Over the past 10 years Archbishop Demetrios has traveled extensively throughout the Archdiocese, making pastoral visits to communities both within the Direct Archdiocesan District and in other Metropolises. During these visits he has participated in numerous liturgical services where the music used was not appropriately rendered. This points to the tremendous opportunity to increase the formal training among our church musicians throughout the United States. To be sure, choirs have undertaken the work of assisting our parishes for decades. However, their ministry has primarily focused only on Sunday liturgies. Holy Week and weekday services often leave the clergy without someone who can properly execute the liturgical music. Furthermore, and in the context of the Archbishop’s charge from the past Clergy Laity Assembly to, bring God’s people to His home, it is not difficult to understand that a vital aspect of a person’s experience when they enter a church is not only contingent upon what they see, but also what they hear.
Therefore, as a first step to respond to the needs of our clergy and parishes, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America has commenced the establishment of the Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Music (ASBM) in the Direct Archdiocesan District in order to teach young men and women Byzantine Music.