Choir / Cantor

Welcome to this site that offers information about our Choir and our Chanters.

In the Orthodox Church, many things are done to awaken, or invoke, all of our senses, so that we may praise and glorify God with our whole being.  Therefore, when we walk into church, we smell the incense; we see the presence of our Lord, the Virgin Mary, and all the Saints through their icons as we greet them with a holy kiss, and light a candle; we hear the music of the angels through the chanting of the cantors and singing of our choir; and ultimately we will taste the Body & Blood of Christ in communion.

Our voices, then, play an important role in helping us all to accomplish this awakening of the senses.   Traditionally, there are no musical instruments in the Orthodox Church, since for us, the music is the means by which we pray.   It is the words of the hymns that are most important, which we offer to God in our praise and worship of Him, and the music is the vehicle by which we offer those hymns.

The choir is situated in the back, up in the balcony, and sings mostly in English, with some Arabic and Greek at times.  We use a mixture of Byzantine chant with ison and Russian (and some Byzantine) style 4-part harmony.

The harmonic sounds of a choir can be a true source of inspiration to the congregation. We strive, and often struggle, to find musically-inclined parishioners who are willing to put their talents to good use, and are committed to a well disciplined choir agenda. Rather than bury our talents, we encourage people to use them to the glory of God.  So, if you have been blessed by God with a pleasing voice, and would like to become a part of something special, please talk to our Choir Director, Christopher Holwey, for more information.

The cantor usually chants from the side of the church, up in front.  This traditional music is chanted in Arabic, English and, at times, Greek. There are 8 basic tones that make up the Orthodox chants.  Intensive training is often a prerequisite to mastering the art of Orthodox chanting.

When there are no church services going on, tapes of Orthodox hymns or chants are often played in the background.

We invite you to come and experience the joy of worshiping in the Orthodox Church, which has been around for over 2000 years, and discover “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3).