BY SHERRY FESTEKJIAN
LOS ANGELES—On November 7, The Holy Martyrs Ferrahian Spirit Committee hosted a talent show where participation was open to students, parents, alumni, and faculty.
It was the usual hustle and bustle before the start of any show. The stage stood invitingly lit and daringly challenging for all participants to showcase their performances. The muffled sound of the audience hummed through the auditorium as they settled into their seats and did their usual meet and greet. In the corner, light and sound technicians did their run through and added their final touches. Meanwhile, Spirit committee members buzzed like busy organizing bees, making sure all was in place, or selling sandwiches and snacks with smiles and humor. In the front seats sat the stars of the show, the participating students and alumni. Their faces drawn in anticipation, they fidgeted in their seats to mask their nervous excitement and tame the adrenaline rush. There was nothing out of the usual. Everything was what one would expect to see before the start of any show.
Finally, with light beams waving about like illuminated arms and the familiar tune of Rocky’s “Gonna Fly Now” roaring through the sound speakers, the show commenced.
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to FERRAHIAN’S GOT TALENT.”
From there on, nothing was usual. From there, the magic started.
The show presenters added their humorous touch, the stage techs added their artistic strokes and the crowd brought about the exciting energy and applause as each act courageously stepped up and enchanted the crowd of over three hundred people. One by one, children of all ages pranced on stage, their faces beaming in excitement. They savored their moments in the spotlight, as if they have taken one step closer towards a dream they have. Some sang with angelic voices, some danced and wowed the crowd, and some played on musical instruments and strummed the chords of everyone’s heart. It was a night where cherished memories were created and for some it might have been the steppingstone towards a path, a moment where fear was conquered, or maybe an instant when self-esteem was found.
Regardless of what they did, with every act that stepped on that stage that night, something more than raw talent was present. Something intangible that cannot be seen but only felt. With every performance, a profound driving force evoked an immediate and collective sense of humanity and art, shrouding the auditorium with warmth, sincerity, and more importantly, hope. Every performer had that childish glow in his/her eyes, but when you looked closely you’d see the same glow in the audience’s eyes. That night everyone was a child (for complete set of photos please visit FerrahianNews Page on Facebook or www.Ferrahian.com).
It was a proud moment when alumnus Karni Hadidian and alumni members from the band Viza (Shant Bismejian, Chris Daniel, accompanied by Antranig Kzirian) took the stage and filled the night with their music. It was a breathtaking experience, when alumnus Karlos Sukiassians stood elegantly behind the mic and sang “Torna a Surriento” with the most remarkable voice. It was a tender and warm instant when Puzant Berberian, a recent alumnus, stood along side his little brother from fifth grade and sang a patriotic Armenian song.
Finally, alumnus Ayline Amirayan took the stage and summed the night up with her little girls. She ended the night with a heart warming tribute medley rendering all to tears as she sang, “Tonight I feel that I am home again…I just love to come here every time…I don’t know if you know I’m an Armen… and that jersey on the wall used to be mine.”
Spirit was not only raised that night. Spirit was bouncing off the walls, echoing down the halls, simmering and rattling the very roots of this fifty years old institution that has withstood the test of time.
This is the school that holds true to the essence of our Armenian roots and sprouts forth individuals of virtue, talent, and patriotism. This marvelous school that has and continues to produce Armenians that have in one way or another impacted and made a difference in our community today. Whether in the world of arts, politics, science, or business, you will always find a proud Ferrahian alumnus who still honorably carries an Armens jersey; still has fond friendships with former classmates and still cherishes unforgettable memories of this warm and welcoming school.
To most… it’s just Holy Martyrs Ferrahian Armenian School.
To us … it’s home.