Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society Newsletter
Spring 2002
Previous issues of Lyra
See the PDF version (470K)
Festival of Greek Music and Dance 2002:
A Unique Experience
Hellenic Traditions in South Carolina
Youth Group News
Spotlight on Orpheus Youth Dancer

2002 Festival of Greek Music and Dance:
A Unique Experience
The auditorium of the Niles West High School was filled with the sounds of songs and music from the Greek Islands as Nikos Economides and the Keros Music Group from Greece entertained an audience of over 750 guests.

The event, entitled "Festival of Greek Music and Dance," was sponsored by the Orpheus Hellenic Folklore society and SAE of America for the second consecutive year. The material presented included folk traditions from the islands of the Aegean sea, the Dodecanese, the Cyclades and the island of Kythera. The Orpheus Dance Troupe also performed dances from these island groups accompanied by the visiting musicians. It is very rare that this material is presented live in this part of the country by such talented musicians who demonstrated an array of unique instruments. Chicago was the last stop for the Keros Group whose US tour included presentations in Boston and New York.

SAE congratulated the Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society for its excellent performance. Chris Tomaras, SAE vice president and a serious supporter of Orpheus, said, "The work of these young people is a significant contribution to our effort for the preservation of Hellenic culture and the values derived from it."

"It was a fantastic event from start to finish and you should all be proud of this accomplishment," said Michael Orlove, coordinator of World Music Festival of the Department of Cultural Affairs in Chicago, as he addressed the Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society, and he added, "Clearly, your organization went through great efforts at putting the event together. I though it was smashing success. I look forward to seeing you soon."

Cultural exchange events with artists from Greece allow the Greek American youth in Chicago to research, learn and demonstrate parts of Hellenic folk tradition on a large scale and depth. For more pictures and short video clips of the concert visit the web site of the Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society at
The Festival of Greek Music and Dance 2002 was made possible through the generous contributions of the following sponsors:


Harvest Foods & Edgewater Produce

William, George, John and Frank Touloumis – Olympia Development

(In memory of our mother Athena)


Vasilios Giannopoulos Family

Johnny’s Kitchen and Tap, Glenview

Dr. Spiro C. Karras and Family

North Elston Fruits & Vegetables

Printing Arts Chicago

Remax Preferred Property, Peter Dravilas

Dr. Dimitris Zikos, Southwest Nephrology Associates

Jim Stoynoff


9 Muses Bar & Grill, Chicago

Kostas and Kelly Apostolopoulos

Athens Construction Co.

Billy Goat's, Chicago

Egg Factory, Mt. Prospect

Market Place on Oakton

Sianis Family

Alkis Tsoutsias & Associates



Louis Atsaves, Cosmos Realty Insurance

Capital Resource Group

Chicago Carryout

Napoleon Damianides

Devon Realty

Dr. Spiros Giannoulias

Theodore Lymberopoulos

The Parthenon Restaurant, Chicago

Mrs. Julia Patrianakos

Premier Billards & Cafe, Glenview

Supreme Lobster, Villa Park

Wolf Foods, Des Plaines

The Works Restaurant, Glenview

Yianni’s Restaurant, Arlington Heights

Sponsoring Organizations:

Chicago-Athens Friendship Committee, Sister Cities of Chicago

Hellenic Link, Chicago

Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center

Hellenic Professional Society of Illinois

We would also like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their assistance with this event:

Michael Adam - World Music Institute

George Alexopoulos - Hellenic Link

George Bravos - Niles West High School

Hara Deligiannis - Lyceum of Greek Women, Athens, Greece

Alexa Gianakos - Greek Circle Magazine

Alvaro Gualdron - Event Photographer

Allison Heller - Hellenic Museum & Cultural Center

Dr. Michael Kontos - Apollo Dance Troupe, Aurora

Dimitri Kozonis - Chicago-Athens Friendship Committee

Antigone Lambros - Antigone’s Corner TV program

Diane Lymberopoulos-Adam - Greek Star Newspaper

Charalambos Mylonas - WHPK (88.5 FM), University of Chicago

Marta Nicholas - WHPK (88.5 FM), University of Chicago

Michael Orlove - Dept. of Cultural Affairs, City of Chicago

Mitaton Kythiron MIRTIA Cultural Society, Athens, Greece

Helen Papagiannopoulos - Niles West High School

Zafiro Papastratakos - Event Photographer

Dina Pappas - Hellenic Professional Society of Illinois

John Parish - Folk Culture Enthusiast

Sotiris Rekoumis - Omogeneia Newspaper and Chicago Greek Hours Radio

Eleni Sotos - SAE of America

Chris P. Tomaras - SAE of America

Kevin Wall - Niles West High School

Our deepest gratitude goes out to the Festival’s Master of Ceremonies, James N. Stoynoff.

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Hellenic Traditions
in South Carolina
Two of our Orpheus instructors, Yannis and Kostas Economou were invited to serve as judges at the Second Annual Hellenic Dance Festival (HDF). The Greek Orthodox Diocese of Atlanta sponsors this annual event where dance groups from parishes within its jurisdiction showcase their dance abilities.

The host parish was St. George of Greenville, South Carolina, which consists of a vibrant Greek American community of over 400 families. It was interesting to learn that many of the parishioners have very strong ties with the Chicago area. The panel of judges also included Spiros Spirou, a member of the Greek American Folklore Society in New York. The list of participating dance groups was impressive and included dance groups from Wilmington, North Carolina, Charleston, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Birmingham, Alabama, Marietta, Georgia and many others. It was truly moving to witness the effort that these communities are putting towards maintaining their identity and traditions in areas where the Greek American population consist of a handful of families. 

Even though this was only the second year that the HDF was held, all groups have made great progress and their potential is very promising. Instructors are getting more involved in researching and learning about Greek folk dance culture.

In addition to the dance component of the festival, all three judges were able to meet with group instructors and their members to address their many questions. Information was shared regarding instruction techniques, availability of dance material, Greek folk music resources, costumes, motivating group members and generally anything that had to do with the organization of a successful dance group.

We would like to thank Kiki Papadimitriou of Troupe Hellas of Atlanta and John Lulias of Tarpon Springs, Florida for this opportunity to meet representatives from all the participating communities and assist them in their efforts. Our gratitude also goes out to the community in Greenville, South Carolina for their hospitality and friendship during our stay.

We hope to see our new friends again in the future.
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Youth Group News

The 2001-2002 year for the Orpheus Youth Group is approaching its conclusion with the "End of the Year" event, which will take place on Saturday, May 19 2002. On that day, the Youth members will present material that was taught throughout the year. The event will take place at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Des Plaines, between 3:30-5:00 p.m. All family members and friends are welcome to attend. Refreshments and sweets will be served and admission is free.

After a short break, the Youth Summer Session will begin on Thursday, June 6. Eight instruction sessions have been scheduled between June 6 and August 1. Practices will be held every Thursday between 5:30-6:30 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church, 3020 Milwaukee in Northbrook. Preliminarily, participants at the summer session will perform with the adult group at one of this summer's church festivals. More details will become available upon the start of the summer period. Fee for this session is $60. All levels are welcome so new members are invited to join. 

Lessons for the 2002-2003 year will start on Thursday September 12 at the Northbrook branch and on Saturday, September 14 at the Glenview branch. 

This year has been again an extraordinary one as the Youth Group is growing not only in numbers but also in dedication and enthusiasm. The presentations at the Museum of Science and Industry as well as the March 16 concert at Niles West were truly special and memorable. Their enthusiastic participation at the Greek parade under unfavorable weather conditions demonstrated their strong feelings of camaraderie and pride. They are not only the future of the Orpheus Dance Troupe but also the future of the Greek American community. We hope that they continue to be involved in quality efforts towards the preservation of our Hellenic identity and heritage.

Our gratitude goes to all the parents for their support and sincere words of encouragement. Their assistance and spread of the good word about the Orpheus Dance Troupe has been heartwarming. We deeply appreciate it. Last but not least, not enough can be said about the efforts of all the instructors who gave their hearts during the whole year. They exhibited a high sense of professionalism, responsibility, passion and enthusiasm.

Let's all keep up the good work! Have a nice summer wherever you are... 

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Spotlight on Orpheus Youth Dancer...
Maria K.
Parents/Family From:

My father is from Sparti, Laconia 
and my mother is from Tripoli, Arcadia


I'm a seventh grader at Socrates Greek American School.

Time Dancing with Orpheus Group:

This is my third year.

Thoughts on Dancing:

It's a lot of fun, and I enjoy learning dances from all over Greece.

Favorite Dance:

I love Pentozalis from Crete because of the fast pace.

Most Vivid OHFS Memory:

The "Festival of Greek Music and Dance". It was really cool dancing to music from a live band from Greece.

Favorite Greek Dish:

Avgolemono, dolmades, and kalamarakia.

Favorite Place in Greece:

I really enjoyed going to Knossos in Crete, ancient Olympia, and the Acropolis in Athens.

Hobbies/Sports/Other Interests:

I love playing basketball and swimming; I like reading books, and I play the piano.

Where I heard about Orpheus Dance Troupe:

Mrs. Grosso told my mom about it and I saw them performed at our annual church festival a few years ago.

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Welcome aboard new Orpheus members Pheobos Bolaris (Youth), Vaggelis Giorgas, Vickey Kazamias, Stefanie Lialios, Kostantinos Liolios, Pinelopi Logotheti, Eleni Maheras, Petros Petridis, Elpida Rallis, Vivian Theriopoulos, Panagiota Trakas, Vicky Tsangos

Congratulations to Kostas Dovas, Vicky Karabelas on their first performance with Orpheus. 
Birthday greetings to Christina Economou and George Karahalios on April 4, Paul Grosso on April 7, Alex Pavlos on April 12, Elizabeth Economou on April 16, Eftychia Gouvas on April 21, Christos Gikkas on May 17, Phaedra Bounas on April 29, Christine Minakakis on May 3, Barbara Siargos on May 6, Katerina Economou on May 11, Patricia Minakakis on May 12, Pat Tomaras on May 19, Antigone Matsakis on May 21, Irene Chiotis on May 29, Tom Mihalopoulos on June 4, Ariana Koshavari on June 6, Dimitra Bounas on June 16, Tommy Minetos on June 24, Catherine Grosso on June 26 

Na ta ekatostisete!

Nameday greetings to George Kakis, Georgia Limberopoulos on April 23, Tom Mihalopoulos on May 5, Irene Chiotis on May 5, Elena Antonakos, Kostas Dovas, Dean Economos, Kosta Economou, Kosta Giannopoulos, Eleni Gouvas, Eleni Limberis, Konstantinos Liolios, Eleni Maheras, Eleni Poulakis on May 21. Chronia Polla!

Chronia Polla!

Anthi Georgakopoulos received her Bachelors Degree in Forensic Anthropology from University of Illinois, Urbana and she joined the Northwest Community Hospital as a Lab Representative. 
Giota Trakas will receive her Master's Degree in Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University this May. 

Congratulations to Catherine Grosso for winning the first prize at St. George Church for her Icon that will be represented at the Oratorical Feast. Catherine also graduated this year from Plato Academy and plans to attend the Regina High School in Wilmette. Good Luck!

Congratulations to Christina Grosso for being invited to the Chicago City Wide All Star Soccer team!
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Last revised:
12/27/2011 08:27 AM