Psalti (Chanter) and Reader Ministry
We are looking for people to learn to chant and read at the various services of our Church – Orthros (matins), Vespers, Paraklisis, etc. Anne Ktorides has done a wonderful job with the choir and learning the various hymns and tones (melodies) of our Church music. She is willing to share this knowledge and help develop Chanters and Readers for our Church. All you need is a willingness to learn and some musical background. For Readers, all that is needed is the willingness to read in a prayerful manner. Please offer your Time and Talents to this very important Ministry. High School and College age students are encouraged to participate.
Our Choir continues to lead the congregation in singing Glory to God during Divine Liturgy. The Choir uses their talents to offer the entire congregation the opportunity to sing with them the hymns and responses during the Church services. You are supposed to sing with the Choir. Use the Liturgy books and teach your children to sing and offer glory to God during the Holy services.
A Brief History of Music Ministry at Assumption Church
Church founded 1938
Chanter - George Hondron (one of the 'founding fathers') chanted for many years father of Choir members Anne and Alyce Hondron)
For a time during the 1950's... young Mary (Panasis) Koukos led the choir
When Fr. Peter arrived in Danbury (1978?)...
Chanter - Constantine Vournazos (sometimes helped by Nicholas Johns)
Choir Director - Albert Cambedes re-established choir at 'old church' on Farview Avenue encouraged music/cultural participation in 'Danbury Ethnic Festival'
Around 1980... Chanter - Antony Paralavos - chanted for over 15 years
Through the decade of the 1980's, the Assumption Church had several Choir Directors each for a short tenure as the church transitioned to its new location on Clapboard Ridge Road :
Director/Organist - Athena Halkiotis
Co-Choir Directors - Presbytera Fay Lassios and Gloria Abondolo
Choir Director - Nicholas Johns with organist Stella Johns
Choir Director - Connie Pappas
During the late 80's and early '90's George Sakellaras offered his talents as organist
From 1990 - present day (2023)...Choir Director - Anne Ktorides (33 years)
From mid 1990's - 2005... Chanter - Argyri Voutsos - chanted over 10 years
Starting 2006 - present day
Chanters - Anne Ktorides, Niki Bochinis, John Savage (until 2018), and for a brief time young Niko Komas (Komatsoulakis). In 2018 Dimitri Kotsialiotis joined the chanting 'team' and soon Fevri Gkanatsios also added her considerable talent - and was very involved (together with Anne) throughout the COVID years.
The idea for Youth Choir was first encouraged by Athena Halkiotis, and when these 'seeds' were not yet ready to sprout in our community, she taught basic hymns to her Sunday School classes.
The Asssumption Youth choir was finally brought into fruition by Diane (Romell) Millas around 1997.
In 2001, the Youth Choir came under the direction of Therese Papadopoulos who directed them for nearly 18 years.
In 2015, Cindy Ziemnicki officially joined Therese as Co-director (though she had already been helping for several years), and when Therese retired in 2019, Cindy continued to teach the Youth. When the COVID pandemic had abated somewhat, she revived the Youth Choir and added parental helpers Ada Rountos, Stephanie Polistena and Angela Rountos.
(Though not technically part of our Music Ministry, Cindy Ziemnicki has also encouraged the cultural development of our young people through the Paradosi Singers.)
Starting in September 2023, Cindy Ziemnicki is now leading the adult choir as well as the Youth Choir (with continued assistance from the parental helpers).
Fevri Gkantsios continues to chant most church services.
Both women are continuing their education with classes in Byzantine hymnology, forms and technique.
Assumption Choir Members - 2023
We'll keep looking for new members... male voices would be a great addition!
Cindy Ziemnicki - Director
Angela Ktorides Galleano
...but always very welcomed
Antonia Giannakakos Ferman
All have 'retired' from the loft but have given many years of service
Pres. Fay Lassios
...may their memory be eternal
Present Music Ministry Choir Directors
Adult Choir: Cindy Ziemnicki
Past director/Sub: Anne Ktorides
Youth Choir: Cindy Ziemnicki
Assistants: Ada Rountos, Angela Rountos, Stephanie Polistena
Sub: Anne Ktorides
Past Choir Members (since 1990)
Maria Psaris Ortiz (reader)
Helen Schlicht (also Erica and Lee)
George Sakellaras (organist)
Linda Bellas Elf
Nicole Zabetalis Lotte
Ashley Talarico Welp
Conferences and Awards - Hosted Choir Conferences
1992 - October - New England Choir Federation
2004 - June 5-6 - DAD Choir Federation...
Anne Ktorides received Choir Member of the Year Award.
2011 - March 5-6 - DAD Choir Federation
Nikidora Bochinis received Choir Member of the Year Award presented by Archbishop Demetrios
2016 - November - at the DAD Federation Conference at Koimisis, Southhampton, NY
Anne Ktorides received the Patriarch Athenagoras Medal from Archbishop Demetrios and 25-year pin from the DAD Choir Federation for 25 years as Choir Director and 11 years as Psalti/Chanter
DAD Federation 'Demetrios C. Pappas' Scholarship winners
Julianne Papadopoulos - 2015 - 2016 -2017
Robin Rockwell - 2016 - 2017
Anna Mederer - 2018 - 2019 - 2020
Pan-Hellenic Scholarship Winner
Julianne Papadopoulos - 2019