Maria Nicholas, Chairman
*Why Do We Need a Youth Choir?
Besides the obvious and most practical reason for having a Youth Choir, for the understanding and appreciation of our musical heritage that will generate future Orthodox Choirs, there are many beneficial reasons for the singing participants themselves. When singing in a group, research shows that children develop leadership qualitites which in turn boost their self-confidence and self-esteem. Being part of a choir involves teamwork, responsibility, cooperation, and promotes regular church attendance-- all necessary attributes for developing into a mature, young-adult Christian. Youth Choirs can also benefit the church laity by enhancing the spiritual involvement of the Liturgy. The heavenly sounds of uplifting voices create an atmosphere conducive to praying and praising the Lord. As you can see, the valuable choral experience benefits the child, the parishioner, and the church; subsequently creating pleasurable memories which can contribute to a child's greater likelihood of an eternal service to our Church and God.
*How Can the SFGOCM Help Your Youth Choir?
In our Southeastern Federation, we have some of the best resources available to help you get started and maintain a successful children's choir.
The foremost youth choral educator in our metropolis is Joanne Kambouris, the National Youth Initiative Chairman. She can direct you to listings of both secular and sacred (Orthodox) Chrisitian music suitable for youth. She has also co-written a handbook, "Starting A Youth Music Program in Your Parish" which provides practical suggestions for working with Orthodox youth. On the regional level, Maria Nicholas, SFGOCM's Youth Choir Initiative Chairman, can answer your questions and give you helpful hints on maintaining a well-developed Youth Choir.
If you prefer to browse through various child-friendly liturgies before purchasing them, you may contact Toula Chininis, the SFGOCM Librarian, to borrow what you need. If, however, you prefer buying music and tapes for special Orthodox services and holidays, the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians and the Department of Religious Education have many resources available at reasonable prices.
Following are the contact information of the individuals in our Metropolis who can provide guidance regarding Orthodox children's choirs:
Joanne Kambouris, National Youth Initiative Chairman
2855 Country Woods Lane
Palm Harbor, FL 34683
Maria Nicholas, SFGOCM Youth Initiative Chairman
5108 Bridgewood Drive
Durham, NC 27713
Toula Chininis, SFGOCM Librarian
1600 Clement Court
Greensboro, NC 27410
Vicki Pappas, President of National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians
3814 Regents Circle
Bloomington, IN 47401
Department of Religious Education
50 Goddard Avenue
Brookline, MA 02445-7415
In conclusion, youth choir participation in our Orthodox Churches has dropped substantially nationally. You can preserve our rich musical and religious heritage in your parish (and in our Metropolis) by simply encouraging a group of children to familiarize themselves with the music of our Church. A successful choir does not need to meet on a strict schedule or hold formal rehearsals, but must share in the knowledge and love for our music ministry.
Youth Choir Survey
Please take the time to complete our survey so that we may better serve you.
Youth Choir Audio
Listen to a Youth Choir singing