Greek Americans Win Awards in East Flushing Library Talent Show
By Catherine Tsounis
Greek American Youth won top awards in the “Local Talent Show of Children and Teens” of East Flushing Library, located at 196-36 Northern Blvd., Flushing, New York on September 20th.. Evan Georgakos won first prize, playing the song “Angelina” on his guitar. George Papastefanou won second prize playing “Menuetto” on the saxophone. The program was free. Persons of all ages attended. The Barnes and Noble prizes were donated by Judges Helen Di Gia, whose parents immigrated from Leonidion, Arcadia in 1914 and Edith McDwyer, the daughter of European immigrants. “We believe in helping our youth directly,” they said.
Seventeen year old Evan Georgakis has participated in the contest for two years. His unique guitar playing talent enabled him to win first prize in 2011. He is a student at Bayside High School. Evan is a member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Flushing. The award winner has been playing the guitar for thirteen years. “I have been inspired by my father, Athanasios, who is a bouzouki player. He has encouraged me in my guitar playing. My family comes from Trikala, Thessaly, Greece. I work in the library and love it. East Flushing Library is friendly, helps you and makes you feel at home.
George Papastefanou is twelve years old, winning second prize. He attends J.H.S. 194. His saxophone piece of “Menuetto” was impressive. “I have been playing the saxophone for four years. The East Flushing Library is a part of my life. I come here every week with my parents to read. I like to read all types. I will graduate Greek Afternoon School of St. Nicholas Church this year. My parents’, Mary and John Papastefanou, have inspired me to take saxophone lessons in P.S. 209. I am continuing my music studies in J.H.S. 194.” The Greek-American winners have parents taking an active role in cultivating their musical talent.
Mrs. Tatiyana Magazinnik, coordinates talent shows for twenty library branches. “It was a tough decision in awarding prizes,” she said. “All the children in the Talent show had great ability and performances.” The event was organized by Library Manager Florence Leung. “This is the second year of our Talent Show.,” she explained. “We enjoy our youth and encourage them to participate next year.” The East Flushing Library, next to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, under the directorship of Chief Librarian Florence Leung, has established a unique Greek Studies multi-media library. “We are offering free to the Greek community CDs, DVDs and books that are an insight into their history and Greek American society,” Chief Librarian Leung said. She has received donations of books for the Greek literature library. The Modern Greek multi-media section is excellent. Her leadership has encouraged persons to be members of her branch. For more information, email: [email protected] or call 718 357-6643.
Photo 1: Mrs. Tatiyana Magazinnik (left to right), Evan Georgakos, George Papastefanou and Florence Leung at “Local Talent Show of Children and Teens” of East Flushing Library.
Photo 2: Evan Georgakos, who won first prize, with his sister and Mother Vasso.