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Enriched With Good Hopes
Nicolas Craig Custer with Cantiamo Sonoma

Cantiamo Sonoma, Sonoma County’s leading a cappella choral ensemble, is pleased to announce the release of its latest CD, "Enriched With Good Hopes."

New Music for the Orthodox Liturgy Composed by Nicolas Craig Custer Performed by Cantiamo Sonoma, directed by Carol Menke.

The composer created this collection of Eastern Orthodox Church Music after decades of experience as a choir conductor in the Russian tradition. While appreciating Christian chant of both East and West, his quest to forge a personal style of harmonized, English language, liturgical music has been realized. In the words of one member of the Santa Rosa Symphony, this CD is “mesmerizing.”

Cantiamo Sonoma, under the direction of Carol Menke, has been entrancing audiences with its a cappella performances since 2002. Ms. Menke, lyric soprano and choral conductor, as well as Artistic Director of Cantiamo Sonoma, is respected throughout the musical and educational communities.

Links to Sample Tracks:

  1. King of Saints
  2. Cherubic Hymn

Track Listing:
Enriched With Good Hopes
King of Saints
The Day of the Lord
Cherubic Hymn
O House of David
With Him Forever
Beban de la Fuente
Join Chorus
A Mercy of Peace
The Path of Life
Simeon's Song
Let God Arise
Plotiyu Usnuv
En Verdad
Charist is Risen
Santo es el Senor
O Righteous Seraphim
Hymn to St. Catherine
St. Catherine Thanksgiving Liturgy

Total Playing Time -- 69:29

Every Day Will I Bless Thee
St. Vladimir's Seminary Women's Sextet
ISBN 978-0-88141-622-0

“This compilation is an absolute delight. The singers blend beautifully and sing artfully. One can tell that they have not only sung together for some time, but have worshiped through music together as this comes through in the music.” 
—Monk Martin (Gardner)

In the summer of 1962, eight students from a seminary in Crestwood, New York, traveled around the US singing the sacred music of the Orthodox faith. Led by a young seminarian named David Drillock, the St. Vladimir’s Seminary Octet visited nearly 100 churches. Over the years, the members of the ensemble changed, but its legacy has been lasting. Through countless trips, concerts, services, and recordings, the Octet forever transformed the landscape of Orthodox music in America—setting the standard for church singing in English.

In the intervening years, St. Vladimir’s produced recordings of both men’s and combined men’s and women’s voices. However, the seminary has never released a recording of all-women’s voices. Women have always been pillars of the faculty, staff, and student body of St. Vladimir’s, and women students and seminarians’ wives often go on to become leaders in church music. So in many ways, an all-women’s recording has been a long time coming. We hope Every Day Will I Bless Thee continues the venerable musical legacy of the Octet, while at the same time breaking new ground for the seminary and the Church.

The music on this recording reflects the pan-Orthodox spirit of the seminary. Our seminarians hail from all corners of the globe, speak different languages, and belong to different Orthodox churches and jurisdictions. But on this recording, as in our chapel, we sing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph 5:19) as one body. You’ll hear music from the Serbian tradition (The Lord Awoke), the Greek tradition (Hymn of Kassiane), and even a piece from Georgia (Paschal Troparion). We honor the Russian musical tradition with familiar settings of O Taste and See and the Exapostilarion of the Cross, while at the same time presenting more recent compositions written in English, such as the works of Father Ivan Moody, Kurt Sander, Vladimir Morosan, Monk Martin (Gardner), nazo nakkak, Richard Toensing, and Nicolas Craig Custer.

May this first recording from the St. Vladimir’s Seminary Women’s Sextet glorify God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and may it bless your soul also.

Director: Robin Freeman

Sextet Members: Stephanie Earl • Mary Honoré • Robin Freeman • Nun Margarete (Roeber) • Ilaria O'Keefe • Danielle Miller

Link to Sample Tracks

Track Listing:
1. O Gladsome Light (1:16)
2. Exapostilarion for Annunciation (0:43)
3. Koinonikon for All Times (0:56)
4. The Great Doxology (4:14)
5. Canon Ode 9 for Holy Saturday Matins (2:22)
6. Exapostilarion for Pascha (1:26)
7. Blessed is the Man (2:59)
8. The Angel Cried (1:43)
9. Antiphon 15 for Holy Friday Matins (3:29)
10. Let My Prayer Arise (2:56)
11. Song of St. Simeon (0:54)
12. Exapostilarion for the Exaltation of the Cross (1:41)
13. Hymn of Kassiane (5:17)
14. Magnificat (4:17)
15. Paschal Troparion - Kriste aghsda (1:03)
16. Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos (1:51)
17. Koinonikon for Holy Saturday (2:45)
18. It Is Truly Meet (1:04)
19. Koinonikon for Presanctified Liturgy (1:52)
20. Kontakion for the Nativity of Christ (2:21)
21. Kontakion for the Canon of St. Andrew (1:41)
22. The Lord's Prayer (1:15)
23. Paschal Troparion (1:09)

The Eyes of All Look to Thee with Hope
Monastery Choir of St. John of San Francisco Monastery, Manton, CA

The CD includes 24 selections from Matins, Divine Liturgy, and two paraliturgical pieces. It represents many of the different styles sung at the monastery, Valaam and Byzantine chant, as well as music specially composed to meet the needs of the community.  It is our monastery's vision that a uniquely American chant will gradually develop, growing from the seeds of our inherited traditions.  As they take root in American soil, this chant will become an organic hybrid of different influences from our own folk melodies and harmonies, rooted in the traditions of our ancestors and drawing from the springs of the memorable melodies of the Carpatho-Rus and the timeless and other-worldly modalities of western Gregorian chant and its counterpart, Byzantine chant.

Link to Sample Tracks

Track Listing:
Litany of Peace in Mode 1 -- 1:25
Hymn of Ascent in Tone 4 -- 1:33
Psalm 50 -- 3:29
Open to Me the Doors of Repentance -- 4:01
Kyrie Eleison -- 1:11
Canticle Nine (Magnificat) -- 3:21
Tone 5 Funeral Sticheron -- 1:29
Matins Resurrectional Troparion -- 0:39
Litany of Peace -- 0:53
Trisagion -- 2:04
Troparion and Kontakion of St. John -- 1:45
Cherubikon -- 2:25
Anaphora -- 2:28
Anaphora -- 2:37
It is Truly Meet -- 1:08
The Lord's Prayer -- 1:17
Koinonikon for St. John -- 0:43
Koinonikon for Friday -- 0:30
Koinonikon for Sundays -- 0:33
The Eyes of All Look to Thee -- 3:22
O Joyous Light -- 1:12
Song of St. Symeon -- 0:42
Rejoice, O Virgin -- 0:39
Psalm 33 -- 1:19
O My Most Blessed Queen -- 1:26
You are a Priest -- 2:11

The Light of Evening: Hymns of Vespers
Ensemble Cherubika

With uplifted hearts and voices, Ensemble Cherubika presents a selection of hymns from the Orthodox Church Vespers service of Saturday evening. While these hymns are based on the ancient Znammeny Chant of the Russian Orthodox Church, this CD features new arrangements and original compositions. The recording was made in Saint Seraphim Cathedral Santa Rosa, California.

Artistic Director:  V. Rev. Lawrence Margitich

Ensemble Cherubika:  Daniel Alva, Maria Armstrong, John Burns, Micolas Custer, Ruth Greenfield, Old Kern, Juliana Kohl, Lia Kohl, Macrina Lewis, Alexander Margitich, Justin Margitich, Tom Pellizer, Genevieve Richardson

Link to Sample Tracks

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Holy Assumption Monastery
1519 Washington St, Calistoga, CA 94515

(707) 942-6244