Byzantine Chant Institute Convenes
at St. Nicholas Ranch June 14-20
Workshop Features Guest Scholars
Archimandrite Ephrem (Lash) of London
and Dr. Alexander Khalil
~ Leading Byzantine Cantors ~
~ Intimate Instructional Sessions ~
~ Idyllic Ranch Setting ~

The Saint John Koukouzelis Institute for Liturgical Arts presents an intensive workshop in Byzantine Chant and Liturgy, to take place at St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center in Dunlap, California, June 14-20.  

Students of all levels will spend the week immersed in Byzantine Music and in the liturgical life of the Church. The workshop’s daily schedule includes two instruction sessions, chapel services and a lecture each evening by one of two guest scholars, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne the Very Reverend Ephrem (Lash) from London and Ethnomusicologist Dr. Alexander Khalil from the University of California, San Diego. 

Instruction in Byzantine Music and liturgical rubrics, both in the original Greek and in translation, will be directed by John Michael Boyer, Protopsaltis (First Cantor) of the Metropolis of San Francisco, along with Protopsaltis Stelios Kontakiotis of the Shrine to the Mother of God on the island of Tinos, Greece; Dr. Constantine Kokenes from the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Atlanta; and Dr. Alexander Khalil, Protopsaltis of St. Spyridon Church in San Diego.  

Comments from the last institute:

“The workshop surpassed all expectations. Chapel services were held with antiphonal choirs... in practical application of the day’s lessons.  The celebrant was the indescribable British Archimandrite and scholar Fr. Ephrem (Lash), who was available and approachable for incomparable conversation and counsel. Intensive instructional classes were held... the evenings reserved for lectures in hymnography, history of church music and the Typikon (order of church services).  I give my standing commitment to serve at the Institute whenever my schedule allows… for a boy from the deep South, I thought I was in Paradise! "

- Dr. Constantine Kokenes

“I went not knowing what to expect, and found an intimate gathering of students from all over North America --  working, eating, laughing and worshipping together.  The natural setting of the ranch was magically lovely, especially the "Barn Chapel" (which turned out to be literally a barn chapel!). The world-class teachers and lecturers amazed us with their generosity, as fascinating presentations and conversations went late into the night. It was an intense and challenging week, but a beautiful one which I will never forget.
I can recommend with all my heart the workshops in Byzantine chant offered by John Michael Boyer's Koukouzelis Institute. “

- Matushka Jenny Hainsworth

Fr. Ephrem, the Ecumenical Patriarchate's official translator for the English Language and an expert in liturgics, will address topics of music, liturgy, language and translation, and the role of Church musicians.  His writings and liturgical translations can be found at and his book On the Life of Christ: Kontakia, a translation of the Kontakia of Romanos the Melodist, is in wide circulation.  His translation of the Orthodox Psalter is forthcoming from Saint Vladimir Seminary Press. 

Dr. Khalil is an expert in a wide variety of world musics.  His dissertation explores the phenomenon of the “Patriarchiko Yphos,” the tradition of the current chanters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Registration fees covering tuition, materials, meals and lodging for six days and five nights range from $575 to $625 per person, depending on accommodations.

Spaces will be limited: register today!

Registration forms are available at For more information, contact Protopsaltis John Michael Boyer at (510) 717-1248,

Set in the rolling hills of California's Central Valley near King’s Canyon National Park, St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center is home to the Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring (Zoodochos Pigi) 

Focusing on the artistic elements of Greek Orthodox Liturgy, the Koukouzelis Institute was founded to provide the faithful of the Metropolis of San Francisco with the tools to cultivate full and strong liturgical programs in parish life, and to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the liturgical life of the Church.  

March 6, 2007 - Koukouzelis Institute Receives Grant from Fr. Elias Stephanopoulos Memorial Fund

The Koukouzelis Institute was recently awarded a $500 grant from the Fr. Elias Stephanopoulos Memorial Fund in Portland, Oregon.  The grant was awarded in order to defray the cost of bringing Fr. Ephrem (Lash) to California to serve as Chaplain, Lecturer and Spiritual Advisor for the Institute's Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Nicholas Ranch this April.

Fr. Elias Stephanopoulos was a great spiritual leader and a lover of Byzantine Music and of the Liturgical life in general.  He feel asleep in the Lord in 1994 from non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  May his memory be eternal.

July 26, 2006 - SF Chronicle

Director John Michael Boyer recently has been the subject of San Francisco Chronicle Datebook cover story "John Boyer sang before he spoke. Not much has changed -- at 28, he's helping to keep alive a rare form of chant that few can master." (Click Here to Read More)