ASTORIA – The Pancyprian Association of America Cultural Division presented the Annual Christmas Concert “Kalanda” with Artistic and Music Director Phyto Stratis and the Pancyprian Choir of NY soloists and chorus at Sts Catherine and George Greek Orthodox Church in Astoria on December 18.
The highly anticipated concert featured a delightful program of festive songs, traditional Christmas carols and hymns bringing joy to the audience.
The program began with soloist Demetris Michael singing the traditional Cypriot Kalanda followed by -along with the Choir- the Kalanda of Chios.
In his welcoming remarks, Phytos Stratis who is celebrating his 7th season with the Choir, thanked all those present for attending and for their ongoing support. He noted the absence of choir member Andreas Modenos, who passed away on December 3 and announced that the Spring Concert will be held in his memory.
Kampanes tis Lefterias (Bells of Freedom), Stratis’ Greek version of the Carol of the Bells, was among the songs heard at the Concert. The emotional song that mentions the cities in the occupied area of Cyprus envisioning the church bells ringing once again there and in Asia Minor and in Pontus, received an enthusiastic applause by the audience.
Christmas favorites, such as Silent Night, Jingle Bells, Elate me pisti (O Come All Ye Faithful) and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, were also performed by the amazing soloists sopranos Ariadne Anna, Olga Xanthopoulou – Chalkitis, Maria Eleni Zollo, Vicky Paritoglou, tenor Demetris Michael, baritones Demetris Bonaros and Nektarios Antoniou. Actor and Choir member Theodore Petropoulos served as the Narrator for the show.
Philip Christopher, Pancyprian Association President, greeted the audience saying that the Cultural Division, led by President Ismini Michaels, highlights through its concerts the continuous struggle for justice for Cyprus.
Consul General of Cyprus in New York Michalis Firillas congratulated the Choir and its director and wished everyone the best for Christmas and the New Year.