Photo by Julian Hayda

Photo by Julian Hayda

Second Annual Church Singing Conference Gathers
at St. Basil’s Seminary in Stamford, Connecticut

From Thursday, September 26, to Sunday, September 29, 2019, cantors, singers, choir directors, clergy, and all those interested in church singing gathered for the second annual Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Singing Conference, “SingCon,” a weekend of prayer, learning, and fellowship at St. Basil’s Seminary in Stamford, Connecticut.  The gathering under the leadership of Deacon Daniel Galadza, and with the support of the Patriarchal Liturgical Commission, was organized by a group of American and Canadian cantors, church musicians, and other clergy and laypeople. The weekend's events were hosted by the Eparch of Stamford, Bishop Paul (Chomnycky), and Fr. Bohdan Tymchyshyn, rector of St. Basil’s Seminary.

From parishes in every corner of Canada and the United States—from Vancouver to California, from Florida to Boston—as well as participants from the UK and Germany—over seventy people attended the weekend gathering. Participants included many young adults; college students, young professionals and young married couples with children as well as several Roman Catholic and Orthodox participants. The youthful energy of the gathering facilitated spontaneous sight-reading sessions and dancing (including a kolomyjka) in the evenings, while the presence of Orthodox and Roman Catholics demonstrated the value of sacred music in strengthening ties between sister Churches and in ecumenical dialogue.

This year’s gathering continued  last year’s initial efforts to advance both the availability and  the quality of Church music in the English-speaking world by bringing together cantors and choir directors to meet one another, network, share resources, discuss various issues, and—most importantly—to pray together. 

Four practical workshops were offered over the weekend, on 1)  the Divine Liturgy (using The Divine Liturgy: An Anthology for Worship published by the Sheptytsky Institute), 2) introducing Vespers into parishes, 3) services from the Trebnyk, or Book of Needs (Baptism, Marriage, Funerals), and 4) the sources of the Kyivan and Galician liturgical music tradition. Networking sessions during meals led by Linda Dudar covered topics such as how to develop a choir and how to trouble-shoot mistakes and misunderstandings that inevitably arise for leaders of church singing. 

Participants divided the remainder of their time between rehearsals, tours of the Stamford Seminary Museum and Library, and the celebration of liturgical services (Vespers, Matins, the Hours, and the Divine Liturgy) with homilies by Fr. Martin Canavan and Fr. Joseph Matlak, culminating in a Saturday evening Vigil and Sunday morning Divine Liturgy. Bishop Bohdan (Danylo) of St. Josaphat Eparchy in Parma and the English-language coordinator of the Patriarchal Liturgical Commission presided and preached at the Vigil on Saturday evening and at the concluding Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the St. Basil Seminary Chapel. Roman Hurko’s new composition, The Jesus Prayer had its world premiere, sung by the choir during the Communion of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.

On Thursday evening, after Vespers, dinner, and a word of welcome from Bishop Paul  participants continued with a rehearsal and Town Hall/Armchair session moderated by Larisa Cronin, entitled “High Place, Altar, Krylos, Pew: Tell us, what’s your point of view?”, a forum for various perspectives on church singing in the UGCC, from bishops and priests to cantors and lay people. Metropolitan Borys (Gudziak), this year’s representative from the bishops, encouraged those present to continue their ministry of church singing and invited them to Philadelphia in 2020.

On Friday evening, cantor Joseph Roll gave a keynote address on the history of liturgical music at the Stamford Seminary. Professor Roll, who had organized similar church singing conferences in the 1980s and 1990s, provided an overview of the numerous liturgical translations and musical arrangements that were prepared in the seminary’s halls by its professors, clergy, and students, among them Fr. (later Patriarch) Lubomyr Husar, Mother Andrea of the Missionary Sisters of the Mother of God, and Prof. Ivan Zadorozhnyj. The lecture received a standing ovation.

The members of the organizing committee included Larisa Cronin (Ottawa), Reader Ilya Galadza (Toronto), Deacon Daniel Galadza (Kyiv), Julian Hayda (Chicago), Namisha Hlus (Edmonton), Roman Hurko (New York), Deacon Cyril Kennedy (Washington, D.C.), Father Joseph Matlak (North Carolina), Melita Mudri-Zubacz (California), and Damein Zakordonski (Edmonton). 

A key result of the conference is that the Patriarchal Liturgical Commission will have a better sense of the support, resources, and training that cantors, choir directors, and singers in the UGCC in North America need to fulfill their vocation. Participants expressed the urgent need for official translations and publication of liturgical books in both English and Ukrainian, as well as resources that will help them sing the services in those books. 

SingCon’s focus on English-language liturgy and singing in the UGCC stems from the 2017 decision of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC to create local linguistic groups within the Patriarchal Liturgical Commission. At the encouragement of Bishop Benedict (Aleksiychuk) of Chicago, a committee was formed at this year’s SingCon to prepare statutes for the formation of the Church Music Association of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in North America. This business meeting was attended by, among others, Bishop Basil (Losten), Bishop Bohdan (Danylo), and representatives of the Church Music Association of America (

Information on the schedule and the music, as well as photos and videos from the weekend, can be found on the conference website ( and on the Facebook page of the Patriarchal Liturgical Commission ( with the hashtag #SingCon2019.

The next SingCon is scheduled for October 1-4, 2020, in Philadelphia, PA, hosted by the Philadelphia Archeparchy. For updates, subscribe to the mailing list on or write to hello[at]

UGCC SingCon Press Service

2019 SingCon Schedule

Friday, September 27, 2019

Holy martyr Callistratus and his wife, Venerable father Nilus, founder and hegumen of the Grottaferrata Monastery

8:00 am – Weekday Matins

9:00-9:45 am – Breakfast

9:45-10:45 am – Workshops Session 1

10:45-11:15 am – Coffee Break

11:15-12:15 pm – Rehearsal 1

12:15 pm – Sixth Hour and Lunch (with networking tables, and purchasing tables)

1:45-2:45 pm – Rehearsals in small groups or tour of Stamford Seminary, Museum, and Library

2:45-3:15 pm – Coffee Break

3:15-4:15 pm – Workshops Session 2

4:15-4:30 pm – Break

4:30-5:30 pm – Rehearsal 2

5:30 pm – Break

6:00 pm – Great Vespers and Dinner

8:00 pm – Public Lecture by Joe Roll on Church Singing at Stamford, followed by refreshments

Thursday, September 26, 2019

From 4:00 pm – Arrival and Registration

6:00 pm – Vespers and Dinner

7:45 pm – Welcome and Introductions

8:00 pm – Singing Warm-Up (including basic “get-to-know-your-neighbor”/ice-breaker)

8:30-10:00 pm – Panel Discussion/Town Hall

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Venerable father and confessor Chariton (polyeleos) Holy Viacheslav (Wenceslaus), Czech Prince, Synaxis of the venerable fathers of the Caves of Kiev who repose in the nearer caves of venerable Anthony

7:45 am – Third Hour, Divine Liturgy, and Breakfast

9:45-10:45 am – Rehearsal 3

10:45-11:15 am – Coffee Break

11:15-12:15 – Rehearsal 4

12:15 pm – Sixth Hour and Lunch (with Networking Tables, and purchasing tables open at 1pm)

1:15 pm – Optional Business Meeting (dedicated to the planning and creation of a society for church singing of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in North America; agenda to be circulated in advance)

1:45-2:30 pm – Rehearsals (small groups) or Tour of Stamford Seminary, Museum, and Library

2:30-3:30 pm – Workshops Session 3

3:30-4:00 pm – Coffee Break

4:00-5:00 pm – Workshops Session 4

5:00 pm – Dinner

6:00 pm – Vigil, followed by Social

Sunday, September 29, 2019

16th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 7, Matins Gospel 7, Venerable father Cyriacus

9:30 am – Greeting and Vesting of Bishop, Hierarchical Divine Liturgy

12:00 pm – Group Photo and Lunch

1:00 pm – Farewell and Departures


Vespers (Thursday Evening, Sept 26)

download here: Text + Music

Matins (Friday, Sept 27)

download here: Text: + Music

The English liturgical texts for SingCon 2019 have been taken from a variety of sources. When possible, we have used the official English texts of our Church, including the Divine Liturgy: An Anthology for Worship. Where these are incomplete, we have followed the texts of Vespers and Matins as used at the Sheptytsky Institute in Toronto and at St. Elias Church in Brampton. Other texts are from among those available freely online, including at Royal Doors: English Language Resources for Ukrainian Greek Catholics.

Vespers (Friday evening, Sept 27)

download here: Text + Music

Divine Liturgy (Saturday, Sept 28)

download here: Text + Music

Our gratitude is due to the many people who have laboured in the translation of texts from Greek, Church Slavonic, and other languages, including the Sisters of St. Basil the Great in Uniontown/PA, the editors of the English translation of the “Molytvoslov” Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slavonic Rite, the Sisters of Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery in Otego/NY, Archimandrite Ephrem Lash, Reader Isaac Lambertsen, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware and Mother Maria, and Father Conrad Dachuk, among others. 

To them, our debt of prayer and gratitude!

Vigil (Saturday evening, Sept 28)

download here: Text + Music

Hierarchal Divine Liturgy (Sunday, Sept 29)

download here: Text + Music + Choral Rep



Below are the workshops that will be offered at SingCon 2019. Once you have submitted your registration you may fill out the form to sign up for your workshops. Please do not submit your workshop selections until you have registered for the conference.

Stream 1: Divine Liturgy

Description: Learn how to use the “Divine Liturgy: An Anthology for Worship,” aka “the Anthology,” aka “the Pew Book,” etc. to sing and lead the Divine Liturgy in your parish from two of the main editors of this important English-language liturgical resource. BYOA (“Bring Your Own Anthology”) or buy one at SingCon 2019.

Instructors: Fr. Peter Galadza, Cantor Joseph Roll, and Brian Butcher

Session 1: Introducing “the Anthology”: Everything you wanted to know about the Divine Liturgy: An Anthology for Worship but were afraid to ask

Session 2: Divine Liturgy Liturgical Tips for Cantors 

Session 3: Supplemental Music, Part 1

Session 4: Supplemental Music, Part 2

Stream 2: Vespers

Description: An introduction to Vespers, how to introduce a simple Vespers into your parish, learning to lead Vespers, introduction to the Samohlasen tones.

Instructors: Cyril Kennedy and Larisa Galadza

Session 1: Introducing Vespers; resources (print and online); the structure of Vespers (ordinary); Tones 1 and 2 Samohlasen

Session 2: Vespers without a priest; finding the simplest options; the structure of Vespers (propers); Tones 3 and 4 Samohlasen

Session 3: Psalm 103 in Greek Chant; music for other elements of the ordinary; the Litia; Tones 5 and 6 Samohlasen

Session 4: Expanding repertoire; Sunday Evening Vespers during Lent; Vesperal Liturgies; Presanctified Liturgy; Tones 7 and 8 Samohlasen

Stream 3: Baptisms, Weddings, and Funerals

Description: Learn how to sing all the important services in the life of a Christian, from birth to death: baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Or, as Fr. Roman calls them, “hatch, match, and dispatch.” All materials will be provided by the instructor.

Instructor: Fr. Roman Galadza

Session 1: Baptisms

Session 2: Weddings

Session 3: Order of Burial, Part 1: Parastas

Session 4: Order of Burial, Part 2: Requiem Divine LIturgy and Review 

Stream 4: Advanced Oktoechos

Instructors: Ilya Galadza and Roman Hurko

Session 1: Sources of Galician Chant “Show and Tell”

Brief overview of Galician chant as related to other Slavic chant systems. Introduction to the  Irmologion, Kiprian, Polotniuk, Dolnytsky, Ostheim-Dzerowycz.

Session 2: The Tones and their families/optional sources for irmoi

Looking closer at the sources of chant and how they are related.  Looking to other sources in an attempt to make irmoi and other content of the irmologion singable.

Session 3: Dogmatica 

Keep the Irmologion alive by learning Theotokia Dogmatica for Great Vespers, the Doxastica of Palm Sunday, and Pentecost (Heavenly King).

Session 4: Harmonizing the Irmologion (feat. Roman Hurko)

Description: Using the Irmologion and other above unison sources, we will explore how they have been harmonized, and how they can be sung in a variety of styles and voices.


Travel Information and Practical Details


Hotel Accommodations

Group room rates at the Sheraton Stamford: book here

Or special Rates Also available at The Amsterdam Hotel: book here [please use booking code 75zakord]

Conference Location information:

St. Basil’s Seminary

195 Glenbrook Rd.
Stamford, Connecticut
06902 USA


We can’t pick you up from the airport and get you to St. Basil’s Seminary, but we'd like to know when you're all getting to town, so we can most efficiently get everybody who wants to be in Stamford to and from home. If you're willing to share, let us know what your plans are, and we might be able to arrange carpools and airport pickups. Filling out this form does not guarantee a ride to Stamford, but it will help eliminate redundancies, and will help coordinate for those who might have a harder time getting to the 2019 conference.