St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival
ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM ORATORICAL FESTIVAL - OVERVIEW
IMPORTANT: The 2023 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival for our parish will be held in-person on Saturday and Sunday, March 11-12, 2023.
In early spring each year, Church Schools under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America organize parish-level St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festivals named in honor of the great orator of the Church, St. John Chrysostom.
These parish-level St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festivals provide students in 7th through 12th Grade with the opportunity to select a topic (from those offered each year by the Archdiocese), write a speech, and deliver their speech to their fellow students, parents, and a panel of judges who score them for content and delivery.
The top-scorer (finalist) from each parish-level Oratorical Festival advances to the District Level, whose top-scorer advances to the Metropolis Level, and from there the top-scorer advances to the Archdiocese (National) Level.
At our St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, all Church School students, from Preschool to 12th Grade, participate in our parish-level St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. Student participation depends on their age as described below.
ORATORICAL FESTIVAL DATES
Each year, the date for our parish-level St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival appears in our Church School Calendar. It is usually on a weekend in March and is decided and entered in the Church School calendar by October of the previous year.
The 2023 dates and places for the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festivals (all levels) are:
Parish-Level: St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church - Saturday and Sunday, mmm dd, 2024
District (Michigan): Location and date to be announced
Metropolis of Detroit: Location and date to be announced
40th Annual St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Nationals: Metropolis of Detroit, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Buffalo, NY, June 7 to 9, 2024.
STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN THE ST. NICHOLAS PARISH ORATORICAL FESTIVAL
All Church School students, from Preschool to 12th Grade, participate in our parish-level Oratorical Festival and must turn in their speeches or assignments to their teachers by the due date. Fr. Nick goes over all speeches and assignments and provides encouragement and support to each student.
Preschool to 5th Grade
Students in Preschool to 5th Grade are given assignments by their teachers based on age, knowledge, and skill level. Depending on student age, these vary from drawing pictures to writing short essays on selected topics.
6th to 12th Grade
Students in Grades 10-11-12 write an essay on one of the Senior Division topics.
Students in Grades -7-8-9 write an essay on one of the Junior Division topics.
(Note: Officially, the Junior Division includes Grades 7-8-9. At St. Nicholas we also encourage our 6th Graders to write a Junior Division speech, too, and deliver it before the panel of judges as a way to practice for next year.)
The length of the Junior and Senior Division essays is determined by the official speech time-limits as follows:
Junior Division, Grades -7-8-9: minimum 3 minutes, maximum 4 minutes
Senior Division, Grades 10-11-12: minimum 4 minutes, maximum 5 minutes
On the date of the parish-level Oratorical Festival, students in 6th through 12th Grade deliver their speeches to their peers and to a panel of judges. This is a wonderful experience and a requirement for formal participation and possible advancement in the Oratorical Festival.
Also, according to official regulations, Oratorical Festival participants must submit a printed copy of their speech to the Oratorical Festival Chairperson before or during the Orientation Session (typed, double-spaced, on 8-1/2 x 11 paper).
ORATORICAL FESTIVAL INFORMATION, REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES
To ensure uniformity and fairness, all parish-level St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festivals follow the same regulations (issued by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America):
The Archdiocese website for the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival is the official source of all information concerning the festival.
It describes the Purpose & Structure of the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival.
It also provides valuable guidelines for Preparing for a Local Oratorical Festival that can help our students get started.
2023 TOPICS, TIPS, RESOURCES
The topics for the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival are different each year and are chosen by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Each year's topics appear in the following published by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America:
2023 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival: Topics, Tips, & Resources (pdf)
Our Church School guide provides practical tips on speech writing and presentation, as well as guidelines to help students get started with their speech.
Excellent tips on how to write a speech are available online on wikihow.com.
DEVELOPMENT OF ORATORICAL FESTIVAL SKILLS
Volunteer parishioners have made presentations to our Church School students about developing a speech for the Oratorical Festival in which they have emphasize both the written aspects as well as presentation skills.
Some of these presentations included handouts with guidelines about developing oratorical festival skills that are available through the menu item "Oratorical Festival Skills".
ORATORICAL FESTIVAL MODEL SPEECHES
The menu item "Model Speeches" links to oratorical festival speeches by students from our parish that have been recognized at National Oratorical Festivals. They include the 2012 Oratorical Festival speech by Athena Chapekis that was awarded second place in the Junior Division and the 2003 Oratorical Festival speech by Nicholas Moniodis that was awarded first place in the Senior Division. They are both excellent models to follow.
NEW: The St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival website of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America now includes the winning speeches from past years as examples to follow.
CHURCH SCHOOL LIBRARY OF REFERENCE BOOKS, DVDs, CDs
Our Church School continues to build a library of recommended reference books to help our students prepare and write their speeches for the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. The library already contains many recommended books, DVDs and CDs.
All Church School library material is available in a bookcase by the South door of the Greek School classroom.
Students can borrow any of the available material by signing their name and making a note in the sign-out notebook kept in the bookcase.
Look for the "Library" menu item above to explore a list and description of the material currently available. Check it out!
ORATORICAL FESTIVAL CONTACT PERSON
Please address questions to our St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival program chairperson: