About the Synodal School of Liturgical Music

Moleben 2014In the summer of 1992, then-Archbishop Laurus (later Metropolitan) blessed the establishment of a summer program in liturgical music at Holy Trinity Monastery, as part of a broader effort by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) to raise the quality of church singing within ROCOR parishes across the Russian Diaspora.  Known as the “liturgical music courses,” the program quickly expanded its mandate to welcome students from across all Orthodox jurisdictions, from all corners of the globe, as well as non-Orthodox students who wish to acquaint themselves with the unique tradition of Russian Orthodox liturgical singing.

A few years later, the courses, now known as the “Summer School of Liturgical Music,” became integrated into the Holy Trinity Seminary and accredited by the Board of Regents of the State of New York.

In August 2018, in recognition of the program’s growth and church-wide significance, the summer school was separated from the Seminary and began its independent existence under the spiritual aegis of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR; in June 2019, the Synodal School of Liturgical Music Limited was incorporated as a stand alone not-for-profit organization (in the state of Maryland) and has been granted authorization to carry out its activities in the State of New York. In May 2020 SSLM was granted 501(c)3 status.

In 2021, the ROCOR Synod blessed the school’s move from Holy Trinity Monastery to the Novo Diveevo Convent in Nanuet, NY.

The school’s activities consist of:

  • Annual Summer Classes. These include the Core Program leading to certification in either liturgical conducting or singing, a Pastoral Bridge program open to students of the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America (ROCOR), and an Individual Study program in which students not wishing to obtain certification may study at the school a la carte.

  • Online Instruction throughout the year for students of the Core Program. Currently, we offer online learning support in Typicon, Church Slavonic for English Speakers, and Sight-Singing. While some of the online instruction is meant exclusively for students enrolled in the Core Program, some opportunities are available a la carte for those who do not wish at present to enroll in the full program.

  • Parish Outreach activities. These are workshops on topics related to Russian Orthodox liturgical singing, offered throughout the year on the parish level on an ad hoc basis, addressing the needs of the local parish. Please contact us at synodalschool@gmail.com if interested in bringing a team of our faculty to your parish to work with your choir.

  • Continuing Education: The school runs occasional workshops related to church music topics for those interested in furthering their knowledge in this area. As of 2021, these workshops are held occasionally at Novo Diveevo

The Synodal School of Liturgical Music does not discriminate in its admissions process according to race, gender, or religious belief.