NEW YORK, NY – GreekNews USA
[Photos: GOA/Dimitrios Panagos]
The Feast Day of the Three Hierarchs and the Greek Letters was celebrated by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with a sold-out concert Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City, on January 30. The Concert introduced the Hellenic Education Fund, an initiative of Archbishop Elpidophoros to support and promote Hellenic Education in the USA and across the Archdiocese, including the 25 Greek American Day Schools and the up to 500 Greek Afternoon schools.
Entitled “Letters About Three Luminaries. From Ancient to Modern Hellenism: A Tribute to Greek Education”, the concert was led by Director and Composer Athanasios Zervas in celebrating the literacy and cultural contributions of Sts. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom.
After the welcoming remarks of Dr. John Athas and Dr. Monica Tadros, the evening began with a special performance of “Tous Treis Megistous Fostires” by the Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral Children’s Choir under the direction of Maestro Costas Tsourakis and continued with classical pieces from Dino Constantinides and Athanasios Zervas. Soprano Nicolette Mitroussias, mezzo soprano Xanthi Panagiotopoulou, and baritone Eleftherios Chasanidis joined the orchestra for solo and joint performances that moved the audience.
Zervas invited the audience to sing along when leading the orchestra in performing Greek songs from the 1920s and 1930s. The crowd clapped along to the bouzouki and sang to classics such as “Tzivaeri”, “To gelekaki”, “Anthismeni Amygdalia” or the traditional Ladino-Sephardic “Adio Kerida”. The children’s choir returned to the stage to conclude the concert singing “Arnisi- Sto Perigiali To Krifo”, a poem by Nobel laureate George Seferis set to music by Mikis Theodorakis, along with Nicolette Mitroussias, Xanthi Panagiotopoulou and Eleftherios Chasanidis.
Bouzouki player Dimitrios Dallas ended the evening with a passionate solo that prompted a standing ovation.
Soloists included also Peter Kourkouvis, soprano saxophone, Pauline Kim, violin, Conrad Harris, violin, Chieh-Fan Yiu, viola, Caleb van der Swaagh, cello and Mia Kim, piano.
“Hearing the voices of our children soar in this very special place reminds all of us of what we are fighting for. Our Greek Culture, Philosophy and Language are the basis for the appearance of Western Civilization. Of this there can be no doubt. And it is for us to pass along to our children the best of this incredible tradition”, noted His Eminence.
Reflecting on the success of this first event, Co-Chairs Fr. Gregory Stamkopoulos and Dr. Monica Tadros offered their deep appreciation to the Archbishop, to the musicians and all the supporters. “It truly was touching to witness how much the value of education in our Greek American Schools holds such value to our faithful. This is the first of many more events to support the Hellenic Education Fund”.
It is noted the creation of the “Endowment Fund for Greek Education” was announced by the Holy Eparchial Synod along with the re-enaction of the High Council for Greek Education, on November 22, 2021, following a generous offering of one million dollars from the late Suzanne Mados.