The Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir, and St. Kassiani Choir Concert at The Holy Trinity Cathedral in NY. PHOTO: © D. PANAGOS
New York, NY–In 2015, the Archdiocesan School of Byzantine music inaugurated the St. Kassiani Byzantine Choir. The St. Kassiani Byzantine Choir began in 2014 at the initiation of the nuns of All Saints Monastery with the blessing and support of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios. The sisters of All Saints, being alumnae of HCHC, recognized the need for education, promotion, and contribution of qualified women chanters within the Greek Orthodox Church. Because of the many knowledgeable female chanters and limited opportunities for participation in traditional Byzantine choirs, the nuns of All Saints Monastery formed the St. Kassiani Byzantine Choir under the directorship of Dr. Demetrios Kehagias and the Archdiocesan School of Byzantine Music. With Dr. Kehagias’ guidance and encouragement, the women chanters of the St. Kassiani Byzantine Choir have been challenged to perform difficult compositions all the while maintaining a high level of precision. The debut concert in June 2016 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral was a successful endeavor. We are optimistic that with persistence and continued effort, the St. Kassiani Byzantine Choir will be an opportunity for skilled women chanters to offer their talent to Christ and to inspire a future generation of women to dedicate their talent to Christ and His Church.
The Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir at The Holy trinity Cathedral in NY. PHOTO: © D. PANAGOS
St. Kassiani Choir Concert at The Holy Trinity Cathedral in NY. PHOTO: © D. PANAGOS
More than 15 women gave their time, talent, and financial contributions in order to debut the St. Kassiani Byzantine Choir. These women—gathered from Oregon to Massachusetts and Texas to Florida— made great personal sacrifices to contribute and participate. They include: Gerontissa Foteini, All Saints Monastery, Calverton NY, Adelfi Theonymfi, All Saints Monastery, Calverton NY, Markella Balasis, OCMC, St. Augustine, FL, Elizabeth Constantine, Archdiocesan Cathedral, NY, NY, Rachel Fiolek, Holy Resurrection, Allston, MA, Sarah Jenks, University of Notre Dame, IN, Eirini Koulianos, HCHC, Brookline, MA, Mary Long, Transfiguration Greek Church, Austin, TX, Virginia Pourakis,St. Paul Cathedral, Hempstead, NY, Christina Stavros-Kidonakis, St. Mary Antiochian Church, Livonia, MI, Theofania Creemens, Portland, OR.
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