Archdiocesan Youth Choir

On the feast day of the Three Hierarchs and Greek Letters in January of 2001, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America expressed his desire to create a youth choir to display the proud roots of our Hellenic heritage through music and our youth. With his spiritual guidance, his deep love for children and the beauty of music, the Archdiocesan Youth Choir was established during the Spring of 2001. This vision became a reality under the inspirational leadership and guidance of Mr. Panikos Papanicolaou, and the talent of our conductor, Maria Koleva.

The members of the choir consist of children who are students of the Greek American Parochial, Afternoon Greek and Sunday Schools as well as colleges from our New York Metropolitan area. The choir has established an outstanding programmatic reputation and repertoire including ecclesiastic, classical, popular, ethnic and cultural songs from the Renaissance to the present day. It has grown significantly in size, becoming a prominent performing musical group. Committed to musical excellence, the choir gives talented young singers the opportunity to learn music of varied styles, collaborate with professional musicians, and perform at various prominent venues. Since its inception, the choir has been under the direction of Ms. Maria Koleva. Ms. Koleva was born in Bulgaria, where she attended the Conservatory in Sofia, studying piano with Milena Mollova. She then attended the Tchaikovsky State Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia on a full scholarship, studying Orchestral and Choral Conducting with Genadi Rozdestvenske. After graduation, she continued her studies receiving a Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Vienna Music Academy in Austria. Her dedication to teaching and her creativity has led this choir to a level of excellence demonstrated by their performances and in the presentation of the choir as seasoned performers.

The Choir’s dedication to musical excellence and broad range of musical presentation, has resulted in unique concerts and collaborative opportunities. In addition to its annual Spring and Christmas Concerts, the following are some of the choir’s special performances:

2003 New York City, performance with George Dalaras at the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center celebrating the 2004 Olympics
2004 New York City, United Nations, for the Secretary General, dignitaries from Greece and the Mayor of New York City during the Torch Relay Ceremony prior to the 2004 Olympic Games
2004 Astoria, Queens, at the invitation of the Mayor of New York City, performed during the New York City 2004 Olympic Torch Relay celebration at Athens Square Park
2004 New York City, New York University for the President of Cyprus
2005 New York City, Greek Independence Day celebration at City Hall in the City Council Chambers
2005 New York visit of his All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew
2005 New York City, City Center in New York City with Mario Frangoulis
2006 Tampa, Florida, performance at the Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida with Mario Frangoulis and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra for his All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew during his visit to Tarpon Springs, Florida for the Epiphany Celebration
2007 Nicosia, Cyprus, at the invitation of the First Lady of Cyprus, performed for an audience at the Presidential Palace for President
Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos and the First Lady.
2008 Washington D.C., at the White House for United States President George W. Bush and invited guests for the Greek Independence Day celebration
2008 Athens, Greece, at the Zappeion, in the National Gardens, for a benefit for the organization “Elpida”
2009 Washington D.C., at the White House for United States President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and invited guests for the Greek Independence Day celebration
2009 New York City, Spring Concert and Auction at Sotheby’s
2009 New York City at Lincoln Center, “Tribute to Peacemakers” concert honoring his All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew and in celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of Enthronement of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America
2010 New York City, Spring Concert at the Cosmopolitan Club in New York City
2011 Constantinople, Turkey, at Aghia Eirini honoring His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew
2011 Nicosia, Cyprus, at the invitation of the First Lady of Cyprus, performed for an audience at the Presidential Palace for President Mr. Demetris Christofias and the First Lady
2011 Greece, Ionian Village, for an audience of dignitaries and campers
2011 New York City, Carnegie Hall, Christmas Concert