SS Cyril & Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary

Invitation & Details on the 1999-2000 Semester for the Archieparchial School for Cantors at SS Cyril & Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary


November 13, 1999; February 5, 1999; and March 4, 2000.



October 1999


Dear Cantor, Cantor Assistant,


We invite you to the 1999-2000 School for Cantors for the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh which will again be held at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh. 

This year there will be three Saturday workshops: November 13, 1999; February 5, 2000; and March 4, 2000. We are looking forward to welcoming you for these days dedicated to our Liturgy, our music and our ministry as cantors.


Thank you very much for all your suggestions submitted on the evaluations at the completion of last year's sessions. Your input and valuable ideas have been helpful in our planning. This year's program reflects our response to your needs as cantors.


What will change? This year we will place more emphasis on the skills you need to serve our church as cantor. Through the use of small groups, you will be able to work at the pace and the level you choose. These groups will allow for emphasis and in-depth practicing of techniques and musical skills that are required to effectively lead a congregation.


These groups will address various levels of learning. The beginning level will presume little or no knowledge of music and will carefully explain musical notation, pitch selection and basic singing skill. The levels will gradually progress, based on more knowledge of our chant and ability to sight-read. The most advanced group will practice applying our tones to un-noted texts. And yet another group will be designed for young and future cantors, specifically geared toward those of high school age.


This year's program will include some new speakers, directors and composers of music in the Eastern Churches, among whom are J. Michael Thompson, director of the Schola Cantorum of St. Peter the Apostle in Chicago, IL and liturcyist/musician at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in St. John, IN, and Professor Vladimir Morosan of Mussica Russica in Madison, CT. They will speak at the general session and will also be involved with the small croup workshops.


What will be the same? We hope you will be with us again! Also, the same team you met last year will be leading the days. We will continue to have "formation" themes each of the Saturdays. We will pray together as we did last year, beginning the day with the Divine Liturgy and ending with the celebration of Vespers. You will also be able to meet again with cantors from around our Archeparchy (and from our sister eparchies!) and exchange ideas and materials with the friends you met last year.


If you can be with us for our Cantor School this year, please take the time to complete the form included with this letter. Please be sure to indicate which level workshop you feel suits your needs as a cantor. Let us continue to pray for each other. May God bless and support you in your important work in our Church as cantor and leader of music.




Fr. Elias, O.Carm


Director of Cantor School


Fr. John G. Petro, Rector

Fr. Richard I. Lambert

Msgr. Alexis Mihalik

Fr. Joseph R. Raptosh

Fr. Donald Valasek



This year the School for Cantors in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh will place more emphasis on the skills on needs to server as cantor in our Church, and learning will be done through the use of small groups.


The program this year is designed to address four levels of learning. Registrants are asked to indicate on the forum which level applies.

Level A:

Basic singing ability

Little knowledge of chant tradition

Basic knowledge of Liturgy

Cannot read music

Level B:

Some knowledge of chant tradition

Familiar with basic music for Sundays

Occasionally serves as cantor

Reads music a little

Unfamiliar with occasional services

Level C:

Working knowledge of chant tradition

Serves as cantor

Familiar with leading congregation

Some knowledge of occasional services

Level D:

Designed particularly for high school age desiring to become a cantors


Liturgical prayer in the East shows a great aptitude for involving the human person in his or her totality. The Mystery is sung in the loftiness of its content, but also in the warmth of the sentiments it awakens in the heart of redeemed humanity. In the sacred act, even bodiliness is summoned to praise, and beauty which in the East is one of the best-loved names expressing the divine harmony and the model of humanity transfigured, appears everywhere: in the shape of the church, in the sounds, in the colors, in the lights, in the scents… Thus the prayer of the church already becomes participation in the heavenly liturgy ….

Pope John Paul II

Oruebtake Kynebm #11

The three all-day sessions will again take place at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh. Sessions will begin with the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 a.m. and conclude with Great Vespers at 5:00 p.m. Dates for the 1999-2000 sessions are November 13, 1999; February 5, 1999; and March 4, 2000.


9:00 AM Divine Liturgy
10:15 AM Welcome / Introduction
10:30 AM

Input Session



J. Michael Thompson

Theme: Eight Tones



Vladimir Morosan

Theme: Great Lent & Great Week




Theme: Funerals, Akathists, Molebens, Occasional Services

11:15 AM


11:30 AM

Group Workshops

12:30 PM


1:30 PM

Voice Skills

Coreen Poklembo

2:00 PM

Group Workshops

3:15 PM


3:30 PM

Group Workshops

4:30 PM

Closing Session

5:00 PM 


Byzantine Catholic Seminary

3605 Perrysville Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15214

Phone: (412) 321-8383.

Fax: (412) 321-9936


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Last Modified on 10/10/1999.