What is the course objective – what will the student accomplish by attending this program? – explain the practical experience and knowledge to be gained.

The student-singer will receive professional training and begin to gain a deep knowledge of the sacred choral arts starting with the very first rehearsal. We will study and develop vocal techniques: purity of sound, proper intonation and diction, singing as an ensemble with no one voice standing out, proper breathing in a chain with continual choral sound, which is the very basis for creating the feeling of the eternal.

What is unique about this master class?

By the Grace of God, the Male Choir of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra Representation gained fame in North America and other countries for their liturgical singing as well as concert performances and the production of a large quantity of high quality audio and video recordings.

It is our hope that the Master Class for Singers will be of interest because the students will learn the singing tradition of the Holy Trinity St Sergius Representation in combination with the Synodal tradition, for which, in Russia, the rightful successor has become the Moscow Conservatory.

The student will have a unique opportunity to not only improve their singing technique in rehearsals with the choir, set in the framework of the highest levels of concert performance, but will also be able to participate in singing the All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy and therefore use the knowledge and skills acquired in practice.

The participant will feel, from a musical standpoint, he is ascending to new, unknown heights of the conductor-singer arts and is beginning to comprehend the mystery of sacred singing.

How will attending this program make one a better singer? – explain how the student will apply this to his own choir at home.

Singing in a well-coordinated choir, which, with God’s help, will happen as a result of our rehearsals, allows the student to experience that to which he can call his fellow choir singers to aspire in his own parish. In the future, he can become the conductor of any church choir, having received exclusive instruction in sacred singing. This will happen if the student learns the following: how to build the balance of voices, adjust the musical structure, call the attention of the singers to the hand gestures of the conductor, tie the professional and spiritual aspects into one whole. To a large degree a musically proficient person, more so than those without a professional proficiency, will be able to incorporate a prayerful experience and reach a level of choral singing by which other singers will be guided.

What will Maestro Gorbik personally provide as training that makes this a world class program? – focus on prayerful singing and how to do it.

I will answer this question with the words of my Father confessor Metropolitan Vladyka Longin: “If you want the singing to be spiritual, do two things. First, carefully read the words of prayer during singing. Think about them when you sing. Then, after a while, the content will penetrate your heart’s feelings, and from there, the music. Second, it is impossible to achieve spiritual singing without a heartfelt approach to the performance of the church chant”. These two blessings define my work, and the work of my singers in the Male and Mixed Choirs of the Moscow Representation of the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra, for a long time. We are employing a decades-old, proven method of educating singers.

There is another point that follows from my experience of fulfilling the two wishes of Vladyka Longin. By receiving training in the technique of conducting and studying the intricacies of the conducting art in combination with prayer, by improving one’s self, the student-singer will invariably inspire other singers in his choir, with his personal example, to take a more responsible attitude toward the church singing discipline. Seeing how this singer improves, other singers will also want to develop and not remain at the same level.