OCEAN, NJ – Friday, April 26, 2013, at 8 pm, the New Jersey District 3 Choir of the Eastern Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians (EFGOCM), presents its 23rd annual Spirit of Lent concert, a choral offering of sacred liturgical music. The concert will take place at the beautiful new St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 1033 West Park Avenue, Ocean NJ. Admission is $10 and is free for children under 12 and students with valid ID. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Metropolis of NJ Philoptochos Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund. Following the hour-long concert is a complementary reception with light refreshments.
While this year, Easter falls on different dates in the Western and Eastern Churches, these exquisite hymns of the Lenten season are deeply spiritual in nature, and can strike a responsive chord in any lover of beautiful music. The Spirit of Lent offers a unique opportunity for people unfamiliar with this musical tradition to experience it for the first time.
The concert features a varied selection of ancient and modern music sung in both English and Greek, mostly arranged in four-part harmony. Some compositions have been sung for more than 1000 years, while others such as Walk as Children of Light and Agios O Theos from the Liturgy of Peace were composed in the last few years. Translations of all hymns are included in the program, giving attendees the chance to comprehend the moving poetry of this season.
The regional choir of about 50 men and women, drawn from many NJ and Staten Island communities, includes a number of professional artists and features youth singers from parishes in Trenton and Westfield. The concert is under the direction of Kathryn Athanasoulas, who has served as Choir Director of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Westfield, NJ for over 25 years. She has taught vocal music in public schools in Ridgewood and Elizabeth, NJ, as well as in Pennsylvania, and was an instructor at the American Community Schools of Athens, Greece. Organ music will be provided by E. Hope Demitry, long-time organist of St. George Greek Orthodox Church, Trenton NJ, and a music teacher in the Trenton school district for many years.
New Jersey District 3 of the EFGOCM is made up of the following area Greek Orthodox churches: St. George, Ocean (formerly Asbury Park); St. Anna, Flemington; St. George, Piscataway; St. Demetrios, Perth Amboy; St. Demetrios, Union; St. George, Clifton; Kimisis Tis Theotokos, Holmdel; St. George, Trenton; Holy Trinity, Westfield; St. Thomas, Cherry Hill; Holy Trinity, Egg Harbor Twp; Ascension, Jersey City; Evangelismos Tis Theotokou, Jersey City; SS Constantine & Helen, Orange; St. Athanasios, Paramus; St. Andrew, Randolph; St. John the Theologian, Tenafly; St. Barbara, Toms River; Ascension, Fairview; St. Nicholas, Wyckoff and St. Nicholas/Holy Trinity, Staten Island, NY. This District holds one or two concerts annually, provides choral accompaniment during the Holy Cross Celebration held every September in Asbury Park, and conducts seminars on choral singing and master classes with noted clinicians that are open to the public.
The Eastern Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians (EFGOCM) is comprised of the 57 parish choirs from the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey spanning the states of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, as well as Greater Philadelphia. Established in 1977, the EFGOCM provides assistance to local church musicians by offering educational lectures, workshops, concerts, and conferences for an increased understanding and appreciation of Greek Orthodox Church music and Greek folk songs. Singers, directors, chanters, organists, and clergy all benefit from the work of the EFGOCM.