GLENDALE–The first holiday concert of the Armenian National Treasures Foundation succeeded in brining together Armenian community members and local residents to celebrate together, setting a new trend in the style reminiscent of the annual Vienna New Year Concerts.
The Cilicia Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro Mikael Avetisian, with more than 50 performers, kept the audience engaged while performing Armenian classical and contemporary works, some of which were specially orchestrated for the concert, which took place on December 27, at the Glendale Presbyterian Church. Several traditional instrumentalists performed along with the orchestra, including Ruben Harutiunyan on the duduk and Lilit Khoyoyan on the kanon. Soloists Anahid Nersisyan, Razmik Mansuryan, Marine Abrahamyan, Mannik Manukian, Bakoor Kalantarian and Ruben Telunts also performed national and patriotic songs, and opera arias.
Western Prelate Moushegh Mardirossian, Father Antoine Saroyan of Armenian Catholic Exarchate of North America and Rev. Joseph Matossian, Minister of Armenian Evangelical Union of North America attended the concert along with over 1,000 people including a wide range of the community leadership, representatives of organizations, as well as a contingent of the youth. The event was made possible with the financial support of those who appreciate the Armenian culture from as far away as Fresno and as south as Long Beach and Montebello.
An aspect of the concert that made a significant impression on the youth was the slide show that preceded the concert, of famous Armenian athletes, inventors, writers and composers from down south in Australia to Armenia, all the way to those in north and south Americas. “Appreciation of the universal culture is contingent upon understanding your own roots” said Bianca Manoukian, co-founder/chair of the organization, which aims to foster pride in Armenian heritage, educate Armenia’s and preserve Armenia’s cultural legacy at sites and monumen’s.
The newly formed organization has already had its mark on the of Dzaghgashad (Ghshlagh) village of famous leading revolutionary figure Nigol Touman, with a revitalization effort which included the home-museum. The museum is located in the Askeran region of the Mountainous Karabagh (Artsakh).
Future plans include production of a series of multi-lingual documentaries about the customs and traditions of over 30 different regions in Western Armenia, Armenia, Artsakh, Nakhichevan, and Javakhk. Every region will be explored in details, both historically & geographically, exposing the hidden gems and treasures that few know about. Each documentary will include ethnographic information such as the cuisine of the region, its arts and crafts, dialects, songs & dances, as well as traditions and celebration. ANTF hopes that the creation of these contemporary resources will contribute to the worldwide recognition and pride of our ancestral heritage and in turn the appreciation of our legacy as a nation. The group plans to broadcast them on the net & internationally, as well as distribute the series to colleges, universities, libraries, and Armenian schools and organizations all around the world. Directing efforts to educating the youth to revive the Armenian cultural heritage, crafts and traditions is to ensure that successive generations will appreciate and nurture the culture, in ways that ensures its survival in the new global cultural environmen’s.
The Armenian National Treasures Foundation (ANTF) ‘s Established in 2007, the ANTF fosters pride in the Armenian heritage. ANTF works to instill the values of the Armenian people by stimulating broad-scale involvement of all generations, and encouraging the preservation of the Armenian traditions and customs. ANTF also contributes to the restoration and conservation of sites and buildings of archeological and historical importance to the Armenian population. For more information please contact [email protected]