History of the Federation

The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver Church Music Federation, with headquarters in Denver, Colorado, was founded in 1975 as the Federation of Greek Orthodox Choirs of the Western States—East. This name was chosen to reflect the geographic service area of the Federation and the close relationship with our sister federation on the west coast. The name was later changed to fit the new metropolis structure of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Today, our new name again reflects the organization of the Archdiocese with its eight Metropolises. The new Federation hoped to serve the church musically through assisting the growth and development of its member choirs.

The Federation has met annually since 1975 in various cities in the Metroplis. Each meeting includes musical and spiritual workshops, rehearsals, and social activities with the high point being the singing by the combined choirs of the Federation of the Divine Liturgy written by various composers.

In 1975, seeing a need for new material and recognizing that several composers already had works completed in manuscript form which were being used in many churches in the western states, the Federation leadership formed a publication committee to oversee the publication of these and other works for the use of its member choirs. This committee has now published several works in various categories designed to be of practical and immediate use to the liturgical choir of average ability.

In 1978, the Federation began the Holiday Choral Series. This series is designed to include, in separate octavo folios, all of the special hymns for a given feast day both as chants and as choral arrangements (usually SATB). These folios, after use on the given feast day, may be stored until needed the following year. This was done in order to save wear and tear of the music were it published in one large book for the entire year. This series allows for the gradual addition of new works as they become available including folios for the same feast day, but written by different composers.

In 1981, a new category for Junior Choirs was inaugurated with the publication of the Holy Saturday Morning Service by Perecles Phillips. This series provides new materials designed for the use and development of Youth or Junior Choirs. The series was later supplemented with the Unison Liturgy for Greek Orthodox Choirs by Dr. Tikey Zes, a retired professor in the Music Department at San Jose State University. The Unison Liturgy, designed for smaller choirs, is in chant form and utilizes the traditional melodies of John Th. Sakellarides with ad libitum organ accompaniment. The interlineal English translation is by Dr. Theodore Bogdanos, a composer/chanter and a retired professor of English Literature at San Jose State University.

A new series, Service Books, was inaugurated in 1994, with the publication of The Byzantine Liturgy: Hymnology and Order by Theodore Bogdanos, by far the largest and most inclusive of all our publications. This book led to another series, the Special Services which now includes the Service of Pentecost Vespers of Kneeling by Tikey Zes, with English translation by Fr. Evagoras Constantinides, and the Services of Betrothal and Matrimony by Theodore Bogdanos. The newest series is the Pascha (Easter) Series for the various services of Greek Orthodox Holy Week which includes the services of Holy Tuesday Evening with its new Hymn of Kassiani by Theodore Bogdanos. It also includes hymns for the Divine Liturgy of Holy Saturday Evening.

As we begin our thirty-second year, we pledge our continued efforts to improve the quality of musical worship in our churches. We invite your comments and constructive criticism of our work and hope that these materials will be of use to you.History of the Federation