[SVOTS Communications / Yonkers, NY] "More than a third of our alumni are in jurisdictions that use Byzantine music," noted The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, chancellor/CEO at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. "In order to serve the Church and our students preparing for service in these ecclesial settings, we are fortifying our Byzantine music course offerings and chapel music repertoire for the 2013–2014 Academic Year.
"We are particularly blessed that Mr. Rassem El Massih has joined our faculty as Lecturer in Liturgical Music," continued Fr. Chad. "Instructor El Massih of the Antiochian Archdiocese is a renowned church musician who will be teaching 'Introduction to Byzantine Chant.'"
The Seminary is also offering a 10-week Byzantine music course to the general public on Wednesday evenings, in collaboration with The Axion Estin Foundation  of New Rochelle, NY. Eleftherios Eleftheriadis, the highly regarded Protopsaltis of St. Nicholas Shrine Church in Flushing, NY, who previously served on the faculty of the Music School of Thessaloniki, Greece, will introduce students to original texts in Byzantine music notation. (To register, call 914–961–8313 x317 , or email firstname.lastname@example.org .) 
Bringing two world-renowned Byzantine music instructors to St. Vladimir’s supports the Seminary’s “Bishop Basil Program in Byzantine Liturgical Music,” begun in 2010, when the seminary Board of Trustees presented The Right Rev. Basil (Essey)  (alumnus '73) with an honorary doctorate and announced the creation of a program in his name “to ensure the heritage of teaching Byzantine music not only continues at St. Vladimir’s but also evolves.” Appropriately, His Grace Basil, bishop of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, will be a featured speaker at the Seminary’s 75th Anniversary Gala Benefit Banquet , Thursday, November 7, 2013.