Swedish Suryoyo Choir Welcomed in Eastern U. S. A.
Our Suryoye parishioners had the best surprise from Europe. A group of Suryoye from different parishes in Sweden gathered together and formed a choir, headed by Malfono Issa Hobel. Their fame covered all Europe, where they held many successful performances. Malfono Issa Hobel wanted to bring his choir to the States to introduce the fruit of his efforts to his Suryoye brothers and sisters in America. He knew that this project will demand lots of preparations. He got in touch with His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim to ask his opinion about his plan, and as usual, Sayidna encouraged him and offered his help. His Eminence called all the churches in New Jersey to give this Suryoyo choir a good Suruoyo welcome. Malfono Hobel’s cousin from Georgia, Abboud Kourieh showed his support by covering the hotel expenses during their stay here.A committee welcomed them at the airport, transported them to the hotel and tended to their needs.
The first performance was on Saturday May the 2nd ,in St. Mark’s Church, where they sang the best hymns, which covered the Lent hymns, Palm Sunday, Naheerai, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, all the way to the Resurrection Triumphant Hymns.The Church was full, and the faithful could not have enough.
On Sunday the 3rd of May they had a Recital at Virgin Mary’s Church in Paramus. Their program included Nostalgia songs from our heritage and modern songs too. The Church hall was packed, there were no more chairs for people, almost 450 people attended this beautiful recital. People were mezmerized by the tunes and voices. They kept clapping after each song. In both performances they received a standing ovation. What attracted our attention most is the vitality of the Maestro, and the jolly spirit he has. His enthusiasm transmited liveliness to the singers and they gave their best. His Eminence held a reception dinner for the Choir members and dignitaries from all the parishes in New Jersey at the newly purchased Archdiocesan Center in Paramus, New Jersey. St. Mark’s Church, St. Gabriel’s Church, St. Barsawmo Church, the Church of Virgin Mary and the Aramaic American Association welcomed them also for big dinners and Bar- B- Ques, to show their love and gratitude. During these receptions the Choir had chances of meeting our people here, and forming friendships with our congregation. Many of our Swedish guests had American relatives who met them for the first time.
I tell you…this choir stirred the face of the lake in our community, and their influence will be remembered for a long time. Thank you brothers and sisters for lifting up our spirits, and putting us in ecstasy for a while.