On October 2-6, the 28th Annual Russian Orthodox Church Musicians’ (ROCM) Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia took place at Holy Epiphany Parish in Boston. Over 70 people from across North America, and even some from Europe, participated in the conference. This year’s conference was devoted to the memory of Vladimir Pavlovich Roudenko, who for many years served as the director of the Holy Epiphany parish choir.
The main theme of the conference was “Continuity and Growth: Ensuring the Future of Liturgical Chant in Our Parishes.” The talks and lectures began on Thursday, October 3, after a moleben in one of the conference halls of the host hotel in a nearby Boston suburb. Lectures were delivered for three straight days. Dr. Peter Jermihov was the featured faculty member and choir director. Among the lecturers were experienced church choir directors, musicians, and scholars of the Russian Diaspora. Aside from the lectures, there were master-classes, workshops, and many rehearsals devoted to learning new music and preparing for the divine services of Saturday and Sunday. On Thursday evening, the Konevets Quartet put on a concert of liturgical and folk compositions. An energetic wave of applause followed every song in the folk program. Those who would like to review the full program may do so by clicking here.
His Eminence Gabriel, Archbishop of Montreal & Canada, presided over the All-Night Vigil and celebrated Divine Liturgy. Archpriest Andre Papkov, chair of the Liturgical Music Commission of the Church Abroad, who was unable to come to Boston on account of his health, was commemorated at Liturgy among the sick. At the services, aside from P. Jermihov, directors included A. Roudenko, V. Krassovsky, Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky, L. Doohovskoy, G. Kotar, M. Ganson, N. Schuler, and N. Ganson. The powerful choir sang with inspiration and majesty. It was joyous to see many young children and youth in church. The conference happened to fall on the Feast of the Conception of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist of the Lord John. Holy Epiphany parish considers every feast of St. John the Forerunner a sort of parish feast; therefore, the locals embraced the festal hierarchal service on this day with particular joy and gratitude to All-Merciful God.
The conference concluded with a picnic-style banquet in the Holy Epiphany churchyard, with unseasonably warm weather and no-less-warm a family atmosphere. After the meal, conference participants were invited for tea to the home of the rector, Archpriest Victor Boldewskul.
The organizers thank Fr. Victor, the parishioners, and the sisterhood of Holy Epiphany for their financial and practical support, as well the Fund for Assistance to ROCOR and its donors for a grant that helped subsidize registration costs for all participants in the conference.