The School of Byzantine Music (SBM) is an official ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The school is dedicated to educating and mentoring cantors in the Psaltic Art.
To educate and develop competent cantors in the Psaltic Art.
- To staff analogia with trained and competent cantors
- To enhance the worship experience in the local parish through the ecclesiastical music tradition of the Great Church of Christ
- To be a support and resource for the music ministry in the local parish
Over the past 10 years Archbishop Demetrios has traveled extensively throughout the Archdiocese, making pastoral visits to communities both within the Direct Archdiocesan District and in other Metropolises. During these visits he has participated in numerous liturgical services where the music used was not appropriately rendered. This points to the tremendous opportunity to increase the formal training among our church musicians throughout the United States. To be sure, choirs have undertaken the work of assisting our parishes for decades. However, their ministry has primarily focused only on Sunday liturgies. Holy Week and weekday services often leave the clergy without someone who can properly execute the liturgical music. Furthermore, and in the context of the Archbishop’s charge from the past Clergy Laity Assembly to, bring God’s people to His home, it is not difficult to understand that a vital aspect of a person’s experience when they enter a church is not only contingent upon what they see, but also what they hear.
Therefore, as a first step to respond to the needs of our clergy and parishes, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America has commenced the establishment of the Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Music (ASBM) in the Direct Archdiocesan District in order to teach young men and women Byzantine Music.
In 2022, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America re-launched the school after having been closed for nearly two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After appointing Georgios Theodoridis as school director and Archon Music Instructor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the school was re-imagined and re-opened in January 2022.
The newly re-branded school now operates as the School of Byzantine Music (SBM), the official ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Since reopening in 2022, the SBM has expanded access to students across the country by implementing a new and innovative online teaching program. Using video conferencing software, the School of Byzantine Music now provides live, online classes taught by expert faculty who either hold a degree or certificate in Byzantine Chant.
The SBM also updated its curriculum, added qualified faculty, and initiated outreach programs and educational workshops for current and prospective students of Byzantine Music.
Read A Brief Survey of the History of Byzantine and Post Byzantine Chant
by Dimitri E. Conomos of Oxford University