I should probably introduce myself.

My name is Reader John, and I like music.  I especially like choral music.  In fact, I do it for a living.  Part of what I do is direct the music at my church, which is an eastern orthodox parish named after St. Nicholas.  My music-making isn’t just “part” of what I do, though.  It’s a really important part, and I care a lot about it.

This blog will be about subjects and events and “stuff” mainly having to do with music in the Orthodox Church, though I will probably branch out into other subjects now and again.  It won’t become a forum for personal ranting.  But it will express my personal experiences and understandings and opinions.  I’m mainly interested in providing a platform for me to disseminate material that I’ve put together for various classes I’ve taught over the years concerning Orthodox Church music and worship, as well as the practice of singing and choir-ing.

In the church, I’m called “Reader John.”  That’s because I was made a “reader” by my bishop some years ago, which is a minor functionary of the Orthodox Church charged with seeing to the proper execution of various texts and prayers of the liturgy.  I’ve taken that role seriously.  It combines with my role as Choir Director, which means that I’m responsible for the proper execution of the sung parts of our services – which are all sung, and whoever is doing the singing is the “choir,” whether it be one or two or 20.

This combines several areas which fit my interests and abilities: singing, directing and “liturgizing.”  I enjoy worship, both as a devotional as well as an artistic exercise.  I’ll be exploring those very things in this blog, so I better hold off for now.

One final word of introduction:  I’ll be steering somewhat of a middle course in terms of how I’ll view my audience.  I’ll assume that some folks who read it will have a working knowledge of Eastern Orthodox worship, and that some don’t.  So, I’ll be explaining some things as I go and not explaining others.  Even those that have such experience might learn something from the way I explain things, and gain a different perspective.  And those that don’t can always ask questions, or poke around some of the links I’ll provide that contain information.

Thanks for reading,

Rdr. John

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