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Price: $20.00


Publisher: -SVS Press-

Robin Freeman


Gift Wrapping:

Every Day Will I Bless Thee

“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


1. O Gladsome Light (1:16) • Monk Martin (Gardner)

2. Exapostilarion for Annunciation (0:43) • Archpriest Paul Jannakos

3. Koinonikon for All Times (0:56) • Monk Martin (Gardner)

4. The Great Doxology (4:14) • Kurt Sander

5. Canon Ode 9 for Holy Saturday Matins (2:22) • Serbian Chant (arr. P. Drobac)

6. Exapostilarion for Pascha (1:26) • Archpriest Sergei Glagolev

7. Blessed is the Man (2:59) • Priest Ivan Moody

8. The Angel Cried (1:43) • nazo zakkak

9. Antiphon 15 for Holy Friday Matins (3:28) • Melody by Deacon Sergius Trubachov (arr. V. Morosan)

10. Let my Prayer Arise (2:55) • Byzantine Chant
      Soloists: Mary Honoré, Robin Freeman, Nun Margarete (Roeber)

11. Song of St. Simeon (0:53) • Priest Sergius Halvorsen

12. Exapostilarion for the Exaltation of the Cross (1:40) • Johann von Gardner

13. Hymn of Kassiane (5:16) • Byzantine Chant (arr. S. Frøyshov, G. Abdalah)

14. Magnificat (4:16) •nazo zakkak
      Soloist: Robin Freeman

15. Paschal Troparion (1:02) • Georgian Chant (arr. H. Majkrzak)

16. Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos (1:50) • Richard Toensing
      Soloist: Mary Honoré

17. Koinonikon for Holy Saturday (2:45) • Serbian Chant (arr. P. Drobac)

18. It is Truly Meet (1:03) • Monk Martin (Gardner)

19. Koinonikon for Presanctified Liturgy (1:51) • Valaam Chant (arr. J. Erickson)

20. Kontakion for the Nativity of Christ (2:20) • Byzantine Chant (arr. R. Toensing)

21. Kontakion for the Canon of St. Andrew (1:40) • Nicolas Craig Custer

22. The Lord’s Prayer (1:14) • Monk Martin (Gardner)

23. Paschal Troparion (1:09) • Vladimir Morosan


"From St. Vladimir’s Seminary, long known for its traveling Seminarians’ Octets and recordings of all-men’s choirs, comes this lovely album sung by an all-women’s ensemble, comprised of six fine voices—faculty, students, and community members—who fortuitously assembled and were able to record together before going on to other life’s destinations and ministries.

Superb blend, ensemble balance, and beautifully sensitive phrasing are just some of the musical qualities that serve to recommend this recording. Its other remarkable feature is the breadth and scope of the repertoire: spanning a multitude of styles—ranging from chant with ison to choral polyphony, and national origins—including Russian, Serbian, Georgian, British, and American, the roster of composers represented, most of them still living, reads like a Who’s Who of contemporary Orthodox liturgical music: composers from the Ecumenical, Moscow, and Serbian Patriarchates, the Antiochian Archdiocese, the OCA, and ROCOR. The musical diversity of the 23 tracks is, nonetheless, integrated by a remarkable consistency and adherence to a liturgically faithful aesthetic—whereby musical sounds serve as a vehicle for the sacred text, always intensifying and beautifying, never overshadowing or distracting from the spiritual and prayerful content.

There are two additional reasons why everyone interested or directly involved in Orthodox church singing would want to listen to this album frequently: 1) It offers a worthy model of how a small ensemble of good voices, particularly women’s voices, is capable of offering beautiful singing appropriate for Orthodox worship; and 2) It demonstrates the vibrant creativity, within the bounds of various traditions, that will surely shape the future face of liturgical singing in Orthodox North America and other English-speaking lands, where the focus is on mission and growth, rather than merely on preservation and survival."—Vladimir Morosan, Musica Russica