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Music

Evzones Inspire Springtime Concert in Athens

ATHENS – A splendid concert of music in support of Greece’s beloved Evzones and inspired by Springtime filled the auditorium of the B&M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music in Athens on May 13. Soprano Katia Paschou, accompanied on piano by Achilleas Wastor, who also delighted with solo performances, charmed the audience with beautifully selected pieces from classical music, American showtunes, and the modern Greek repertoire.

Proceeds from the concert will support Phermeli, “a non-profit initiative whose mission is to support the symbol and set of codes of Evzones globally.”

Hellenic traditions are deeply interconnected, some in essence, others by accidents of place and time. The most powerful childhood memories of many Greek-Americans include watching the noble Evzones marching in the Greek parade, bonding the images of Greece’s noble presidential guard with the happy onset of Spring. The connection was especially heartwarming for Greek-Americans of certain generations at the concert who were thrilled to hear Miss Paschou’s honey and velvet renditions of Broadway favorites like ‘It Might as Well Be Spring’, ‘Spring is Here’, and her wonderful presentation of the eternal favorite, ‘April Showers’.

Naturally, the classical pieces included Wastor’s transcriptions of Vivadi’s ‘Spring’ from the Four Seasons and Debussy’s ‘Voici que Le Printemps’.

There was also a thrilling Jazz piano interlude, and in addition to New York and Paris, the guests were also transported to Johann Strauss’ Vienna as well as Manos Hajidakis’ Athens – the concert concluding with his poignant ‘Kapou Iparhi I Agapi Mou’ – ‘My Love is Somewhere’.

Phermeli’s founder Lisa Pentheroudaki told The National Herald that the name refers to the vest worn by Evzones. An interior designer by profession, she explained that symbolism and history are important to her, thus she became concerned when she realized that “many people do not know the story of the Evzones. It is important because it is connected with the liberation of Greece.”

“I established Phemeli,” she said, “so I could teach young people about the Evzones, and our history in general.”

Phermeli makes presentations in schools and sponsors activities like student art competitions. “The important thing is to offer knowledge to young people, because they are our continuity,” said Pentheroudaki, who added she would love to bring an exhibition – which is ready – to the United States.

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