In order to be awarded a Holy Cross Certificate in Byzantine Music, eligible MDiv candidates and Psaltic Art students must successfully pass a comprehensive oral examination before a designated committee consisting of:

  • a Holy Cross full-time faculty member specializing in Byzantine Music who also serves as the Committee Chairperson
  • a representative of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • three specialists who are appointed by the Committee Chairperson and hold (i) the office of Protopsaltis of one of the Metropolises of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and/or (ii) a doctoral or Master’s degree in Byzantine Musicology and/or (iii) a Diploma in Byzantine Music, and/or (iv) a faculty position in an accredited conservatory with a specialty in Byzantine Music, Ethnomusicology, Classical Ottoman Music or a related field.

The examination will last approximately one hour and include sections on:

  • theory and notation
  • service rubrics
  • sight reading
  • performance of prepared repertoire from the following musical collections: Anastasimatarion, Slow Heirmologion, Old Sticherarion, Papadike, Kalophonic Heirmologion

At the end of the examination, the committee will convene privately to decide upon the examination result and grade. A 4-to-1 majority vote is required for a passing examination result. The grade will be determined by the majority vote of those committee members who voted favorably in the initial vote. The four possible grades are (i) Excellent, (ii) Very Good, (iii) Good, and (iv) Satisfactory. The Holy Cross Certificate in Byzantine Music will be signed by the Archbishop of America, the President of Hellenic College, Inc., the Dean of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and the five members of the examining committee. The conferral of the Certificate will take place during the annual Hellenic College Holy Cross commencement ceremonies.

The examining committee will convene annually on the campus of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology during the Spring semester to administer a separate examination for each candidate. Individuals who have not followed the above referenced course of studies at Holy Cross, but wish to take the examination that leads to certification, must submit an application package no later than February 1 of the year in which they wish to take the examination. The package must include:

  • an analytical description of their musical background, courses taken and chanting experience (if applicable, copies of transcripts and/or certificates by music instructors must be provided)
    a recording of themselves performing: (i) a set of slow katavasiai from Petros the Peloponnesian’s Heirmologion (Εἱρμολόγιον τῶν Καταβασιῶν Πέτρου τοῦ Πελοποννησίου, Constantinople 1825) or Ioannis Vyzantios’ Heirmologion (Εἱρμολόγιον Καταβασιῶν Ἰωάννου Πρωτοψάλτου, Constantinople 1903)*; (ii) a doxastikon from Petros the Peloponnesian’s Doxastarion (Σύντομον Δοξαστάριον Πέτρου Λαμπαδαρίου, Bucharest 1820)*, (iii) a cherubic hymn from Ioannis Vyzantios and Stephanos Lampadarios’ Musical Pandekte (Πανδέκτη Ἰωάννου Λαμπαδαρίου & Στεφάνου Α΄ Δομεστίκου, Τόμος Δ΄, Constantinople 1851)*
  • one recommendation letter from a specialist in Byzantine Music
  • a non-refundable qualification fee of $300

Each application package will be reviewed by a Holy Cross faculty member specializing in Byzantine Music who will contact the candidate in writing by February 15, informing him/her:

  • whether he/she is eligible to take the examination
  • what repertoire he/she must prepare

If the candidate is deemed eligible to take the examination, he/she must mail a check for $1,500 payable to Hellenic College, Inc by March 15. After the check has been received, the candidate will be informed of the date and time on which the examination will be administered. If a candidate cancels his/her plan to take the examination with at least 14-day notice, he/she will receive a full refund.

*Similar settings found in other 19th-century Greek publications as well as English versions available at www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Index.html, www.ematins.org or www.psaltologion.com are also acceptable.