Music – Choral and Chant

63rd Church Music Conference

Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians, Chicago Metropolis  

Four St Mary’s choir members attended our 2021 Annual Conference hosted by St Andrew in South Bend, IN, on October 7-10.  A relatively small group of singers from parishes throughout the Chicago Metropolis assembled to sing the Divine Liturgy arranged by Presbytera Anna Gallos. Nick Chimitris, President of both our Federation and the National Forum, directed.

A special highlight – Our own Elena Biessener was awarded the Patriarch Athenagoras Medal for Metropolis Service (the medalion on the blue ribbon)! This award, developed by the National Forum, is presented by each Metropolis Federation to “a recipient who significantly contributed talents and/or service to the development and perpetuation of the Greek Orthodox Church Musicians to the Chicago Metropolis”. Elena has been a long standing member of our choir, a Federation Board member for 18 yrs, a participant of four Flash Choirs throughout the Chicago Metropolis, and chair of our 2015 Conference hosted here at St Mary’s. Congratulations Elena!

Michael B Petrovich Memorial Scholarship

Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians, Chicago Metropolis  

Congratulations to St Mary’s choir member Eleni Ciuta, who was awarded a $500 scholarship made possible through the Michael B. Petrovich Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is administered by the Chicago Diocese Federation and recognizes the importance of educating and training its church musicians. Eleni graduated from Roseville Christian Homeschool Academy (2021) with a GPA of 3.96. She plans to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with her expected areas of study to be music (viola) and chemical engineering. She has received many awards throughout her high school years including being a violist in the Symphony Orchestra at the U of MN.

Click below for more Information and Rehearsal Schedules (coming soon)
Senior Choir - SATB Liturgical Choral Singing

The choir is a group of talented and enthusiastic members singing primarily 4-part choral arrangements of liturgical music. Music by composers such as Kevin Lawrence, Anna Gallos, Michael Petrovich, Frank Desby, Hadzinicolau, Nick Maragos, John Revezoulis, and others.

Chanters - Liturgical Chant Group and Byzantine Matins Chanters

The Liturgical Chant Group for Middle School and High School Singers will meet in the Music Office on Sundays, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm.

The Byzantine Matins Chanters will meet on alternate Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm.

Events - Choir Conferences, Education, & Fellowship

Singing together creates a strong family-like bond. This is clearly felt as choir members participate in events outside of the choir loft. Some of these events include:

  • Annual Chicago Metropolis Choir Conference. St Mary’s choir members have enjoyed traveling together to various host parishes throughout the five state area. Three days of intense rehearsals, workshops, and fellowship culminate in a Sunday Liturgy choir with over 100 singers. Our St Mary’s choir is often the largest group in attendance!
    St Mary’s Choir hosted the following Choir Conferences at St Mary’s: 
    • 1969 Tikey Zes directing his composition
    • 1980 Presbytera Anna Gallos directing her compostion
    • 1990 Presbytera Anna Gallos directing another of her compositions
    • 2001 Thespina Macres directing Nick Maragos composition
    • 2015 Chris Kypros directing his composition “Liturgy of Hope”
  • Educational Workshops. Throughout the years, the choir has sought out continuing education, above and beyond the weekly rehearsals. One example, perhaps the most challenging, was a Byzantine Notation workshop by Jessica Suchy Pilalis.
  • Community Outreach. Small groups from the choir have volunteered at a local homeless shelter cooking and serving food.
  • Fellowship.
    • An almost annual summer choir picnic
    • Singing on a float in the Winter Holidazzle Parade (only once, brrr!)
    • Fundraising by selling baklava in the State Fair Food Building
    • Hosting the Palm Sunday Luncheon for our parishioners
    • Hosting many fundraising Glendis
    • Annual Christmas gathering
    • Much more than can be listed
Recordings

Two vinyl LPs and most recently a CD. Planning to transfer the LPs to CD in the near future.

Photo Gallery

Resources

Chicago Church Music Federation Logo
National Forum Logo