Orthodox Church in America
Premiere Concert of the Archdiocesan Choir

The Archdiocesan Choir of Washington, D.C. gave its premiere concert on Sunday, August 28 at St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral. The group was formed earlier this year with the blessing and support of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon. Led by Juliana Woodill, the choir sang works from Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy written entirely by American Orthodox composers for the English language. This project began with a call for compositions in February and over one hundred pieces were received for consideration. In selecting music, singability for the average church choir was of primary importance, keeping in mind the need for simplicity, beauty, and flexible voicings. Secondarily, the hope was to share music that is both uniquely American and liturgically appropriate. 

While the choir is a project of the Orthodox Church in America, it includes singers from area parishes of many other jurisdictions as well, bringing together those who share a common faith and are separated only administratively. The Archdiocesan Choir is not a professional or auditioned ensemble and does not require a particular level of musical education or even the ability to read music. It is a group of Orthodox Christians desiring to sing praises to God, to learn, and to grow. The choir’s primary purpose will be liturgical, singing for various services and events in the Archdiocese and for His Beatitude. In the future, the choir hopes to facilitate events for community and fellowship as well as educational opportunities for Orthodox singers in the National Capital Region.

In his remarks at the conclusion of the concert, His Beatitude summed up the evening and the importance of liturgical music:

“What we have experienced this evening is not simply a concert but rather an immersion in the sacred liturgical life of the Orthodox Church. It is an experience that elicits something deeper than the merely aesthetical or emotional response of worldly entertainment. Rather, it is an experience that introduces us into the very life of God. These sacred offerings both lift us up, in all our human brokenness and suffering, to the edges of the heavenly and life-giving kingdom and draw down the light of that kingdom to illumine our world of darkness, war, and isolation. Our liturgical hymns and our sacred worship do not provide escapes for us but rather provide a conduit for the grace of God to fill and strengthen our hearts, whether they be joyful or suffering, and bind us together in one of the few ways that human beings can be truly united: communion with Christ through sacred worship.”

You can view the concert here:

You can visit their website to learn more, or donate to future projects.

All music from the concert is available for purchase at

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Diocesan News

About the Archdiocese

The Archdiocese of the Washington, D.C. is part of the Orthodox Church in America, which is the local presence of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Jesus Christ and faithfully transmitted through her Scriptures, worship and prayer life, and through the teachings of the Holy Fathers.

The Orthodox Faith maintains unbroken continuity with the Apostolic Faith; embraces all languages, cultures, and races; and calls all to "come and see." Please join us in worship and fellowship.

The Mission of The Orthodox Church in America, the local autocephalous Orthodox Christian Church, is to be faithful in fulfilling the commandment of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

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