PRÓTO (ΠΡΩΤΩ) is a collaboration of two protopsaltes (“first cantors”): John Michael Boyer, Protopsaltis of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco; and the Reverend Deacon John Rassem El Massih, Protopsaltis of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Our shared vision is excellence in traditional Byzantine Music within the liturgical life of Orthodox Christian parishes of the United States, as well as the advancement, development, and composition of traditional Byzantine Music in the English language.
“Πρώτω” is the Greek word “πρῶτος” (prótos)—“first”—in its ancient grammatical “dual” form. The protopsaltis is often referred to as “prótos” for short, and, as our endeavor is a collaboration of two such cantors, the dual form of this term seemed a fitting name. We are deeply grateful to two faithful clergymen, the Rev. Frs. Patrick O’Rourke and Andreas Houpos, for creating the symbol of this collaboration.