As a member of Greece’s oldest Celtic band ‘Iernis,’ Chrysoula Kechagioglou is not short of vocal expertise in Greek folk songs from the Cyclades, Dodecanese and Asia Minor.
That’s why she’s the perfect choice to teach online singing workshops every Tuesday in September from 6pm – 7pm, as organised by Sydney Greek Jam and Rebetika in Melbourne.
“I am not very confident about distant learning and my ability to share information this way. I am very fond of personal contact. But I am also a woman of my time and I want to cope with this new situation,” Chrysoula tells The Greek Herald exclusively.
“I don’t want fear of illness or technology to keep this wonderful knowledge away from those who wish to have it.”
Chrysoula’s workshops will be available via Zoom and they are open to a limited number of participants. No prior assumed knowledge of Greek or Greek songs is necessary as the lesson can be conducted in English with transliterated lyrics.
Those who are lucky enough to get a spot in the one-hour classes will learn about the history of songs from the Dodecanese, Cyclades and Asia Minor, as well as cover some vocal techniques particular to these regions.
“I have chosen these songs because they are interesting music and lyrics wise and because I really love them,” Chrysoula says.
The 42-year-old’s passion for Greek folk songs first began when her family moved to the Greek island of Syros in 1982.
“When we moved to Syros island, my parents would organise and attend feasts with the neighbours. Singing was always part of this coming together with other people,” Chrysoula explains.
“As Syros is a place with many Catholic Christians, I attended a Catholic primary school whose pride and joy was an amazing choir. My teachers realised I could sing and encouraged me to get more involved with music.”
Since then, she has performed with many notable artists in Greece and internationally such as Giorgos Dalaras, Dimitris Mystakidis and Andy Irvine to name a few.
But she remains as humble as ever, with only one simple message for participants in her online classes and aspiring artists overall: “Singing is a healing process and I encourage everyone to sing their heart out, no matter how good or bad they may sound.”
The wise words of a woman set to teach the next generation of Greek singers.