Kendrick N. Perala Memorial Education Fund enables pilot program

Oregon Elementary School Students Sing
Byzantine Chant, Led by Cappella Romana's
John Michael Boyer

During preparations for Cappella Romana's January concerts of "Mt. Sinai: Frontier of Byzantium," students from Agia Sophia Academy participated in Byzantine chant classes with Cappella Romana singer John Michael Boyer.

Boyer led three classes with students in grades 1 through 6, teaching them to sing a hymn for St. Nicholas from Byzantine notation. Click here to see the musical score that the children read. Click here for more pictures of the classes with all the students.

Agia Sophia Academy is an Eastern Orthodox parochial school based on a Classical model of education. Its core curriculum includes music, art, Greek and Latin, beginning in kindergarten.

Kathleen Powell, music teacher at Agia Sophia Academy, invited Mr. Boyer to give the classes. "The children enthusiastically responded to Mr. Boyer's techniques," she said, "which required them to use not only their musical skills, but also their Greek language, mathematical skills, and scientific reasoning."

John Michael Boyer is the Protopsaltis (First Cantor) of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco. His own introduction to Byzantine chant came as a young boy, under the direction of Alexander Lingas, artistic director of Cappella Romana.

This pilot residency was made possible by the Kendrick N. Perala Memorial Education Fund. Gifts made to this fund enable programs for educational outreach specifically for young people.

Photos by Kathleen Powell: (top) Students in grades 2, 3 and 4 at Portland's Agia Sophia Academy sing a hymn for St. Nicholas from Byzantine notation, January 10, 2007; (below) John Michael Boyer leads students at Agia Sophia Academy, January 10, 2007.

Posting date 9 February 2007)

For more information about Cappella Romana, see the group's website at, or contact them directly: 3131 NE Glisan St., Portland, OR 07232 USA;; tel.

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