The Metropolitan Cantor Institute

The Metropolitan Cantor Institute exists to support and foster liturgical singing in the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh. At the direction of our bishops, and in cooperation with our clergy and experienced cantors, the Institute trains and certifies cantors for the service of the church, prepares music and educational materials, and provides workshops and seminars in church singing.

The mission of the Metropolitan Cantor Institute is to ensure that each parish in the Byzantine Catholic Church has a cantor who can lead the liturgical singing of the parish well, to the glory of God and in support of the prayer of the faithful.

From 1997 to 2016, it provided classes in Pittsburgh, and occasionally in other locations. While we will continue to offer these classes from time to time, our main efforts will be directed to our distance education program for cantors, MCI Online.

The MCI Online Program

This program is for cantors and prospective cantors at all levels of experience, and is based on a set of cantor certification standards which describe the knowledge and skills that a cantor needs in order to lead our church singing throughout the year. A two-year series of classes covers liturgy, plain chant, and spirituality. this material, providing instruction, feedback, and assistance to students.

All courses are offered annually, and new students enter the program in January or July. A few classes, such as Introduction to Liturgy, are offered for free and can be taken at any time. See the Classes page for details.

Some leadership techniques can be taught with online instruction or classroom sessions – but the real learning takes place in the day-to-day worship of your parish, as you begin to take on the work of cantoring. When you are ready, an MCI instructor and one other experienced cantor will watch as you lead the singing at a complete service in your parish. When you have completed the complete cycle of MCI courses and passed this examination, you will be awarded a certificate of completion for the MCI cantor education program.

The MCI Online program is intended for:

The entire program can be completed in two years, and a cost of less than $50 per month. Discounts are available in cases of financial need. Prospective students may also wish to investigate obtaining assistance from their parishes.

To get started, check out the Cantor Education Roadmap. (This page is also available through the Classes link at the top of each page of this website.)

Archived classes and materials

Recordings and handouts from previous classes, including video, can be found on the Archived classes page. This material is gradually being incorporated into the main website.

Projects

To foster our liturgical singing, the Cantor Institute is currently involved in the following projects:

Folllow the MCI blog for details.

Publications

The Metropolitan Cantor Institute also prepares publications to supplement the official materials promulgated by our bishops, as well as leaflets with changeable texts and music for the Sundays and feast-days of the church year. These materials use the best available texts, translations, and music, but are permitted for use in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, and other eparchies with the permission of the bishop, until replaced by officially-promulated materials.

For more information

Contact MCI Director Jeffrey Mierzejewski at (412) 735-1676, or by e-mail at mci@archpitt.org.