Holy Trinity’s Byzantine Music Fellowship continues practicing on Tuesday evenings 7-8pm, working on music for the Paraklesis service to the Theotokos. We are a great group of enthusiastic singers, but we need more men or women willing to sing “Ison”! Help Frank Reder and Michael Thompson with this important role by joining us on Tuesday nights. Not sure what “Ison” is? Read an excerpt from an article by Christina Stavros explaining its significance in Byzantine chanting:

“Musically speaking, there are only two parts in Byzantine music—ison and melos. Melos (melody) takes the profound language of our hymnology and “clothes” it in kerygmatic melody so as to preach and proclaim the text. The ison is the note that sets the mode (tone) and is “held” while the text of the verses and hymns are chanted by the melodist (or many melodists in a choir together.) Ison is very difficult because it requires a singular, focused determination to be strong and stay in one place—tonally speaking—while the melodist is moving all around the scale. The ison is often neglected because it is very difficult and perceived as unnecessary. But ison is essential to what is happening in Byzantine music. It is like a throne that provides a “seat” for the melody so that it does not lose its way and fall down. Ison is the framework for the melody—a non-negotiable aspect of Byzantine Music.”     — Christina Stavros from “Christ is Our Ison: Byzantine Music and the Orthodox Family” on the Greek Orthodox Church of America website: goarch.org