Byzantine Youth Choir
♰ The Byzantine Youth Choir of Archangel Michael Church welcomes girls and boys ages 8 to 12 and 13 to 18. The youth choir graces the Divine Liturgy with their angelic voices on the second and fourth Sunday of every month. Each year exciting choir events are planned by Co-Choir Directors Georgia Kaufman and Eleni Rodopoulos Kapatos.
Georgia Kaufman holds a Masters Degree in Science and Masters of Arts Degree in Music. She is the recipient of National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians 2006 Patriarch Athenagoras I Medallion in recognition of Distinguished Metropolis Service. She has also been honored with the Direct Archdiocesan District (DAD) Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians 2005 Choir Director of the Year Award for Dedicated and Loyal Service. She was chosen to receive the Archangel Michael Church 2013 Hellenic Thread Award. Georgia is a long-standing member on the Executive Board of the Direct Archdiocesan District Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians.
Eleni Kapatos holds a Masters of Science Degree in Education, Kindergarden through 12th grade and is a summa cum laude graduate of Columbia University with a Masters of Arts Degree in Music. She is an accomplished pianist and soprano who owns a private music studio on Long Island where she inspires the joy of music teaching piano and voice. She has performed as a solo artist in many concerts and in leading roles in musical theatre productions. Eleni has given instructive music workshops in Byzantine Hymnology and Vocal Pedagogy for Archdiocesan Conferences.
Organist Kris Kaufman is a graduate of Boston College and was inducted into the Society of National Collegiate Scholars. He was the former organist for the Senior Choir of Archangel Michael Church. Kris was the first chair cellist of the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He also possesses expertise on piano and guitar.
More than thirty years ago, a music hymnology program was instituted by Georgia Kaufman, for our children attending Sunday School classes. All grade levels, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade and Goyans, were taught the hymns of our faith. Learning the meaning of the hymns served as a teaching tool that enriched the Orthodox experience. Each year, the Sunday School children participated in music presentations for their Moving-Up and Christmas Pageants. The Hymnology Program fostered the development of a youth and teen choir. Our young people became interested in joining choir and it continued to flourish. For many years, youth choir sang the Divine Liturgy every Sunday for the first service at our former church location in Roslyn. The choir has enjoyed presenting musical programs for the AMC Ladies Philoptochos Christmas Brunch.
We were especially proud that the Archangel Michael Community hosted the first-ever Youth Conference and Liturgy of the Archdiocesan District in 2009. The beautiful voices of the youth choir have graced our church Ground-Blessing, Ground Breaking, Thyranixia, Consecration and many Ordinations to the priesthood.
In October 2013, a special highlight for our community took place when 89 adult and youth church musicians gathered at Archangel Michael Church for the 29th Annual Direct Archdiocesan District Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians Conference & Liturgy. The Conference Choir was conducted by Georgia Kaufman with organ accompaniment by Eleni Rodopoulos Kapatos. The spiritually uplifting ensemble of voices was absolutely magnificent!
The Youth Music Ministry is involved in many worthwhile activities that include visiting the residents of Hellenos House, a home for physically and mentally challenged young adults. The youth choir also reaches out to bring joy to residents of local assisted-living and nursing home facilities. The choir has celebrated many Divine Liturgies with His Grace Bishop Andonios and the senior citizens at St. Michael’s Home. The choir members enjoy fellowship on Broadway theatre trips, musical productions at LIU Tilles Center, pool parties and at the annual Celebration of Music Concert which have been held at the Rimsky Theatre, the Interfaith Chapel of Long Island University and the world renown Carnegie Hall.
Direct Archdiocesan District Federation of Church Musicians
For decades the youth choir members have been active members of the Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians and have been a source of great pride for our community. They sang at the liturgy for the 37th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress celebrated in 2004 with His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and Hierarchs at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. They were featured at the 2005 Archdiocesan Federation Christmas Concert and at Youth Choir College Scholarship Fundraisers. Through the years, many youth choir graduates of Archangel Michael Church have been recipients of the college scholarships. In November 2012, the magnificent hymns of our faith were chanted by AMC youth choir in a program in conjunction with former Archdeacon Panteleimon and the priests and chanters of the Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir. At the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Manhattan, the youth choir performed in a concert honoring the Fifteenth Anniversary of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios. Each year, AMC Youth Choir sings at the Direct Archdiocesan District Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians Annual Church Music Conferences and Hierarchical Liturgies. At the Church Musicians Conference, entitled I Will Sing Praises to God as Long as I Live, held at the Church of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary in Southampton, Archangel Michael Youth Choir were outstanding representatives of our church.
May God Bless the Youth Choir Members of the Archangel Michael Church!