NEW YORK – A pleasant surprise was awaiting the audience at the early performance of the Christmas Spectacular on December 3 at the legendary Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. Shortly before the famed Rockettes went on stage, 26 students from the Dimitrios and Georgia Kaloidis Parochial School (DGK) of the Holy Cross Bay Ridge community stole the hearts of the audience.
The choir was created only two months ago, in October, by the school’s music and dance teacher Konstantinos Stergioulis. It is made up of young children, ranging from the first to fifth grades. Thus, their appearance in one of the oldest Christmas shows in New York was rather unexpected for everyone.
The days leading up to Christmas always need a little bit of childish sweetness. And it looked like the young students definitely took their roles seriously – preparing for this monumental event by having rehearsals every Thursday after school.
The show was attended by many parents from the school, whether or not their own children were part of the choir. The children sang two songs, White Christmas and When a Child is Born, in the completely packed theater. Chrysa Vavas also sang a solo during When a Child is Born.
“I always accompany the children’s singing with my guitar, but for technical reasons, Radio City does not allow musical performances on stage to include instruments. It is a general rule – it didn’t just apply to us,” Mr. Stergioulis said.
Despite the lack of live musical accompaniment, the children responded impeccably to the difficult challenge they faced. The audience was captivated by the children’s voices and gave them a huge round of applause following their performance.
Stergioulis, who apart from his role as a teacher is also a professional musician and composer, told The National Herald that his goal is to inspire self-confidence and advance the talents of the children. “It was a great experience because not everyone can appear on the Radio City stage. The children will definitely carry this memory with them for the rest of their lives,” Stergioulis told TNH.
“It is important to make children feel proud of themselves but also proud of their background and origin. I would like to thank the parents of the students for their trust in me, as well as the school council. I would also like to thank the Chairman of the School Board Gerasimos Menegatos, as well as our school’s principal, Francesca Mannino, for their support and excellent cooperation,” he added.