ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR
AXIOS MEN'S ENSEMBLE
REPETITEUR, RESURRECTIONAL LITURGY RECORDING PROJECT
Boris Derow's musical life began while growing up in rural Saskatchewan. There he studied piano, and sang in harmony with his siblings and in his community, where his interest in Slavic folk and liturgical music began. His musical studies continued at St Vladimir's College in Roblin, Manitoba, before attending Brandon University as a voice major. It wasn't until he began his journey via the Basilian Order while discerning a life in the priesthood, and the study of theology, that his real love of conducting and composition took root. In 2000, while living in New York City, Boris began working with the monks of St. Josaphat’s monastery, teaching chant and liturgical responses. He began composing music for the monks to sing, which they performed throughout the tri-state area.
Boris continued composing while living at the Basilian House of Studies upon returning to Edmonton in 2002. Together, he and Fr. John Sembrat co-founded a male choir of 18 voices. Since then, the group, now known as the Axios Men’s Ensemble, has gone on to produce two recordings: Liturgical Treasures (2004), and Різдво (The Nativity) (2006), comprised of Boris' original compositions and arrangements.
When Boris sang on Fr. John’s 2003 recording of The Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, their musical relationship was truly cemented, which resulted in collaborating on ensuing projects and inspiring the renaissance of many of the Basilan Order's musical traditions. Together, both Fr. John and Boris compiled and published an updated version of the Irmologion in modern Ukrainian, a Divine Liturgy compendium, another for the Parastas and Panaxyda services, as well as other cantorial aids for the UGCC.
Boris began sharing his compositions with Fr. John, his newfound mentor, for critique, and their creative bond grew and turned into Boris's direct participation in the the Resurrectional Liturgy project.
In 2011, Boris prepared the local participating choirs for recording 5 pieces from Fr. John's Liturgy in Edmonton, with an ensemble of 35 male singers. He also acted as preparatory conductor in the lead-up to the complete recording (2015) and concert tour (2016) of Fr. John Sembrat's Resurrectional Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
In addition, Boris is the resident conductor with Edmonton’s Mercury Opera, where he has scored and arranged two Operascapes, 104 Underground and Fiamma, performed in Edmonton, Calgary, and Ottawa to sell-out audiences and rave reviews. He also maintains a busy schedule directing Axios and his own singing engagements.