Last summer, PaTRAM Institute™ assembled a fifty-six member male choir, including an unprecedented ten oktavists, in Saratov, Russia to record our next CD title, “More Honorable than the Cherubim.” Young Nektary Kotlaroff was among this talented group of singers.
This was Nektary’s first opportunity to be part of a professional CD recording and to work with the team that created and produced PaTRAM Institute’s other Grammy-nominated CDs. While in Saratov, Nektary also participated in the choir’s standing-room only public concert performance which was attended by the governor and the minister of culture.
The trip also gave him another opportunity to sing with the Patriarchal Choir of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, the first time being his previous trip to Russia in 2018 where he met Maestro Vladimir Gorbik. Nektary also sang with the Danilov Monastery Male Choir in the Dormition Cathedral on the feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God with Patriarch Kirill serving.
As if those opportunities weren’t enough, Nektary’s trip to Saratov also allowed him to find additional support and funding from PaTRAM for a project he’d been working on since the end of 2018. With the support of Bishop George of Canberra, in early 2019 Nektary officially created the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia, a choir of just over twenty male choristers.
The creation of the choir gave Nektary the opportunity to begin composing and arranging Russian, Ukrainian and Serbian folk songs for the choir to perform at concerts, with the goal that the choir’s folk repertoire eventually be all original arrangements and compositions so that they develop their own unique sound, image, and style. Nektary also had the idea to take the male choir on tour to New York to collaborate with American male singers.
While Nektary certainly didn’t lack for enthusiasm, passion, and vision, he needed more than that to make all these dreams a reality. He needed to come up with the funds to not only arrange an overseas tour, but also to make the connections and find the support to make it happen from half a world away.
Through his efforts in Australia, Nektary was able to gather almost enough support for his Choir’s US Tour. In PaTRAM, Nektary found the additional support he was looking for and more. Returning to Australia after the Saratov recording refreshed and invigorated, Nektary officially got underway with planning a 2019 New York tour for the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia.