The students of Zografeio Lykeio and Mandoulides Schools sang in Istanbul ... with Thanasis Polykandriotis.
A large audience, consisting of Greek expatriates, 1968 and 1978 graduates of Zografeio, parents and relatives of the students of Mandoulides Schools and Zografeio, both Greeks and Turks, enjoyed a unique experience when they attended the event “Singing in Istanbul with Thanasis Polykandriotis” for the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the Zografeio.
Mandoulides students of 6th Grade traveled to Istanbul, met their peers from Zografeio Lykeio and together they shared the stage with top Greek bouzouki master and composer Thanasis Polykandriotis in an event filled with great music and enthusiasm.
Thanasis Polykandriotis has multiple ties with Istanbul, since he made his first appearance there in 1969 when he played with famous singers in the renowned Greek center “Mantra” club in Kurtulus. In the first part, the composer presented songs from the album “The Hard April of '45” by Manos Hadjidakis, various songs by Mikis Theodorakis as well as his own and in the second part, he accompanied the students with his bouzouki and sang folk and traditional songs with them.
On stage with him were Babis Velissarios (vocals), Nikos Kainourgios (guitar) and Nikos Darilas (drums).
Yannis Demirtzoglou, principal of Zografeio Gymnasio - Lykeio, honored the top musician for his valuable, long contribution to Greek music and said about his participation in the 125th anniversary of the school: “It is a great joy and honor for us to welcome the great Greek musician Thanasis Polykandriotis to the stage of Zografeio, as part of the 125th anniversary of the school. On 23 November, Zografeio was filled with exquisite music and cheerful children's voices of Mandoulides Schools 6th Graders, who traveled for this music meeting to the City of Cities. Graduates of Zografeio from all over the world came back to the desks of Zografeio these past few days and celebrated with us too”.
On this special visit to the city, the students of the Schools, together with the students of Zografeio and their guests, also had the opportunity to visit and tour Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Byzantine Cistern, the Patriarchal Phanar Greek Orthodox College, the Church of Panagia Eisodion in Pera, the Church of St. Mary of Blachernai, the Rahmi Koc Transportation Museum and the Aquarium.
Finally, during a tour of the Bosporus, the students of the two schools with their teachers, parents and guests danced and sang until they dropped. The trip ended in the enchanting Arnavutkoy Community, where parents and students watched the documentary “The Mega Revma of Bosporus”, directed by George Moutevelis, and experienced many pleasant surprises, characteristic of the hospitality and nobility of the Greeks that still live there.
And as Mrs. Aikaterini Mantoulidou, Mandoulides Schools CEO, said in her greeting: “That's why we come to the City of Cities with our youth, our children, our students. In order to get to know these historic schools, which continue to be the best ambassadors of the Greek spirit in the face of hard times. To worship our churches and Phanar which keeps the flame of Orthodoxy alive. To admire the Greek communities and associations that continue to make Hellenism stand out even among a population of 18,000,000 people. Last but not least, to feel the proud of our origins”.