Music in the Church – An Introduction for beginners new and old.


Καλό μήνα – Good month!

I am the new youth choir director, Christopher Hondros, and I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the Holy Resurrection in Castro Valley.  My hope is that all youth will be able to learn the traditions of the Byzantine rite, and through that learn their theology as well, as Metropolitan Gerasimos so beautifully challenged us last month when we got together the very first time to sing the service of the Small Paraklesis.

What can we expect, then?  Under support and guidance from Fr. Niko Bekris, our fantastic teachers and leaders from our Religious Education program, our amazing youth director Anna Teodosiadis, the parents, and the students, my eventual goal is to grow in musical talent and spirit in this parish.  The choir will be learning the basics of the Divine Liturgy in ancient tradition (with the more advanced students beginning to learn the music in not just Staff Notation, but also Byzantine Notation should they choose), along with eventually more ornamented works.

We already have a Divine Liturgy, why do you need to teach more things?  Simply put, our Church’s tradition has literally thousands of compositions: most of us might hear 100-300 in our lifetime, based on how many times we go to Church, what time we show up, how many services the priest does, etc…  With so many compositions sitting around from the Post-Byzantine Era (where many of our most famous composers in the Church were around), it would unwise to continue to avoid exposure to the next generation and the current populace.  Plus, as the music continues to be translated from Greek into English, we may continue to sing praises to Him in the local language.

So, is the youth choir actually going to sing for anyone?  Absolutely.  My goal within the next year is to have the youth choir sing the Divine Liturgy, as well as other services (learning the hymns of Lent and Holy Week is priority).  I will also work with the dance program to help send a choral group to FDF.  There might be other things in the works as well, however these are the most immediate goals.

I want my child involved/I want to help volunteer with this where I can: where do I sign?  Come talk with me after Church on Sundays!  Or if you would like, email me at:

Love in Christ,

Christopher Hondros



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