Not only listening, but also feeling

For the tenth time St Elisabeth Convent took part in the Belgrade International Book Fair, which is the biggest event of the kind at the Balkans.

For these ten years our sisters’ participation in the International Book Fair has become a good tradition. The stall of St Elisabeth Convent displayed the diversity of goods manufactured in the Convent’s workshops, as well as the books «Шта људи питају» by the spiritual father of the Convent, archpriest Andrew Lemeshonok in Serbian.

This year nun Juliania (Denisova), a composer, a music expert and teacher, the precentor of the Festive Choir and the resident of St Elisabeth Convent took part in the Belgrade Book Fair for the first time.

Within the framework of the exhibition the workshops on liturgical singing with nun Juliania were organized with the blessing of the archpriest of the Church of St Sava of Serbia, bishop of Remesiana Stefan, vicar of Patriarch of Serbia. These workshops were attended by the precentors and chanters of church choirs and students of musical academies – all in all about seventy people. The participants got the unique opportunity to gain experience the best possible way – rehearsals with one of the most well-known composers of church music nowadays. How should one interpret church music? How should it be performed at the services and at the concerts? How should one walk with difficulties which arise during the working process? These and other questions were discussed during the workshops with nun Juliania.

Why a church music concert.. And why classical music concerts? Why do we need any concerts at all? They find their listeners. They reveal secret heart-strings within a person. There are concerts that serve as a background for relaxation. For example, pop music concerts. There is nothing wrong about them, they just serve a different purpose: life’s background, entertainment, distraction. All this may and should exist in some decent forms. But a church music concert… It changes the soul, just like a classical music concert. One comes to such concerts not only to listen, but to think and feel,” — nun Iuliania (Denisova).

On October 28, upon finishing the workshops, there was a musical evening held in the crypt of St Sava Church. The combined choir of the participants of the workshops with nun Juliania performed several compositions written by this outstanding author. Revelations of nun Juliania about her spiritual and musical experience brought great joy to the listeners at the end of the evening.

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