The Saint Tikhon Choir, the professional vocal ensemble of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, will give a series of performances of Benedict Sheehan’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in New York and Washington this coming October, under the direction of the composer.
The group gave the world premiere performance of Sheehan’s groundbreaking new work—commissioned in 2016 by the PaTRAM Institute—over the 2019 Memorial Day weekend, to great acclaim. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, who spoke at the end of the premiere, called the Liturgy “a milestone for Orthodox music in America.” Archimandrite Alexis Trader, in his reflection on the concert for Orthodox Arts Journal, wrote further that, “I have never experienced anything so breathtakingly beautiful, so transparently luminous, so close to that border between heaven and earth as the premiere performance of Benedict Sheehan’s Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom… the bar for Orthodox liturgical music in the English-speaking world has now been set, definitively.”
The concert series will begin at 7:00pm on Friday, October 18, at the Church of St. John Nepomucene in New York. The series will continue in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 19, with a roundtable discussion entitled “Beauty and the New Evangelism,” to be held at 3:30pm at St. Peter’s Church on Capitol Hill. The discussion panel will include the composer, Fr. Alexis Trader, and several other religious thinkers and artists from diverse backgrounds. A second performance of Sheehan’s Liturgy will follow at 8:00pm at St. Peter’s Church on Capitol Hill.
The series will culminate on Sunday morning, October 20, at 10:00am, with the “liturgical premiere” of Sheehan’s new work. The piece will be sung as part of a hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, DC. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, will preside, and the Saint Tikhon Choir will be joined by members of the St. Nicholas Cathedral Choir. The service is free and open to the public, but space will be limited and the Cathedral encourages attendees to arrive early.