The Australian Hellenic Choir came out of Covid hibernation today with a Matinee Soirée which rocked the audience. Over 150 guests, dined and wined at the Kyle Bay on the Georges River, then settled back to enjoy the Choir sing some of the most beautiful songs from Theodorakis, Hadjidakis and Poulopoulos.
The Choir comprises over 30 singers with the 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 heart, with a stirring rendition of The Northern Star (T’asteri tou Voria) in a capella. Written by Manos Hadjidakis with lyrics by Nikos Gatsos, it tells of the pain of immigration to new lands experienced by millions of Greeks over the last 100 years.
The Australian Hellenic Choir
Since Joining the Choir in 2021, Leon has been an inspiration with his ability to arrange music and conduct the Choir. The Choir was backed 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 got together to create a new community Choir to support Greek music culture and the Greek language. James Tsolakis, the Choirs President, told Greek City Times that the Choir was 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 in its own right, and in April is on its way to Canberra to perform at the Ancient Greeks exhibition at the National Museum of Australia.
Later in the year, the Choir has been 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 be delivering a joint Greek-Hebrew concert with the Jewish Community Choir transporting the audience to the connection between our two communities.
James was also eager to comment that the Choir does backup work for local community events and international stars arriving to perform here and is currently negotiating with several Greek performers to provide choral support on their Australian tours.
Photos by Nick Bourdaniotis / Bourdo Photography (Copyright)
Attending today’s event was Mr David Hill and Mr George Vardos from the Return of the Parthenon Marbles Committee; Mr Bill Skadalakis, President of AHEPA with his wife Fay; Ms Liana Vertzias, President of the Greek Lyceum with her husband Costas; Mr Constantinos Yiannakodimos, Head of the Public Diplomacy Office 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, MLA, Member for Canterbury and Shadow Minister for Work Health and Safety and Ft Michael Tsolakis, from St Nicholas Orthodox Church.
The Australian Hellenic Choir is a not for profit with all net proceeds from all events given to various charities. Today’s performance supported the Food Bank at the St Nicholas Orthodox Church in Marrickville.
It seems that choral music is being redefined in the Australian Greek community, with all guests today leaving with happy faces and proud eyes. Look forward to more music from the Australian Hellenic Choir. If you feel like singing with the Choir give James Tsolakis a call on 0416060700.