Would you like to learn more about Orthodox Church Music and hymnology? Are you interested in joining our choir and offering your voice? Please contact Cynthia Alex, Taxiarchae Choir Director.
The success of the Taxiarchae Church Choir over the years is largely due to the many choirmembers, directors and friends who have committed themselves to the word of God and the beauty of music. Cynthia Mitaras Alex is the current director of the choir. Many other wonderful individuals have served the Taxiarchae Church in this capacity. The list includes Arther Peros, Ted Mekelatos, Charles Lavrakas, Andrew Poulimenos, Maria Antoniadis, Stella Pathiakis, and Cynthia’s immediate predecessor, Steven Karidoyanes.
In 1977 Arthur and Ted were the choir directors of the Taxiarchae Church and the Boston Cathedral, respectively. They decided then to combine and rehearse their two choirs in order to sing the Divine Liturgy together in each other's church. As a member of the Boston CathedralChoir, Steven took part in this collaborative effort. It was a great experience for all involved. Not too much time passed before Arthur called Steven and asked if he would sing a tenor solo in the cantata "The Seven Last Words of Christ" with the Taxiarchae Choir. They quickly became close friends and supportive colleagues.
During Arthur's twenty year tenure as director of the Taxiarchae Church Choir there were many special concerts presented. The Jimmy Banacos Benefit Concerts are considered by many to be truly extraordinary events in the choir's history. In 1989, Arthur organized a celebratory Dedication Concert for the church's new Hellenic Cultural Center. Those in attendance will remember a combined chorus of 130 and a symphonic brass choir with added percussion. Always one to share the limelight, Arthur invited Ted Mekelatos and Steven Karidoyanes as guest conductors for this concert.
When Arthur moved to Cape Cod, Father Metaxas invited Steven to serve as the choir director in Watertown. Because Steven was obliged to work in another church for an additional year, Ted Mekelatos very graciously stepped in as interim choir director of the Taxiarchae Church until Steven was available.
In addition to singing the services of our church, special performances under Steven's direction included the 40th Anniversary celebration of Father Metaxas' ordination; music for the Burning of the Mortgage Celebration; His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew's visit to our parish; Hierarchical Divine Liturgies celebrated by Their Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Methodios and Archbishop Gregory of Great Britain; a concert tour of France and England; and the 50th Anniversary Concert for Arthur Peros on Cape Cod. The choir also hosted the AnnualChoir Conference of the diocese choir federation in November 2000.
As a professional orchestra conductor, composer and broadcaster, Steven’s busy schedule unfortunately did not allow him to continue in his position as Choir Director. In addition to many years as Conductor and Music Director of the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New England Conservatory Youth Symphony, Steven was offered the position of Music Director of the Masterworks Chorale.
Cynthia Mitaras Alex had been a member of the Taxiarchae Choir since 1999. Prior to that, she had been a member of the Dormition Church Choir in Somerville, MA for over 30 years, and had held the position of Choir Director there for four years. With this previous experience as aChoir Director, she was able to step in and the choir continued in their beautiful service to the Parish without interruption.
Four other extremely special people are associated with the choir's history. Father Emmanuel and Presbytera Penny Metaxas, through their dedication to and appreciation for the choir, make participating in the choir an absolute joy. The support and encouragement of our loving godfather, Michael Egirous, has been with us through the years, and for this we are truly grateful. Finally, under the loving guidance of Father Ted Barbas, Father Demetri Tonias, and now Fr. Athanasios Nenes the choir continues to thrive in service to the Holy Orthodox Church through her music.