By Dr. Alla A. Borzova
I am a musician of many hats: composer, conductor, pianist, organist and soprano. For many years I was on the faculties at Hunter and Lehman Colleges in New York City. I work as Music Director at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in the heart of New Canaan, Connecticut. Since the beginning of the pandemic we had only a month and a half of a break in services. We have both in-person services and remote services. I play live every Sunday as well as record and edit music weekly for the remote services. During the past two summers we had services at the church’s parking lot. There I play Yamaha keyboard, which handles even fancy piano music. The choir was singing without masks outdoors. Right now we are indoors and everyone is masked. I play without a mask, as our pipe organ console is located away from the congregation and leaders. We don’t have a choir indoors at this time, as we are following the Lutheran Synod’s guidance, which indicates that we have to sing in masks. Very few members of the choir are interested in singing in masks. Every Sunday we have a vocal leader from the choir, although the congregation is good at singing hymns as well. For major holidays (Christmas and Easter) I invite a wonderful virtuoso violinist for a pre-service violin/organ recital and services. The Synod warns against inviting wind or brass performers at this time. Using the opportunity (hope you will excuse my self-promotion) I would like to mention that in mid-March 2020 my organ collection Heaven & Earth was published by The Sacred Music Press (a division of Lorenz Corporation). It includes six hymn tune arrangements, suitable for both service and concert. It has three Christmas arrangements: Heaven and Earth (Belarusian-Ukrainian carol, I Wish You a Merry Christmas, Ding Dong! Merrily on High:
Two pieces from the collection are recorded here (with more recordings to follow soon):
Finally, for the composition And The Greatest Of These Is Love (inspired by Chagall’s and Matisse’s stained glass windows, commissioned and toured by Gail Archer) please contact my publishing agent Bill Holab at Billholabmusic.com
Wish you all very happy holidays and a safer and healthier New Year!