Russian Orthodox liturgical music will be both performed and discussed in a program being presented on Wednesday, April 17, by the Yale Russian Chorus and its musical director, Mark Bailey.
The event is hosted by the Common Quest Foundation at Yale and the department of Slavic languages and literatures. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Dwight Chapel, 67 High St., and is free and open to the public.
The program will feature a lecture by Mr. Bailey titled "Orthodox Sacred Music: The Bridge to the Divine." Among the themes he will explore are the liturgical roots of Orthodox Christianity, the arts as liturgical expression in the Russian Orthodox Church and the paradigm of Slavic worship. Highlighting the program will be performances of Russian Orthodox liturgical music by the Yale Russian Chorus, a tenor-bass a cappella choral ensemble.
The Yale Russian Chorus' first compact disk, "Chants and Carols" -- recorded in Dwight Chapel and released last year by Epiphany Recordings, Inc. -- was recently placed on the New York Times "Critics' Choice" list and was recommended as a "must-have" by National Public Radio's "Performance Today." The recording has sold out of its first international run, and plans are underway for a second pressing.
A conductor, composer and expert on Orthodox sacred music, Mr. Bailey has been the chorus' musical director since 1995. Since 1991, he has served on the faculty of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York, where he teaches composition, voice and choral ensemble leadership. Mr. Bailey's own compositions include numerous instrumental and choral settings. His setting of "Blessed Is the Man," published in 1984, has become one of the most popular works for English-speaking Orthodox churches throughout the world.
Founded in 1993, the Common Quest Foundation seeks to promote spiritual life at Yale; it aims to deepen the Yale community's understanding of fundamental elements of religious experience that are common to all major traditions. To that end, it sponsors discussions, programs and publications focused on spiritual and moral concerns; and in various ways it promotes contact and mutual understanding among representatives on campus of the different religious traditions and denominations.