Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir

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The '''Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir''' is a choir composed of Orthodox Christian singers in the New York - New Jersey - Pennsylvania area of the United States. It is committed to singing in the English language the great works of Orthodox music that glorifies God and expresses the Orthodox faith, thus opening the treasury of Orthodox music to the community.
  
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==History==
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The Spirit Of Orthodoxy Choir was established in 1997 under the direction of Aleksei Shipovalnikov. The choir consists of singers from various [[parish]]es and [[jurisdiction]]s who are dedicated to church singing and who desire to be witnesses to the faith through music.
  
[[Category:OrthodoxWiki]]
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These music selections represent three schools of Russian Church music and have been sufficiently translated into English. Some of the choir's repertoire has been unheard in the West. The Choir sings chiefly in English but also performs music in [[Church Slavonic]]. Their repertoire witnesses to the range and quality of the liturgical life of the Orthodox Church. Their singing is a capella, without instrumentation. This is typical of the Orthodox Church, where the human voice and soul are invaluable in worship.
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==Director==
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Aleksei V. Shipovalnikov was born in Rostov on the Don and studied composition, polyphony and conducting at the Gnesin Sate Conservatory and the Moscow Institute of Culture. His post-graduate studies included a master class with Leonard Bernstein in 1988. He served as Artistic Director and Manager of the Moscow State University Symphony Orchestra and Academic Choir and has conducted in the Soviet Union, West Germany and Poland. He established a reputation during the Communist era for innovative programming in spite of the political risks involved. In 1990 he moved to the United States, where he has served as Choir Director of Christ the Savior Church, San Francisco and Music Director of Slavyanka Men's Slavic Chorus. He was Professor of Liturgical Music at [[St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Canaan, Pennsylvania)|St. Tikhon's Seminary]], South Canaan, Pennsylvania. He is currently Music Director at Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Jersey City, New Jersey.
  
'''Holy Wisdom''', also called '''Divine Wisdom''' (Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία, ''Hagia Sophia'') is the theological idea that perfect Wisdom is to be found in [[God]] alone.
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[[Category:Church Music]]
 
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[[Category:Organizations]]
The word and concept of ''Sophia'' ("wisdom") is expressed in both the [[Old Testament]], as notably in the [[Septuagint]] version, and of the [[New Testament]].
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In the New Testament wisdom is presented in three meanings:  
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*In the usual broad meaning of wisdom as understanding: “‘‘Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and grace’‘“ (Luke 2:52); “‘‘But wisdom is justified of all her children’‘“ (Luke 7:35).
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*In the meaning of the wise economy of God expressed in the creation of the world, in His Providence over the world, and in the [[salvation]] of the world from sin: “‘‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! For who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been His counselor?’‘“ (Romans 11:33-34). “‘‘We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory’‘“ (1 Cor. 2:7).
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*In relation to the Son of God as the Hypostatic Wisdom of God: "‘‘But we preach Christ crucified ... Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God’‘" (1 Cor. 1:23-24); "‘‘Who of God is made unto us wisdom’‘" (1 Cor. 1:30).
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These themes are a continuation of those expressed in the the Books of Proverbs and the Apocryphal books of the Old Testament: the Wisdom of Solomon, the Wisdom of Joshua, and the Son of Sirach. 
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In the mystical theology of the Orthodox Church wisdom is understood as the Divine Logos who became incarnate as [[Jesus Christ]]. In the Holy Family, Sophia is often seen as being represented by the [[Theotokos]]. Sophia is expressed as the Holy Wisdom of God and the saints, obtained through [[humility]], and in Mary, the Theotokos, the first and greatest of all [[saint]]s. In Orthodoxy, humility is the highest wisdom and is to be sought more than any other virtue. It is humility that cultivates not only the Holy Wisdom, but humility (in contrast to knowledge) is the defining quality that grants people salvation and entrance into Heaven.
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In the [[Divine Liturgy|liturgy]] of the Orthodox Church, the exclamation ''Sophia!'' or in English ''Wisdom!'' is proclaimed by the [[deacon]] or [[priest]] at certain moments during the service, especially before readings of [[Holy Scripture|scripture]], to draw the congregation's attention to sacred teaching.
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== Sophiology==
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The concept of Sophia has been championed as a key part of the Godhead by some Orthodox religious thinkers. These included Vladimir Solovyov, [[Pavel Florensky]], [[Nikolai Berdyaev]], and [[Sergius Bulgakov]] whose book ''Sophia: The Wisdom of God'' is in many ways the apotheosis of [[Sophianism|Sophiology]]. For Bulgakov, the Sophia is co-existent with the [[Holy Trinity]], operating as the feminine aspect of God in concert with the three masculine principles of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. [[Vladimir Lossky]] rejected Solovyev and Bulgakov's teachings as error. Lossky states that Wisdom as an energy of God (just as love, faith, and grace are also energies of God) is not to be ascribed to be the true essence of God, to do so is to deny the apophatic and incomprehensibility of God as God's essence.<ref>This was the basis of the theological development of Fr. Bulgakov, and also his fundamental error: for he sought to see in the energy of Wisdom (Sophia), which he identified with the essence, the very principle of the Godhead. In fact, God is not determined by any of his attributes: all determinations are inferior to Him, logically posterior to His being in itself, in its essence. pgs 80-81 The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, by Vladimir Lossky SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9) </ref> Sophiology is contrary to the official view of the Orthodox Church, and Bulgakov's work was denounced by the [[Russian Orthodox Church|Russian Orthodox]] authorities as [[Heresy|heretical]].<ref Text available online [http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0824/_P2O.HTM]</ref>
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==See also==
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[[Sophianism]]
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==References==
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<references/>
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==Sources==
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*[http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/dogmas/wisdom.shtml  Teaching of the Wisdom of God in Holy Scripture]
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*[[w:Sophia_(wisdom)]]
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*[[w:Sophiology]]
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==External links==
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*[http://puffin.creighton.edu/jesuit/andre/aquinas.html  Teaching of the Wisdom of God in Holy Scripture]
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*[http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/procop-deaed1.html  On the Great Church]
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*[http://www.miraclerosarymission.org/ga87apr27.htm  Jesus Christ, Messiah and Divine Wisdom]
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[[Category:Theology]]
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edited in part from Wikipedia articles ‘Sophia (wisdom)’ and ‘Sophiology’
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Latest revision as of 08:33, March 10, 2012

The Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir is a choir composed of Orthodox Christian singers in the New York - New Jersey - Pennsylvania area of the United States. It is committed to singing in the English language the great works of Orthodox music that glorifies God and expresses the Orthodox faith, thus opening the treasury of Orthodox music to the community.

History

The Spirit Of Orthodoxy Choir was established in 1997 under the direction of Aleksei Shipovalnikov. The choir consists of singers from various parishes and jurisdictions who are dedicated to church singing and who desire to be witnesses to the faith through music.

These music selections represent three schools of Russian Church music and have been sufficiently translated into English. Some of the choir's repertoire has been unheard in the West. The Choir sings chiefly in English but also performs music in Church Slavonic. Their repertoire witnesses to the range and quality of the liturgical life of the Orthodox Church. Their singing is a capella, without instrumentation. This is typical of the Orthodox Church, where the human voice and soul are invaluable in worship.

Director

Aleksei V. Shipovalnikov was born in Rostov on the Don and studied composition, polyphony and conducting at the Gnesin Sate Conservatory and the Moscow Institute of Culture. His post-graduate studies included a master class with Leonard Bernstein in 1988. He served as Artistic Director and Manager of the Moscow State University Symphony Orchestra and Academic Choir and has conducted in the Soviet Union, West Germany and Poland. He established a reputation during the Communist era for innovative programming in spite of the political risks involved. In 1990 he moved to the United States, where he has served as Choir Director of Christ the Savior Church, San Francisco and Music Director of Slavyanka Men's Slavic Chorus. He was Professor of Liturgical Music at St. Tikhon's Seminary, South Canaan, Pennsylvania. He is currently Music Director at Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Jersey City, New Jersey.

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