LOS ANGELES – It was standing room only on May 6, 2018, when the Board of Directors of the USC Thornton Friends of Armenian Music celebrated their 39th Anniversary at the Louvre Banquet Hall in Los Angeles. Under the auspices of USC Thornton School of Music Dean Dr. Robert Cutietta and Assistant Dean of Advancement, Dr. Phoenix Delgado, friends and supporters packed the banquet hall to celebrate 39 years of promoting and supporting Armenian musical heritage.
On this occasion, the former presidents of the USC Thornton Friends of Armenian Music were honored for their leadership and direction through the years.
“We are indebted to our founding members for their hard work and commitment, and would like to express our thanks and appreciation for their dedicated service and support,” Irene Sassounian, the current President of USC Thornton Friends of Armenian Music, said. “We wanted to acknowledge and recognize our past presidents who were instrumental in the establishment, success and perseverance of this worthwhile organization. It was through their efforts we were able to continue to provide support to students of Armenian descent at USC’s Thornton School of Music.”
The former presidents were honored to accept their awards from Dean Cutietta, and to receive his personal recognition and congratulations. The past presidents recognized on this occasion were: Eric Avazian, Audrey B. Gregor, Fred Mickaelian, Jr., Elise Tashjian, Artemis Bedros, Diana Artunian, Maro Makasjian, Lily Ring Balian and Hilda Fidanian.
Under President Sassounian’s leadership the organization is embarking on a course to reinvigorate participation and membership by planning major concerts, music lectures, seminars and symposiums in the near future. Established in 1984, the Scholarship Endowment Funds continue to present awards to eight to 10 recipients each year. Another achievement was the formation of the USC Armenian Music Collection in the Doheny Music Library which was enriched with musical notes, scores and books by the generous donation of the Armenian community.
Guests enjoyed a musical program, coordinated and selected by Vice President Irene Arathoon, which featured the mother-daughter duo harpist Sossi Kerkonian and flutist Salpy Kerkonian. Following was a performance by The Elixir Trio of pianist Lucy Nargizian, violinist Samual Chilingarian and cellist Fang Fang Xu performing the compositions of Sergei Rachmanioff, Astor Pizazolla and Aram Khachaturian.
Sassounian, in her closing remarks, expressed her thanks to Dean Cutietta and Assistant Dean Delgado for their effective leadership and the celebration of the past 39 years.