Fourth Boston Byzantine Music Festival

Liturgical and Paraliturgical Hymnology in East and West

Date: Nov 11, 2016 Time: 9:30 AM–1:30 PM Location: Hellenic College Holy Cross Building: Archbishop Iakovos Library Reading Room Address: 50 Goddard Ave Brookline, MA 02445-7415

A symposium exploring themes of poetry and song in Jewish and Christian tradition.


Richard Barrett, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Richard Barrett is an Orthodox church musician, choral singer, and scholar. He studied Byzantine music under Ioannis Arvanitis of Athens and continued his study with John Michael Boyer and Grammenos Karanos. In 2015, he completed a Performer's Certificate in Byzantine Music from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He is the protopsaltis ("first cantor") at Holy Dormition Greek Orthodox Church in Somerville, MA. From 2005 to 2012, he was the cantor and choir director at All Saints Orthodox Church in Bloomington, Indiana, and then most recently he was cantor and choir director at Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church in Indianapolis. He sings regularly with Cappella Romana and has also sung with the Patriarch Tikhon Choir. Previously, he has performed with ensembles such as the East/West Festival Chorale in Cincinnati, the Josquin Singers in San Francisco, Tudor Choir and the Seattle Opera Chorus in the Pacific Northwest, and in Indiana, the Pro Arte Singers, Collegium Musicum, and the American Guild of Organists Festival Choir. He has worked with conductors such as Alexander Lingas, Peter Jermihov, Vladimir Gorbik, Paul Hillier, John Poole, and John Harbison.  

A Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Indiana University, he is completing his dissertation, titled “Civic Devotions to the Mother of God in Late Antique Constantinople,” under the direction of Deborah Deliyannis. From 2014–15, he was Resident Fellow at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and he has presented scholarly papers at events such as the International Conference on Patristic Studies at the University of Oxford, the North American Patristics Society, and the Patristic Symposium of the Georges Florovsky Society at Princeton University. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Master of Arts in Ancient History, both from Indiana University. Richard has been an invited speaker, cantor, and clinician at Greek Orthodox parishes throughout the country. He is the Artistic Director of the Saint John of Damascus Society, which supports Orthodox musical education and outreach.

Nick Giannoukakis, Pittsburgh, PA

Dr. Nick Giannoukakis is Protopsaltis of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Pittsburgh, PA. He completed the Royal Diploma Program in piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada and holds a Certificate and Diploma in Byzantine Music from the Musical Conservatory of Attica in Athens. He received personal training from well-known cantors Constantinos Lagouros (Canada), Georgios Syrkas (Greece), and Manolis Hatzimarkos (Greece).

Dr. Giannoukakis directs the School of Byzantine Music and the Byzantine Choir of the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, the oldest choir of its kind in continuous existence in the United States. Since its founding in 1998, the choir has performed at universities and in parishes across the country and is the first Byzantine choir to perform on a national television network (CBN). His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos honored him with the distinction of Protopsaltis of the Pittsburgh Diocese (now Metropolis of Pittsburgh) in 1998. Dr. Giannoukakis appears in two Who’s Who of cantors (Phillipos Oikonomou and Takis Kalogeropoulos) and in the Great Orthodox Christian Encyclopedia.

Sarah Jenks, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

Sarah Jenks is a doctoral student studying Liturgical Studies in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. She received her ThM and MTS degrees from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Previously, she received her BA in Physics at Harvard University. Her research interests include late antique hymnography and the liturgical reception history of the Bible.

Ms. Jenks studied violin and piano as a child at the Cleveland Institute of Music and voice at the Cleveland Music School Settlement. She also studied and sang Gregorian Chant at the Order of Julian of Norwich in White Lake, WI, and Byzantine Music at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, where she served as Domestikaina (chief cantorial assistant) at Holy Cross Chapel and received her Certificate in Byzantine Music. She has sung with the Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus, the Blossom Festival Chorus, Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir, Holy Cross St. Kassia Women’s Byzantine Choir, and the St. Kassiani Byzantine Women’s Choir of All Saints Monastery. Ms. Jenks is currently a cantor at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church in South Bend, IN.

Brian J. Mayer, Hebrew College, Newton, MA

Cantor Brian J. Mayer, Associate Professor of Jewish Music and a recognized scholar of "hazzanut" (cantorial music), has served as dean of Hebrew College since 2011. Prior to his appointment at Hebrew College, Dr. Mayer taught for fourteen years at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York as an assistant professor of hazzanut. Since 1989, he has also served as cantor of Temple Emanu-El in Providence, R.I. Mayer was featured in the ABC-TV documentary To God's Ear, which was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2002. In 2008, he was the artistic director of Shining Through Broken Glass: Kristallnacht Concert, a highly acclaimed multimedia production featuring Leonard Nimoy. In 2003, he produced the CD Kolot Emanu-El.