St. Ephraim the
Patriarchal Choir established in 1980 by H.H. Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas at
St. George’s Cathedral in Damascus. Father Severius Malke Mourad,
(currently Mor Severius Malke the Archbishop of Jerusalem) was selected to
be the first leader of the choir. Nowadays the choir is directed by very
Rev. Raban Jean Kawak who works together with the musician Shadi Emile
Sarwé to continue the choir’s improvement.
The forty-members choir
commenced its activities by serving the holy liturgy. Thereafter, the
choir began to perform concerts of the Syriac church music in Syria and
Lebanon. Some of the choir’s important activities are its participation in
“The Holy Harp”, the hymn festival, as well as its concert with Mayada
Bseliss, the Syrian singer, at St. Ephraim’s Monastery in Ma´arrat
Saydnaya at summer 2003.
In spring 2000, St. Ephraim’s Choir released its first CD titled “Ahiqar
of the Church”. This CD included nine Syriac hymns and four modern Arabic
hymns. The hight quality of the CD reflects the great effort of father
The Arabic hymn “Ahiqar of the Church”, (lyric by Abboud Saado, music by
Chadi Emile Sarwé), and the other Arabic hymns are composed in musical
style which is difficult to be merged with the musical style of the Syriac
Orthodox Church. On the other hand, “Aboun dbashmayo” (Our Father), is one
of the hymns that should be appreciated for its wonderful performance in
rich polyphonic form without losing its original flavour.
The choir’s second album is a record of the concert in May 2001 at Qasr
al-Adem, Damascus - Syria. The choir performed many beautiful hymns
accompanied with an oriental orchestra. Among the hymns presented was
“Btouro Dihoud” in a new form composed by Syriac Music’s Issa Habil.
Beside the main choir in 1998, H.H. Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas established
the youth choir under the direction of Dr. Iskander Antoine Abdelki. The
choir of thirty-members is currently participating in the service of the
holy liturgy, besides presenting several concerts in Syria. The choir’s
latest participation was in the third festival of hymn, “The Holy Harp”,
in Damascus in 2002.
The youth choir works under
the supervision of father Jean Kawak and the musical auspices of Mouhanned
Hayak and Christine Khoury.
St. Ephraim’s Choir and Syriac Music offer you a selection of the choir’s
Source: Syriac Music