George Karipides has a resilience for life and love of the Pontian Lyra. At an early age, he learned to play on a handmade wooden Lyra he had built himself. During Easter, he received a birthday present from his grandfather, who gave him a choice of either new shoes or a Lyra. He chose the Lyra. Today he still has and plays that Lyra, which is over a hundred years old and is one of many he keeps in his home.
Arriving in America from Greece in 1986, he toured as a musician through various community events and family affairs. He worked in the food business to supplement his life and career. A tragic accident in 1995 only severed his arm, not his soul. His faith in God was instrumental to continuing his career and getting on with his life.
A devote Greek Orthodox Christian now, he continues to play the Lyra and sings in church on Sundays as a chanter. His is an inspiring story of devotion to both his faith and passion for the music of his ancestors.