Monday, July 4, 2011

First Concert of the Archdiocesan Youth Choir Tour In Constantinople in Honor of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

The Archdiocesan Youth Choir on stage (photo © Dimitrios Panagos/GOA)

The Church of St. Irene, which is used as a venue for musical events and concerts, was an idyllic and meaningful location for a moving musical recital of angelic voices singing a rich and diversified repertoire of orthodox ecclesiastical pieces, traditional and modern Greek compositions and international selections.

The thirty-nine member Archdiocesan Youth Choir, under the very skilled direction of Conductor Maria Koleva and with the piano accompaniment of the accomplished pianist Vasilis Varvaressos performed superbly a program of 18 songs in Greek, English and Turkish. The evening began with the traditional version of the Hymn to the Most Holy Theotokos “Ti Ypermaho,” followed by a second version in an arrangement by composer Sophia Serghi. It included some well known and loved songs by renown Greek composers Manos Hatzidakis and Mikis Theodorakis, a song by Turkish composer Livanelli Zuelfue, and pieces by Mozart, George Gershwin and others. It concluded with the “Polychronion” of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Vasilis Varvaressos performed solo an excerpt from Franz Liszt’s Concert for Piano as an interlude in the program. The hundreds of guests, from the Omogeneia of Constantinople, Greece, Cyprus and the United States applauded enthusiastically and complimented the excellence of the offering.

Upon the conclusion of the performance, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios publicly expressed his gratitude to the Ecumenical Patriarch for having accepted the offering of the concert in His All Holiness’ honor and for his support in realizing the performance. The Archbishop particularly thanked the benefactors and sponsors of the Archdiocesan Youth Choir Dimitrios and Georgia Kaloidis and Panikos Papanokolaou, who is also the president of the Choir board, for making the Concert and Tour possible.

“Music is the vocabulary of love and is the way the heart communicates with the Creator,” said the Ecumenical Patriarch addressing the children of the Choir, the delegation from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the audience of the concert. His All Holiness praised the musical performance of the Choir and said that he had the opportunity to receive many expressions of love from the orthodox faithful of America in the past, manifestations and expressions of love which continue to this day with the presentation of this concert. “As in the past, these expressions of your love towards me personally and towards the Mother Church are supporting us and strengthen us- and the Mother Church is truly appreciative of this love and support we receive,” said the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Tomorrow, Sunday July 3, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will preside at the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Holy Trinity of the Monastery in the Theological School of Halki. Archbishop Demetrios, the Archdiocesan Choir and others from the United States will attend the liturgy.

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