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Northcote: The opening of the new academic year of the Byzantine Music School

On Monday February 21st 2022 took place the opening of the new academic year of the Byzantine Music School of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia District of Northcote. The blessing of the new academic year conducted at the ‘St.John’s Greek Orthodox College’ at Preston where the school is going to be based.

His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta of the Archdiocesan District of Northcote conducted the blessing, in the presence of priests from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia District of Northcote, as well as students of the Byzantine Music School and teaching staff.

His Grace after the blessing conveyed the fatherly wishes of His Eminence Archbishop of Australia Makarios who is the founder of the Byzantine Music School. His Grace in his speech that followed emphasised the value of the church and encouraged the students to participate at church services from the lectern with their teachers and the chanters so to acquire the necessary experience and knowledge.  His Grace referred to the difficulties of last year’s academic year due to the difficult situation that the state of Victoria was in, given the coronavirus pandemic, and he congratulated the students and teachers for their hard work and the fulfilment of their goals and the successful completion of last academic year despite the many challenges and struggles.  

His Grace continued his speech with a reference from St. John Chrysostom who stated that “Nothing elevates the soul, nothing gives it wings as a liturgical hymn does”.  ‘The chanting – which is an ancient way our church used to communicate the Gospels – is a tradition in danger of getting lost. But with schools like this and students like yourself, this art is resurrected and brought back to life here in Australia’.‘Don’t worry if your voice doesn’t sound the best, or you’re nervous. These little things do not matter’.   ‘You must always have patience, be kind, be open and of course never give up’

The first year of the Byzantine Music School of the Northcote Archdiocesan district will be attended by 15 students. The principal of the school mr. Stelios Andreou welcomed the students and showed them the facilities and the classrooms and students had the opportunity to meet and have a brief chat with their teachers. The event concluded with the teachers of the   Byzantine Music School giving the necessary instructions for the coming lessons as well as the curriculum for the new academic year.