BOSTON. After three years of continuous efforts of the “Kalesma” philanthropic initiative, children of the “Ark of the World” are participating this year in the Berklee College of Music’s “Vocal Summit” summer program. The scholars got to Boston on Friday, accompanied by the teacher of “Kalesma” in Athens, Angeliki Toumpanaki, and the lyricist of the project, Panagiota Fliris.
“Kalesma” was founded by laoutist and graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Vasilis Kostas, in order to give opportunities to young students with music talent. The initiative offers a permanent music education program for the children of the “Ark” in Athens, as well as scholarships for further music studies in the United States.
“Kalesma” itself is inspired by Father Anthony Papanikolaou’s charity work at the “Ark of the World”, but also by the belief of its members that a child’s life can be transformed through the power of music.
The first major concert of “Kalesma” was held in July 2018 at the Michalis Kakogiannis Foundation in Athens. Performing were seven renowned musicians from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute and twenty children from the “Ark” chorus. At the end of the concert, the launch of the scholarship program was announced, which will allow for further music studies for children of the “Ark of the World” in the United States.
Under the auspices of the Consulate General of Greece in Boston, a concert was held last Friday at the Berklee College of Music to welcome the young scholars from the “Ark”. In an emotional atmosphere the first fellows shared the stage with musicians from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute and Berklee Marco Pignataro’s postgraduate program, and the Eliot School children’s choir under the direction of Stephan Marquis.
The Consul General of Greece in Boston, Statos Efthymiou, addressing the audience, commended the members of the initiative, saying: “you are giving wings to the children and are teaching them to fly”. He praised especially the altruistic initiative and the tireless efforts of the head of the event and laoutist, Vasilis Kostas.
Laoutist Vasilis Kostas described the dreams and systematic efforts of the past three years and thanked the musicians and the friends of the “Kalesma” initiative, stressing the importance of supporting the program because “it offers a new perspective to the children of the Ark of the World”. The founder of “Kalesma” announced additional scholarships for 2020, and the continuation of the music program for children of the “Ark of the World” in Athens from September 2019.