The Metropolitan Cantor Institute Program
The Metropolitan Cantor Institute of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, initiated in 1998, has a three-fold purpose:
- To prepare men and women to serve as parochial cantors,
- To serve as a resource center for liturgical music, and
- To provide professional support for the cantors of the Archeparchy.
This year, the MCI program has been restructured based on feedback from cantor school students, and our experience in teaching the program:
- The five year program has been shortened to four years. A one-year course on the Divine Liturgy is offered annually; the remaining three years (offered in rotation) cover the remaining chant material in the program.
- The music theory component has been revised to reflect the material most needed by cantors, and uses movable-do solfege for instruction in all four years.
- An additional six-evening course for readers will be offered in the Fall and Spring, covering Scripture and the role and tools of the church lector or reader. This course is open to new and prospective readers and cantors. Beginning MCI students will be expected to take this course as their schedule permits, and returning students are encouraged to take it as well.
Metropolitan Cantor Institute classes are held on the grounds of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (driving directions). Short courses are offered in parishes of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh.
The program is designed to be completed in five Saturday sessions in a cycle of four years of instruction. Each year covers an area in which parish cantors need competence:
FIRST YEAR: The Divine Liturgy, and the Sunday hymns in the eight tones
YEAR A: The service of Vespers; the liturgical year; Christmas and Theophany; the eight samohlasen tones
YEAR B: The Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts; the Great Fast, Holy Week, and Pascha
YEAR C: The Holy Mysteries; the funeral service, parastas and panachida; devotional services (paraklis, moleben, akathist)
The education of the cantor candidates at the Metropolitan Cantor Institute is built out of four components:
- Music: Voice-building, sight-singing, and plain-chant (prostopinije) repertory
- Leadership/Interpersonal Skills
- Practical aspects of the cantor's role
The Saturday Cantor Institute sessions at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. Lunch is provided.
In addition to classroom instruction, a "Cantors' Day of Prayer and Reflection," an annual event open to all cantors and cantors' assistants, is held on Bright Saturday at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Munhall, Pa. The day begins at 9:00 a.m. with Paschal Matins, followed by a morning reflection, celebration of Divine Liturgy, lunch, an afternoon reflection, and concludes with Vespers of Thomas Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
Dates for the 2011-2012 Metropolitan Cantor Institute
- Saturday, September 17, 2011
- Saturday, October 15, 2011
- Saturday, November 12, 2011
- Saturday, February 18, 2012
- Saturday, March 17, 2012 (note changed date!)
Deadline for this year's application is September 9, 2010. Download the current Cantor Institute brochure and registration form.
We are open to providing short courses on topics of special interest, such as Matins, paraliturgical hymns, singing in Slavonic, or Lenten services. Contact us if your parish or deanery would be interested in such a class or series of classes
For more information
Contact interim MCI Program Coordinator Jeffrey Mierzejewski at (412) 735-1676 or e-mail email@example.com