John of Damascus

revealing Orthodox Christianity through its sacred music


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* Public preview and Q&A sessionPublic preview and Q&A session

Time: 12:00 pm

The Saint John of Damascus Society (, a nonprofit arts organization focusing on educational and outreach efforts related to the sacred music of the Eastern Orthodox churches, invites you to a preview and Q&A session for our Themester 2013 event, "Networks of Echoes: Collaboration, Community, and Creativity in the Musics of Eastern Orthodox Chuches" ( Our Artistic Director, Richard Barrett, and members of our Executive Board will be on hand to talk about "Networks of Echoes" at the Distinguished Alumni Room in the Indiana Memorial Union on Tuesday, 10 September at 12 noon. A light lunch will be provided. The Saint John of Damascus Society has commissioned a collaborative setting of Psalm 103, a key text in the Orthodox liturgical tradition, from six composers active in different repertories of Orthodox music, as well as in various aspects of the musical discipline: Matthew Arndt, Ph. D., assistant professor of Music Theory at The University of Iowa School of Music. John Michael Boyer, Protopsaltis (first cantor) of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco and principal cantor and arranger for the vocal ensemble Cappella Romana. Alexander Khalil, Ph. D., psaltis at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in San Diego, CA, and head of The Gamelan Project at the University of California, Riverside. Kurt Sander, D. M., Associate Professor and Department Chair at Northern Kentucky University. Richard Toensing, D. M., Professor Emeritus at University of Colorado at Boulder and Choir Director Emeritus at St. Luke Antiochian Orthodox Church, Lafayette, CO. Tikey Zes, D. M., Professor Emeritus at San Jose State University and Choir Director Emeritus at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, San Jose, CA. As part of the process, we are bringing them all to Bloomington the weekend of 11-13 October for working sessions as well as a public presentation. On Saturday, 12 October, at First Christian Church on Kirkwood Ave, each composer will contribute a lecture and an informal musical presentation of sketches of their Psalm 103 work and the sources they draw from, followed by a roundtable discussion. The presentation, given as part of Indiana University’s Themester program with the theme of "Connectedness: Networks in a Complex World", will center on the idea of this collaborative work being something that unites communities on multiple levels. As a creative musical event, this is of interest to students and faculty at the Jacobs School of Music, as well as the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology; in particular, it will be of note for those interested in composition, music theory, sacred music, early music, and ethnomusicology. As a humanities-related event open to the public, it is of interest across disciplinary boundaries, and is of note to people interested in comparative religion, Byzantine history, Russian studies, Balkan studies, Middle Eastern studies, Ottoman history, Modern Greek, art history, American studies, paleography, and more. If you're anywhere near Bloomington, please join us next Tuesday as we discuss this project in depth and answer your questions! Looking forward to seeing you then and again in October.


The Psalm 103 Project

ps103 promotional image.001

We have commissioned, are publishing, and will premiere and record in the 2016/17 concert season a collaborative setting of the Vesperal psalm from six different Orthodox composers:

  • Matthew Arndt
  • John Michael Boyer
  • Alexander Khalil
  • Kurt Sander
  • Richard Toensing (+2014)
  • Tikey Zes

More information here:

To support the project, click on the “Support” tab above to give via PayPal, or click on the “Contact” tab to inquire further.