Artefact Ensemble is a new project from GRAMMY-nominated conductor/composer Benedict Sheehan. Bringing together leading vocal artists from around the country, Artefact Ensemble combines world-class choral performances with curated, designed environments to create one-of-a-kind immersive concert experiences.
Partnering with schools, community organizations, and religious institutions, Artefact Ensemble also offers workshops, masterclasses, and co-operative music-making experiences free of charge to students, teachers of music, music ministers, and underprivileged audiences who might not otherwise have access to high-level ensemble music.
Artefact’s upcoming 2021-2022 concert season will include the world premiere performances of Arvo Pärt’s O Holy Father Nicholas in New York, as well as the world premiere performances and recording of Benedict Sheehan’s Liturgy No. 2 in Louisville.
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Starting from a foundation of four-part choral singing in the common Western style, while at the same drawing deeply from the well of Greek and Arabic Byzantine Chant, Liturgy No. 2 attempts to represent the wide range of cultures present in American Orthodoxy.
This piece has themes and textures drawn from a wide range of styles, including, American folk, Protestant hymns, African-American gospel, Malankara Indian, Gregorian Chant, Carpatho-Rusyn chant, and Renaissance polyphony.
GRAMMY-nominated conductor and composer Benedict Sheehan has been called “a rising star in the choral world” (Catholic Sentinel). He is Artistic Director of Artefact Ensemble and The Saint Tikhon Choir, as well as Director of Music at St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary in Pennsylvania. His recently-released Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, on which he conducts The Saint Tikhon Choir, has been garnering critical acclaim.
Benedict’s work as Chorus Master on the 2020 Naxos release of Kastalsky’s Requiem for Fallen Brothers earned him a 2021 GRAMMY nomination. He appears frequently as a guest conductor with noted Portland ensemble Cappella Romana.
Beginning his fourteenth year as Music Director at his home parish of St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church. There he leads a forty-five-member choir, a small chamber choir, youth choir and chanters who are responsible for leading approximately 500 services a year, three annual concerts and multiple workshops.
He also teaches and works as Music Director for Immaculata Classical Academy. There he is a Level 3 Ward Method Certified Instructor from Catholic University of America for primary-age students. When not in music class you can find him out on the soccer field with the students every day, playing as if he were in the World Cup. Stephen enjoys family gatherings where they drink bourbon, cook Mediterranean cuisine, and play volleyball. He resides in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife Amanda and his three children, Nina, Penelope and Basil.
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