"The Voice of the Lord", a compilation of hymns from the Feast of Theophany chanted in traditional Byzantine melodies in English is now available for purchase to help benefit the Theophany School.
Chanted from the music of Hieromonk Ephraim of St. Anthony’s Monastery, Florence, AZ. English translations of all texts are copyright Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, MA, and are used with permission.
Directed by Rassem El Massih, a graduate of the School of Byzantine Music of the Archdiocese of Tripoli and El-Koura.
We pray that this project will bring joy to Sonia’s soul, benefit her dream for Theophany School, and serve as an educational resource for the faithful in learning the hymns of this glorious feast.
Each CD sells for $10, and all proceeds will benefit the “Building on a Dream" Campaign for Theophany School.
What People are Saying
This fine recording in English will inspire many people to appreciate the beauty of traditional, choral Byzantine chant.
St. Anthony’s Monastery
“The Voice of the Lord: Selected Hymns from the Feast of Theophany,” a loving tribute to a lovely lady, Sonia Daly Belcher, is probably the best recording of its kind that I have heard. The voices of the all-male ensemble led by Rassem El Massih blend beautifully, the words of the hymns are completely intelligible, and the sound was natural without heavy reverb. While I am not a fan of the old English idiom, kudos belong to the composer, Fr. Ephraim of St. Anthony’s, as well as to the performers. This is a fine addition to the library of Modern Byzantine Chant in English, and it is an excellent resource for training as well as for devotional listening.
Fr. Seraphim Dedes, Music Director
St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church
This recording is a bit of a surprise for a first go from a new, amateur choir, and speaks both to their commitment and ability, and the dedication they have to the success of this production in the name of Sonia Belcher, founder of Theophany School. The hymn selection is from the hymns of the Feast of Theophany, the patronal feast of the school. Of note, while a couple of the hymns will be familiar to most regular church-goers, the majority are from across the festal cycle and not familiar to most of the faithful. The recording is based on two important decisions: the use of music from St Anthony?s Monastery in AZ is a positive and illustrates the important role that Monastery is having is establishing a standard for Byzantine chant in English; the use of translations from Holy Transfiguration Monastery likewise uses what is considered the best available in English. On top of that, the performance is just terrific. The immediate impact is that the ephos (or feel) is that of a small monastic choir, like Vatopedi or Simonopetra. The choir has a nice balance of voices, which work together well. The execution of the hymns is top notch - both good performance and edification at the same time. While an amateur ensemble, this is one with a professional demeanor, and the recording delivers a high quality rendition of these wondrous hymns.