howell, New Jersey in 1968, he fulfilled various administrative roles within the Church hierarchy beyond the functions of a parish priest, including serving as the head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in the Holy Land and chairman of the Synodal Arts & Architecture Commission, but remained attached to this parish for nearly 60 years until his passing on May 25, 2018.

One of his greatest achievements as a cleric and civil engineer is considered to be the building of the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (initiated in 1989 and consecrated in 1997) which stands today as a magnificent edifice and Herculean accomplishment; it is an architectural gem and truly an adornment of the Russian Orthodox Church in North America.

A prolific author, visionary leader, gifted pastor, and shining example of Christian piety and love, Fr. Valery rose to become a stalwart spiritual force in America and is now regarded as one of the most honored priests of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) of the Post-1917 Revolution Era.

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Keep up with all things PaTRAM on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. PaTRAM is moving ahead with exciting plans for a concert tour and CD recording of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil in Serbia in October 2021! We will be praying for all our supporters and friends. Be sure to send in your payer slips for commemoration at the holiest churches in Serbia. Check our Social Media for updates and information and learn how YOU can participate in this important project.

Have you visited our website recently? We are continually updating information, uploading new photos and will soon bring you music from our highly anticipated, upcoming album. We cannot wait to share this music with you!

Subscribe, follow us, and join us on all our musical journeys. We thank you for your continued support and wish you good health and all God’s blessings!



Dear Friend of PaTRAM,

Despite difficulties, delays and postponements due to the global pandemic, PaTRAM Institute is still fully committed to bring this important, prayerful project to fruition. The Rachmaninoff Recording and Concert Tour is NOW scheduled for OCTOBER 2021 in beautiful SERBIA!

In these challenging times, we believe that collaborating through our Orthodox faith and creating beautiful music for worship builds bridges of understanding among people, brings hope, and unites our world through prayer.

Our recording will be a first-of-its-kind, international Male Choir CD of one of the greatest compositions in all of Orthodox music – Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil. The extravagantly gifted Maestro Ekaterina Antonenko will conduct the 50 member PaTRAM Institute Male Choir, featuring 25 choristers from North America and Serbia and 25 choristers from Russia.  The CD will be produced and mastered by our long time, multi-Grammy Award winning partners, Soundmirror.

The PaTRAM Male Choir will also perform a concert tour in Serbia! Very special concert venues have been chosen for the event!

You can be a part of this incredible musical endeavor! Did you know that there are many ways you can help to bring this important project to fruition?


Can YOU help raise the $50,000 still needed to make this prayerful project a reality? Here is how you can help:

  • Donate directly to the Rachmaninoff Project. All donations large and small are important to reaching our goal and are gratefully appreciated.
  • Partner with PaTRAM Institute as a Sponsor. You or your company could assist with transportation, accommodations, and meals for the singers
  • Become an Associate Executive Producer of the album and join us in Serbia for a musical adventure like no other!


We are happy to bring your commemoration slips to ALL Divine Liturgies attended by PaTRAM in Serbia. Please send them directly to A suggested donation of $25 is deeply appreciated, but even if you cannot donate at this time, we will be happy to pray for you and your loved ones in the holiest places of Serbia. Please send the names of the Living and the Reposed to our Executive Director, Alex Milas,

Click to download commemoration slips.

Thank you, and may the Lord bestow His blessings upon you and your loved ones!

PaTRAM™ Institute Wishes All Our Friends A Blessed and Bright Easter!

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Let us Rejoice in the Resurrection of Our Lord!

We thank you for inviting us into your home and allowing PaTRAM to share the authentic beauty of Orthodox music with you and your loved ones!

We ask that you turn the volume up on your device and click here-> Paschal hymn and enjoy this music from the Blessed Art Thou among Women CD.

Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе!


This week we introduce Richard Barrett, tenor. Richard is an Orthodox church musician, choral singer and scholar. He is the Executive Director of AGES Initiatives, which distributes service texts and liturgical music to Orthodox parishes throughout the world, and Artistic Director of the Saint John of Damascus Society, which supports the performance and dissemination of Orthodox sacred music. Since 2015, he has served as Director of Music at Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Somerville, MA. He has a performer’s certificate in Byzantine music from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and has been an invited clinician, speaker, and guest cantor at Orthodox churches throughout the country. He is also the co-host of the podcast, “A Sacrifice of Praise: The Living Tradition of Byzantine Music in America.”

He sings regularly with multiple ensembles, including Cappella Romana, the Patriarch Tikhon Choir, and Psaltikon. Richard sang with PaTRAM choirs on: “Praise The Lord, All Ye Nations”, “The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom” and “Blessed Art Thou among Women”. He has worked with conductors such as Alexander Lingas, Benedict Sheehan, Peter Jermihov, Marcel Pérès and Vladimir Gorbik.

In addition to a variety of publications and presentations, recently he was an invited speaker at “Byzantine Chant in the Anglosphere”, an event sponsored by City University of London in memory of Archimandrite +Ephrem (Lash). He holds a B. Mus. in vocal performance and an M. A. in Ancient History, both from Indiana University, and has done further work in Modern Greek studies.

Voice teachers include Dennis Kruse, Erich Parce, and Dale Moore, and Richard has also studied Byzantine chant with Ioannis Arvanitis, John Michael Boyer, and Fr. Romanos Karanos.


It’s our pleasure to introduce Samantha Grambow (née Farmilant), soprano, who appears on the PaTRAM Institute Singers’ GRAMMY-nominated recording of Kurt Sander’s “The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom”. Recognized for her “authenticity” and “attention to text,” Samantha appears regionally as a recitalist and on the opera, oratorio, and concert stages. In 2016, Samantha sang the world premiere of Gwyneth Walker’s “Emily!” at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Publishers Showcase in Chicago. Most recently, she made her solo debut with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and the Siletz Bay Music Festival, and received a scholarship award from the American Opera Society.

Please enjoy this wonderful video clip of Samantha’s version of Pink Martini’s “Sympathique”. About this piece, Samantha said, “I recorded it in March 2020 at the beginning of quarantine…the first line (“ma chambre a la forme d’une cage) really spoke to me! ;-)”.

Introducing Maestro Ekaterina Antonenko

PaTRAM Institute™ is proud to announce its newest collaboration with Maestro Ekaterina Antonenko, the renowned choral conductor, Founder and Artistic Director of the Russia-based Intrada Vocal Ensemble. Since its founding in 2006 the Intrada Vocal Ensemble has gained a reputation as “the best Moscow choir today” («Musical life», 2018).

PaTRAM Chairman Alexis V. Lukianov said, “PaTRAM is extremely pleased to partner with Maestro Ekaterina Antonenko, one of the top rising conductor stars in Russia, for our next concert tour and CD recording of Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil in June, 2021. Maestro Antonenko has received countless accolades for her work with Intrada, as the finest choir in Moscow. I am convinced that her creativity, professionalism and drive to be the best will have an outstanding positive impact on this project and the PaTRAM Institute™ Male Choir.

Ms. Antonenko will be conducting the PaTRAM Institute Male Choir on their upcoming multi-city concert tour and CD recording of Rachmaninoff’s “All-Night Vigil”, June 2021 in Serbia and Bosnia. The concerts will be presented in the cities of Belgrade, Banjaluka, Novi Sad and Nis. The culmination of the project will be recording sessions overseen by PaTRAM’s long-time production company, Soundmirror, in Nis.

Soundmirror’s multi-Grammy winning producer, Blanton Alspaugh, referred Ms. Antonenko to PaTRAM™ and described her as “extravagantly gifted. She melds a scholar’s grasp of performance practice with an entrepreneur’s flair, all in the service of a fluent and unaffected musicality. She elicits splendid singing and I can’t wait to hear Rachmaninoff with Ekaterina and the PaTRAM Male Choir.

Ms. Antonenko studied choral conducting at the Moscow Academic Music College and at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, earning her Ph.D. in 2013. She also studied at the prestigious Hochschule fuer Musik und Tanz in Cologne, Germany. She now teaches at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory.

She has performed all over Europe with Intrada, and has collaborated with Peter Phillips, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Vladimir Jurowksi, Mikhail Pletnev, and Yuri Bashmet, among others.

Most recently Ms. Antonenko led the Intrada Vocal Ensemble in singing Sviridov’s “Sacred Love”, the traditional Christmas carol “Shchedryk (the Little Swallow)”, Tchaikovsky’s “The Legend” and many other presentations. After the Dresden Music Festival, KARSTEN BLÜTHGEN, writing for Sächsische Zeitung, said about the Intrada concert, “One could hardly imagine more inspired, well-balanced and powerful choral singing.”

With such a stellar choral background, Maestro Antonenko will make an exciting and creative addition to the PaTRAM Institute’s choirs. PaTRAM looks forward to a long and artistically fulfilling relationship in the years to come.


This week the PaTRAM spotlight focuses on Dr. Jason Thoms, whose vocal range runs from baritone to bass to oktavist, and he appears on the PaTRAM Institute Singers’ recording of “Blessed Art Thou among Women”. Dr. Thoms is, currently, the Director of Choral Activities at Bismarck State College in Bismarck, ND.

Dr. Thoms comes with impressive resume of accomplishments. In addition to being a professional singer, he also is an accomplished conductor, teacher and published composer. He has conducted choral ensembles around the world and has performed at Carnegie Hall, as a soloist, not once but FOUR times! We highly recommend visiting Dr. Thoms’ website as his resume is too long to list here.


Please enjoy this wonderful video clip of Dr. Thoms singing “Weep You No More”, by John Dowland.


Cue the spotlight and shine it directly on Michael Hawes! Michael, Bass-Baritone Singer and Trumpet player, is a member of Chicago based Axiom Brass, is the newly appointed Music Director at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Chicago, and tours around the world singing and playing with groups such as Axiom Brass, the PaTRAM Institute Choirs, Seraphic Fire, the Clarion Choir, St. Tikhon’s Choir, Skylark and more.

Michael said, “It is such an honor to sing with my wonderful and esteemed colleagues in the PaTRAM organization, and has been a huge highlight of my musical life these last several years. Most recently, a concert and recording tour to Saratov, Russia was a thrilling and deeply spiritual experience. Thank you PaTRAM!”

Michael has performed with PaTRAM choirs on three CDs:

  • “The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom”
  • “Blessed Art Thou among Women”
  • “More Honorable than the Cherubim” (coming very soon)

Michael would like to share with us a piece called, “Dawn’s Awakening”, by Florence Price. To read more about Michael, please take a look at his website,


This week the spotlight shines squarely on Glenn Miller, oktavist, who appears on the PaTRAM Institute Singers’ recordings of “The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom” and “Blessed Art Thou among Women” which were released in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Glenn hails from Michigan and is in very high demand for his amazing LOW vocals. Truly, unique.

Glenn began his professional career singing with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, most notably recording the Rachmaninoff “Vespers” as well as numerous other recordings. He went on to sing in many different choirs around the United States including Clarion (NY), Skylark (Boston), Capella Romana (Portland), Yale Choral Artists (New Haven, CT), Conspirare (Austin), TX), St. Tikhon’s Chamber Choir (Pennsylvania) and many, many more.

Amongst numerous recordings with Conspirare, its recording, “The Sacred Spirit of Russia,” on which he was a featured soloist, performing the Chesnokov “Do Not Reject Me in My Old Age,” won the 2014 the Grammy award for Best Choral Recording. He, also, wrote the chapter, “Reflections of an American Choral Oktavist” which was included in the book, “Conducting Men’s Choirs,” published in 2020. As though there weren’t enough accomplishments already, he is Director of Music and Organist at Kirk in the Hills, Bloomfield Hills, MI, where he directs the church’s professional adult choir and boys’ and girls’ choirs and an extensive musical outreach program of concerts, video productions, and recitals.

In addition to Glenn’s aforementioned award-winning Chesnokov piece, we invite you to hear Glenn singing, with Cappella Romana, “Lord Have Mercy” by Tchaikovsky.


Cue the PaTRAM™ spotlight on Milan Acimovic, bass, who appears on the PaTRAM Institute Male Choir’s recording of “More Honorable than the Cherubim” which was recorded in Saratov, Russia in 2019 and is scheduled for release later this year. “Mika” hails from Bosnia and has been a critical contributor to PaTRAM’s planning of this year’s Rachmaninoff “All-Night Vigil” tour and CD recording in Serbia. His efforts on the ground there have played a key role in making this event a reality.

Mika is the Chief Conductor of the Belgrade City Choir in Serbia. He is also an orchestral conductor and a professional singer in his own right. But his talents run the gamut of responsibilities including music director of the International Belgrade Choir Festival, program manager of various musical events in Serbia and even work in pop bands on keyboards and backup vocals. A man of all musical trades!

Please watch this clip of Milan singing an excerpt he arranged from “Testament” by Rajko Maksinovic and based on text by Bishop Petar Petrovic Njegos. Also, enjoy watching Milan’s conducting skills on display in this clip of Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 3”, Fourth Movement.



This week the PaTRAM spotlight shines on Seth Davidenko, oktavist, who appears on the PaTRAM Institute Male Choir’s recording of “More Honorable Than the Cherubim” which was recorded in Saratov, Russia in 2019 and is scheduled for release later this year. Seth, a Canadian, is a reader and singer at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Toronto, Ontario.

Seth graduated from the Synodal School of Liturgical Music in 2015 then completed his Bachelor’s Degree at the Holy Trinity Seminary (HTS) in 2018 and is now working on his Master’s Degree from HTS. Occasionally, Seth conducts the choir at his home parish as well as at the Holy Trinity Monastery. All this experience was essential in his earning a place in PaTRAM’s choirs which employ a rigorous selection process for non-professional singers and provide amateurs the opportunity to sing with a Grammy-nominated, professional choir.

Please watch this clip of Seth singing “The Beggar”, by Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov and accompanied by Laurie Jeanne Crockett on piano.