Robert Sirico composing at home. Photo: JoAnn Sirico
Rocky Point resident and composer Robert Sirico has a passion for sacred music that has been nurtured since he was 8 years old. When passions collide in someone as intense as one conversation with Sirico reveals that he is, something amazing usually happens.
In this case, it is the December 5th premiere of his new composition of Orthodox Christian music, 'The Incarnation:' A contemporary a capella cantata drawing from the ancient Royal Hours.
A video clip of the project is being prepared and can be viewed here in a few days. Please check back.
Sirico (left) with Reeves (right) and Father Jonathan Ivanoff/JoAnn Sirico
In addition to being a physics teacher and father of 3, Sirico has created the Orthodox Christian Music Project. He worked in collaboration with Artistic Director Nicholas Reeves – a composer whose music has been featured locally and internationally . They have assembled a chamber group of professional vocalists from New York for this event, which will premiere this first in a series of new Orthodox Christian musical compositions by Sirico.
According to Reeves, Sirico drew from the hymns and gospels of The Royal Hours, an ancient Orthodox service, but “harmonized with western techniques.” He has written an entirely new Cantata, parts of which conform to the rubrics for Orthodox worship services.
Orthodox Christian icon of Christ and his life
SIrico felt strongly that the first in the series of concerts should be about the Nativity, in order to bring forth the infinite hope that Christ brings to His people. He said of popular Christmas music, “it’s very sensual, it focuses mostly on love and feelings about the season, mistle toe…but commercial society has divorced itself from the reason people feel this way. Nonetheless people are hungering, they are still yearning. There are very long dark nights and Christ is the light of this world…
“The hymns reveal that God is born in the flesh… [they] encapsulate the entire Christian mystery. This is the infinite hope, this light of Christ, that people are innately hungering for…”
The Incarnation is Sirico’s first composition of Orthodox music. Those seeking inspiration will surely find it at the concert on Saturday, December 5th at St. John the Theologian Orthodox Church at 158 West End Avenue, Shirley New York. The schedule is as follows: Vespers for the feast of St. Nicholas are at 6:00 pm. This is a mystical, solemn and holy service. Members of the public are welcome.
The Concert begins at 7:30. There is a reception immediately following at 8:30. Admission to this gem is free, but call in advance to reserve your space: 631-281-5960, or email stjohnparish@ hotmail.com. For more information, go online to St. John the Theologian Orthodox Church website.