The Australian Hellenic Choir emerged from Covid hibernation today with a Matinee Soirée that rocked audiences. Over 150 guests dined and dined at Kyle Bay on the Georges River, then settled in to enjoy the choir singing some of the finest songs by Theodorakis, Hadjidakis and Poulopoulos.
The choir comprises over 30 singers with tenors, baritones, altos and sopranos all singing their harmonies. Musical director and conductor Leon Vitogiannis took the audience on a musical journey filled with memories and hearts, with a moving rendition of The North Star (T’asteri tou Voria) in a capella. Written by Manos Hadjidakis with lyrics by Nikos Gatsos, it chronicles the pain of immigration to new lands experienced by millions of Greeks over the past 100 years.
The Australian Hellenic Choir
Since joining the choir in 2021, Leon has been inspiring with his ability to arrange music and lead the choir. The choir was supported by Stefanos Maragkakis on piano, Themis Ioakimidis on guitar and Perry Tsepetzis on bouzouki.
The choir was established in 2018 when a number of singers came together to create a new community choir to support Greek musical culture and the Greek language. James Tsolakis, the choir’s president, told the Greek City Times that the choir is emerging as a choir for our times. With national and international recognition, we are proud of the work we do and proud of our members. The choir performs regularly on their own, and in April they travel to Canberra to perform at the Ancient Greeks exhibition at the National Museum of Australia.
Later in the year, the choir was commissioned to perform at the University of Sydney in support of the Modern Greek School with Professor Vrasidas Karalis hosting the event. In October, the choir will offer a joint Greek-Hebrew concert with the Jewish community choir transporting the public to the connection between our two communities.
James was also eager to say that the choir does backup work for local community events and international stars who arrive to perform here and is currently negotiating with several Greek artists to provide choral support on their Australian tours.
Mr. David Hill and Mr. George Vardos of the Parthenon Marbles Return Committee were present at today’s event; Mr. Bill Skadalakis, President of AHEPA with his wife Fay; Mrs. Liana Vertzias, president of the Greek High School with her husband Costas; Mr. Constantinos Yiannakodimos, Head of the Office of Public Diplomacy of Greece in Sydney, accompanied by his wife Konstantina Katsifi representing the Consul General Mr. Christos Karras; Mr. Emmanuel Alfeiris, President of The Kytherian Association; with apologies from Ms Sophie Cotsis, MP, MP for Canterbury and Shadow Minister for Occupational Health and Safety and Ft Michael Tsolakis, St Nicholas Orthodox Church.
The Australian Hellenic Choir is a not-for-profit organization with all net profits from all events donated to various charities. Today’s performance supported the food bank at St Nicholas Orthodox Church in Marrickville.
It seems choral music is being redefined in the Australian Greek community, with all guests leaving today with happy faces and proud eyes. Expect more music from the Australian Hellenic Choir. If you feel like singing with the choir, call James Tsolakis on 0416060700.