Orpheus Music and Singing Group

Orpheus Music and Singing Ensemble Practice Schedule 2017-18

Auditions for the Orpheus Music and Singing Group 2017-2018

Benefits of participation in the Orpheus ensemble


The Orpheus Music group established in 2007 and its goals of the ensemble are to introduce its members to the art of playing Greek folk music and accompany the various Orpheus Dance Troupes at various presentations. The ensemble meets weekly at the Orpheus practice facilities in Niles . See practice schedule below.
Registration fee is $250 for the year.

Instructional sessions are directed by Eve Monzingo, George Lawler. Their biographies are provided below.  We are excited to have instructors of this caliber available for the Orpheus sessions. Jim Stoynoff, a well know clarinet player within the Greek community, will also be assisting as a consultant in this program. 

Every year in June the Orpheus Music group conducts auditions for individuals that are interested in joining the ensemble. Please e-mail us or call 847-657-0958 if you are interested in auditioning or for more information.

Orpheus Music Ensemble Practice Schedule 2017-18

Thursday, 6:30-9:00 p.m., classes start on Thursday, September 21
6:30-7:30 Junior group
7:30-8:15 Intermediate/Advanced group
8:15-9:00 Advanced group

See Eve or George for specific breakup of sessions

All practices take place at the Niles practice facility
St. Issac Jogues Church
8149 Golf Road
Niles, IL 60714

Registration Form:   pdf    word

Payment can be made by clicking the button below ($250):

Orpheus Singing Ensemble Practice Schedule 2017-18

Thursday, 6:30-8:00 p.m., classes start on Thursday, September 21
In addition singing group members will practice with the music group as needed.

See Zeta Maniati for specific breakup of sessions.

All practices take place at the Niles practice facility
St. Issac Jogues Church
8149 Golf Road
Niles, IL 60714

Registration Forms:  
Youth (under 18 years old)
  pdf    word
Adult   pdf    word

Payment can be made by clicking the button below ($200):

Important dates:

*October = Monday, October 24, 2016 – Concordia University

*December = Sunday, December 10, 2017 – Museum of Science and Industry, 4:00 p.m.

*February = Saturday, January 20, 2018 – Orpheus Vasilopita Celebration, 6:00 p.m.

*May= Sunday, May 6, 2018 – Orpheus Youth group, End of Year Celebration at St. John Church, 2:00 p.m.

Orpheus Singing and Music Auditions - 2017

September 21, Thursday, Niles 6:00-6:30 p.m.

 Audition Requirements - Music

  1. Name, Age, Address, Phone #, email
  2. Instrument
  3. How long have you been playing?
  4. Do you play a second instrument?
  5. Is this your first time playing by ear?
  6. Have you had private or group lessons?
  7. Do you play in band or orchestra? Where?
  8. Have you ever participated in any contests or auditions?
  9. Can you read music...if so, how long have you been reading music?

    Audition form:   pdf     doc

Audition Requirements - Singing

          Milo Mou Kokkino (mp3)  lyrics:  doc  pdf     -     Thalassaki Mou (mp3-woman)  lyrics:  doc  pdf,    Thalassaki Mou (mp3-man)   lyrics: doc  pdf

  1. Name, Age, Address, Phone #, email
  2. How long have you been singing?
  3. Have you had private or group lessons?
  4. Do you sing in an chorus or individually?  Where?
  5. Have you ever participated in any contests or auditions?
  6. Can you read music...if so, how long have you been reading music?

    Audition form:  pdf    doc


Benefits of participation in the Orpheus ensemble:

Instructor Biographies

George Lawler and Eve Monzingo

Accomplished percussionist and drum maker, George Lawler, learned the art of Arabic, North African and Balkan percussion from his Tunisian teacher, Nagib Bahri. Over the years, George developed an apprenticeship /internist role with Mr. Bahri leading classes on percussion and drum making at his workshop in Chicago and touring the United States performing Arabic percussion for belly dance competitions.

George has performed in France, Spain, Turkey, Bulgaria and the Netherlands with his Middle East/Balkan ensemble, Lamajamal, and has toured the U.S. and appeared on the Conan O'Brien Show with the 30 piece, self described, 'circus-punk' marching band, Mucca Pazza. George has also toured the U.S. with the rock festival tour "Warped".

Here in Chicago, George plays Greek folk percussion with clarinetist and local legend, Jim Stoynoff. He also plays congas and bongos with the African band, The Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, drum kit and gongs with the Chinese surf group, Red Chamber, and finally, Indian Tablas with the the DJ group, Bombay Beatbox.

George specialized in custom made frame drums and tambourines (defis) and is currently working with Loyola University Ceramics Professor, Vesna Jovanovich on handmade clay drums commonly known as daraboukas or touberlekis. His workmanship can be read about and viewed at his website, Jamoflage.com.

George Lawler is a veteran of world and American music. He has performed on over 40 recording of rock, jazz, reggae, Arabic, and Balkan music going back to the 1980s. He produces and records in his home studio as well. George teaches private lessons on percussion, drum kit and guitar. George holds a bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Illinois.

Eve Monzingo is a talented multi-instrumentalist who specializes in folk music of the Balkans, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. She was recently featured playing clarinet, santouri, flute and percussion in the Goodman Theatre production of Mirror of the Invisible World, directed and adapted by Tony Award winning director Mary Zimmerman.

Eve has performed in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Germany, England and France with the Chicago Klezmer Ensemble, Die Naye Kaplye, (both Jewish folk music groups) and Lamajamal (mid-eastern/balkan music). Eve has also toured various parts of the U.S. with the comedic marching band Mucca Pazza (Italian for Mad Cow).
Eve began her journey into folk music by earning the Ethnic Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grant from the Illinois Art Council to study Greek clarinet music under Jim Stoynoff when she was still a teenager. She then went on to earn scholarships to attend various folk music conferences, including the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and Culture (commonly call Klezcamps), the Eastern European Folklife Group's Balkan Music and Dance Camps, and Simon Shaheen's Arabic Music Retreat.

Eve received a bachelor of arts degree from Roosevelt University where she studied classical composition and music theory with Dr. Robert Lombardo. Her composition credits include 1st prize in the American Jewish Song Festival (1994), 2nd prize in the Midwest American Chapter of Women Composers competition (1996), and 2nd prize for her string quartet in the Virginia and Seymour LaRock Composition Competition (2001). Her compositions are featured on the recordings "Sweet Home Bukovina" by the Chicago Klezmer Ensemble (1996) and “Trumpets" by the Amsterdam based klezmer group, DiFidl-Kapelye(2006).

Eve has taught group ensembles and workshops at the Old Town School of Music, KlezKanada in Montreal, the University of Chicago and Roosevelt University. She taught private lessons on piano, clarinet, flute and saxophone at Leapin' Lyrics Music School in Geneva Illinois for over five years and currently teaches private lessons from her home in Chicago.

Jim Stoynoff (Guest instructor)

Jim is a native Chicagoan who began studying the clarinet in 1962. Since that time he has specialized in the research, preservation and performance of Greek Folk Music, with particular emphasis on the regional folk clarinet styles of Epiros, Macedonia, Central Greece and Turkey.

Since 1965 Jim has performed regularly at major functions within these ethnic communities and has appeared with various groups throughout the U.S. He also gives lecture/performances and authors articles on the Balkan clarinet for various publications. Since 1986 he has appeared annually at various events sponsored by the Chicago Cultural Center, and performs with the Chicago Immigrant Orchestra. He is performing as part of the Silk Road residency, 9/06 thru 9/07 in Chicago, and recently made two appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for the opening of the Chicago World Music Festival.

He has designed and is co-curetting the Hellenic Museum & Cultural Center’s exhibit Road to Rembetika (June 06 through January 07), and is building HMCC’s archive and permanent exhibit of instruments and discography for it’s new facilities.