Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir
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.
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.
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 Saviour 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.