Dear New and Returning Students!

Thank you for registering for the upcoming summer session of the Synodal School of Liturgical Music!  Please let me know if there have been any changes in your plans.  If you are receiving this then we are confirming that we will be seeing you on Sunday, July 17th, 2022


The in-person session will begin with a Moleben on Sunday, July 17th at 2:00 pm in in the Cathedral at Novo Diveevo. Immediately following this there will be a general information session in the dining hall of the former adult home a short walk from the Cathedral.  A separate letter regarding housing will be send out the week of July 1st. 

Student Page of the Website:

As SSLM students, you have access to the SSLM Student Space page on our website, which you may find here: https://synodalschool.com/students

You will find all sorts of useful information, including music for the third year conducting students. Please print it out and place in a 1/2 “ black binder.  Other music for the conducting finals will be added to this folder once you arrive.


Travel links from the major airports can be found on the school website.  There is a train that runs from both NY and NJ to Spring Valley.  Please send your travel plans to me by July 7th so that we know when you are arriving and if you need any help with transportation.  Please let us know if you need help navigating and I will try as best I can.  Many things have been adjusted due to the pandemic that we are all trying to work around.  I am also including the number of a taxi operator that knows the Convent.  I do not know him personally, but he does come recommended.

Andrei Misko – (845) 821-3199.

Planning ahead is always the best option!


All relevant information can be found on the school website. 

Covid Rules:

Currently, the school is not requiring masks or asking about vaccine status; you will be asked to sign a health waiver upon arrival and anyone with symptoms that suggest possible Covid will be asked to test and, if positive, to take the appropriate measures as mandated by New York State guidelines at the time of the session. We will provide rapid tests on site if necessary and provide you with information about the nearest place to get a PCR test should the need arise. These rules are subject to change in the event that New York State imposes new regulations, but we hope that this will not be necessary.

Placement Tests:

Placement tests are available for the following subjects:

Music Theory  – all levels.  Dr. Sander will be sending information to those of you who indicated an interest in testing out.  Please let me know if you do not receive anything from him by June 25th.

Placement Test Dates:  end of June

Musicianship – Level One – I will be testing those of you who indicated an interest on the 17th after the informational session.  That said, I highly encourage everyone to participate in this class. I do start the class from the very beginning, but the focus is on church singing as well as regular sight singing.  As future choir conductors, you may also have to teach your singers to read music, so it is good to observe those that have never learned this skill before.  We also weave in some conducting here as well. I also ask students that have tested out to come and help us sing.

Typicon: (Online Theoretical Portion) – Levels Two and Three:

A reminder to try and complete all of your work before the session begins!

Level Three Reminders:

The conducting abstract for your piece is due upon arrival!

Below is a note from SSLM’s Associate Director Irina Du Quenoy regarding Daily Services:

Dear SSLM students!  We are looking forward to seeing you at Novo Diveyevo only a short time from now.  This past two years been quite intense and we are grateful for this opportunity to meet in person for the purpose of glorifying God through song. 

Because of the school’s move from Jordanville to Novo Diveyevo, we are able to offer something we never did prior to 2021: the opportunity for students to practice their skills by participating in the daily cycle of services.  To that end, we have divided the student body into four groups, each of which will be responsible for one daily cycle (vespers/matins/liturgy) per week. You will be given your group assignment upon arrival in Novo Diveevo, during the introductory session after the opening moleben.

A few notes on how this is going to work. First: each group will be supervised by an SSLM faculty member who will be there with you the whole time, which means that you will NOT be left to sink or swim.  Second, only Year II and III will be responsible for preparing the services with the help of Dr. Andreev. Year I students will be asked to sing and read under the direction of the assigned student conductor(s) and the faculty supervisor. Third, conductors for the services will be assigned by class year and experience; this will involve only Years II and III. Finally, part of the daily choir rehearsal time (see the class schedule) will be dedicated to preparing the music for the daily cycles, so you will have plenty of preparation before going into the services themselves.

Miscellaneous Useful Information:

For the Conducting Final on July 30th, all female students are asked to wear white blouses and black skirts, and all male students are asked to wear white shirts and black slacks (or a cassock, if you have one). 2nd and 3rd year students who are conducting should wear long sleeves. If you do not have white and black, do the best with what you have.

It is a good idea to bring your own towels, an mp3 player, notebooks, paper, pencils and pens, a loose-leaf binder (preferably black 1/2” for the conducting exam), staff paper, a tuning fork (see below), and an alarm clock. You might want to use flip-flops in the showers. A small portable keyboard is nice to have.

First-year students will incur some expenses for books and classroom materials. The approximate sum that comes to mind is $150.00.

There are numerous stores within walking distance in the event that any items are needed for purchase.  The school is providing one set of bedding per person – some students may wish to bring an extra set of sheets/pillowcase.  However, there are laundry facilities available on site.

Tuning Forks: You will Need One!!!

SSLM recommends an “A” tuning fork.  Some people are more comfortable with a “C” tuning fork, but they seem to be more difficult to find right now.  We will have some for sale on the first day of the session.  The cost will be approximately $15.

The links to music examples for Matushka Elena Perekrestov’s Music History Course will be posted on the Student Page by the end of June.  You will need to have access to these during the course.

A suggestion with regard to apparel: ladies should wear skirts or dresses at least knee length; they do not have to be to the floor. Hats or scarves are suggested for church but are not mandatory at Novo Diveevo. Gentlemen should wear pants, not shorts. T-shirts and tops should be tasteful with sleeves of a reasonable length. It does get hot and muggy, but a light sweater or jacket is advisable for evenings.

Classes begin at 8:15 a.m. on Monday, July 18th; breakfast will be available prior to class, at the SSLM dining room.  Please note that since the school runs its own dining hall, we do serve meat on non-fast days.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know as soon as possible. The school’s director Father Andre Papkov may be reached on his home phone: 847-299-2585, or by e-mail at apapkov.sslm1992@gmail.com   You may also contact our Associate Director, Irina du Quenoy, at  irinaduquenoy@gmail.com  and our Program Officer Valentina Shatalova at vshatalova@earthlink.net  at any time. 

Valentina Shatalova
SSLM Program Officer
SSLM Faculty
SSLM Administration