Byzantine Chant Classes

This ministry is offered for Orthodox faithful and especially aspiring chanters to engage their faith more deeply through the rich musical and liturgical tradition of the Church. By exploring the psaltic art, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of our worship services, the prayers that we sing in private and communal prayer, and the role of chanters as worship leaders. The class will be geared toward both learning musical theory and how to read Byzantine musical notation while also developing a working practical knowledge of hymns by learning "by ear."
Classes began Wednesday, September 20, 2023, after the start of the new Ecclesiastic Year. Since each class builds on the one prior to it, no new registrants will be accepted after the start date in order to preserve the students' progression in this ministry.  The fee for this class is $100, which will cover the cost for each student's textbook.
For more information, contact our Pastoral Assistant, John Anton, at


WHO:  Classes are open to all, ages 13+. Beginners welcome. 

WHERE: Ascension’s Conference Room

Beginner Students:  Wednesday evenings, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Continuing Students, Saturdays at 3:45 p.m.
NOTE: On select days, Chant Class will be replaced with or followed by a liturgical service. Students are highly encouraged to attend these services as part of their ongoing exposure to and education in Byzantine Chant. Please see the schedule below for details.

FEE:  $100

Registration is closed for the 2023/24 Ecclesiastic Year


This course will balance a theoretical and practical approach to learning Byzantine Music. In other words, while the focus will be on learning musical theory, we will also learn major hymns through listening and memorization. We will be exploring (mostly in English, but also in Greek):

1.  The Eight Modes
2.  Byzantine Neume Notation
3.  Major Hymns of the Church
4.  History of Byzantine Music
5.  Order of Liturgical Services

Our textbook for the class will be Byzantine Music: Theory and Practice Guide by Fr. Aristidis Garinis, Dr. Demetrios Kehagias, and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Each student will be provided a copy. Additional scores and exercises will be provided from numerous sources, including but not limited to:

  • GOA Digital Chant Stand
  • The Divine Music Project of St. Anthony's Monastery
  • Theoritikon Vyzantinis Ekklesiastikis Mousikis by Ioannis Margaziotis
  • The Anastasimatarion
  • Byzantine Chant: The Received Tradition – A Lesson Book by John Michael Boyer


Beginner Students (Wednesday 5:30 p.m. Class)

January 24: Session 1
January 31: Session 2
February 7: Session 3
February 14: Session 4
February 21: Session 5
February 28: Session 6
March 6: Session 7
March 13: Session 8

Click HERE to get a printable version of the schedule.

By the start of Great Lent on March 13, Beginner Students will join the Continuing Students on Saturdays. Please see the dates below once the change is made (beginning March 23rd).

Continuing Students (Saturday 3:45 p.m. Class)
All classes are followed by 9th Hour & Vespers unless otherwise indicated

January 20: Session 1
January 27: Session 2
February 3: Session 3
February 10: Session 4
February 17: Session 5
February 24: Session 6
March 2 - NO CLASS - GOYA Trip to Boston
March 9: Session 7
March 16: Session 8 


March 23:  Session 9 followed by Pan-Orthodox Vespers @ St. John the Baptist, Des Plaines at 6:30 p.m.
March 30:  Session 10
April 6:  Session 11
April 13:  Session 12
April 20:  Session 13
April 27:  Session 14 (last meeting)

Click HERE to get a printable version of the schedule.