Organization‎ > ‎

3. Staff

Founder and Principal

Fr. Seraphim Dedes is a 2006 graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Prior to that he was the Superior of St. Gregory Palamas Monastery in Ohio. He is best known for his work in translating and transcribing Byzantine Chant into English.

Beginning in 2007, he became the full-time Music Director at St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, NC.

Under Fr. Seraphim's direction, the St. Nektarios Choir was split into men's and women's choirs, which sing antiphonally. The choirs are situated on the solea, and they lead the congregation in singing the simpler parts of the service, and perform the more difficult selections.

At St. Nektarios, the music for worship is ecclesiastical Byzantine chant, adapted for the Church in America. The goal is to meet the challenge set by Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, to be a part of the process as Greek Orthodox music evolves into a peculiarly American Orthodox music. Church music at St. Nektarios is entirely vocal. The language used is primarily Modern English, with some selections in Ecclesiastical Greek and Arabic. Since 2009, the choirs at St. Nektarios have implemented Digital Chant Stands.

In 2012, Fr. Seraphim founded AGES Initiatives, with the blessing of Met. Alexios of Atlanta.

Executive Director

Richard Barrett 
is protopsaltis of Holy Dormition Greek Orthodox Church in Somerville, MA. He has a B. Mus. in Vocal Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and is a PhD candidate in Byzantine and medieval history at Indiana University, with additional work in ethnomusicology and Modern Greek Studies. He also holds a Performer's Certificate in Byzantine Music from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He has studied Byzantine chant with Dr. Ioannis Arvanitis, Dr. Grammenos Karanos, and John Michael Boyer. He sings regularly with professional vocal ensembles such as Cappella Romana and Psaltikon. Richard has served as an invited clinician, speaker, and singer at Orthodox churches and sacred music conferences throughout the country. Since 2016 he has served as Chant Liaison to the Executive Board of the Metropolis of Boston Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians, and he has served in an advisory and consulting capacity for multiple undertakings of the Sacred Music Department of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America. Previous to joining the AGES staff, he was Director of Development for Suzuki School of Newton. In 2010 he founded the Saint John of Damascus Society, which supports public outreach and educational activities related to Orthodox liturgical music.

Media Management

Dina Marinakos-Oara is the Women's Choir director at St Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in her hometown of Charlotte, NC. After earning a Bachelor of Music from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2004), she taught public school music in the Raleigh-Durham area. In 2011, Dina settled back in Charlotte, where she currently teaches private piano lessons and serves as Media Manager for AGES Initiatives. She enjoys coffee a little too much and counts down to Lent every year.