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The students of the St. Demetrios School performed their Annual Christmas Production at the Petros G. Patrides Cultural Center in Astoria on December 22. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)
ASTORIA – Even the inclement weather could not dampen the festive atmosphere as the students of the St. Demetrios School performed their Annual Christmas Production at the Petros G. Patrides Cultural Center in Astoria on December 22.
Family and friends crowded the auditorium to enjoy the cheerful program which included the traditional Nativity scene, Christmas carols, songs and dancing from the students of the various grades as well as a recitation on the true meaning of Christmas by the St. Demetrios High School Book Club.
The program began with a prayer led by the Dean of St. Demetrios Cathedral Fr. Anargyros Stavropoulos and Fr. Nicolaos Paros and the singing of the Christmas hymn I Gennisi Sou. St. Demetrios High School Assistant Principal Helen Karagiorgos gave the welcoming remarks and served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. She thanked everyone for taking the time from their busy schedules to attend the event and then introduced Dr. John B. Alfieri, Supervising Principal, to share his greetings.
He thanked everyone for attending and thanked all the teachers “who worked so hard, are so dedicated, I thank them from the bottom of my heart for all your great efforts on behalf of the students, to the clergy, thank you for your inspiration and partnership, and the administrative team everything you do is appreciated.”
“On behalf of the entire faculty, staff, and the St. Demetrios school system, I wish you and your families a very merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy New Year,” Dr. Alfieri said.
The Nativity Scene featured the students of the 6th and 7th grades as well as the high school students while the 4th and 5th grades sang Christmas carols accompanied by Music Director Phyto Stratis who also accompanied the 2nd graders in their song and dance number titled ‘Bringing Christmas Cheer.’ The 4th and 5th also performed festive dance pieces and the celebration concluded with the 12th graders, the Class of 2023, in the dance finale, ‘Celebrating the New Year.’
It should be noted that Phyto Stratis and the St. Demetrios Greek Afternoon School students also performed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on December 21 as part of Radio City’s Sounds of Christmas program. Stratis and the students took the stage as the opening act for the Rockettes, performing a five-minute a cappella performance before the curtain opened on the iconic Christmas Spectacular.
St. Demetrios Parish Council President Stephan Thomatos also shared his greetings at the school’s Christmas celebration, thanking all those for participating including the parents and grandparents who bring the students to St. Demetrios School. He said: “What you see in front of you is an effort of love and it represents the future of our community, it represents our future. I am very proud to be here, proud to represent the Parish Council and the School Board as Photios Papamichail [School Board President] could not be here. He also asked me to convey a message from his heart and to thank everybody for the support you provide to our school and the support you provide to our community.”
Thomatos concluded by wishing everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year and noting the importance of spending time with family.
Dr. Eirini Grapsia, Acting Coordinator of Education for the Consulate General of Greece in New York, in her remarks noted the true meaning of Christmas is for Christ to be born in one’s soul, and for the message of love, peace, and openheartedness to not only be followed during the holiday season but throughout one’s life. She concluded by wishing everyone a blessed Christmas.
Karagiorgos then gave the closing remarks, thanking all those who helped organize the production, especially the teachers, and wished everyone a merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
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