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aafatken

H E O F F I C I A L M A G A Z I N E O F T H E

T

T K E N A R M E N I A N F O U N D A T I O N

A

I S S U E N O . 1 / / V O L U M E N O . 1 / / S E P T 2 0 1 7

ATKEN

A “ S C H O O L ” Y E A R I N R E V I E W

Armenia’s best-kept secret in Georgia?, p. 11


T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S

Vocalise

14

Editor’s Notes

03

05

A Musical Christmas

06

07

09

10

11

12

Maro

Magnificent

Vayots Dzor

Dispatch

Petit Prince

Le

Soldier’s Tale

A

in Javaghk & ...

Miracle

and Trees

Bees

15

16

18

19

Emerging Artists

Splendid Siblings

On the Go!

Credits, Contacts, etc.


Atken Armenian Foundation has been discovering, serving, and guiding young music talent in

The

regions of Armenia for the past 10 years. Our work in poverty reduction is growing rapidly

the

new initiatives and collaboration. The last 12 months have proven to be very productive;

through

funds have correlated to greater results. For example, we are thrilled this year that 4 of our

more

first edition of ATKEN is a recap of what we have been up to the last 12 months. It is a great

This

to catch up for you non-Facebookers! You will meet mostly village children who only a

way

of years ago had never heard of Scarlatti or Brahms and today are singing in Italian and

couple

You will get to know a young man who served on the border and saw his comrade

German!

3

E D I T O R ’ S N O T E S

ELEVATE YOURSELF

Fellows have been accepted into top Music Schools in the country and are on the path

young

have dreamt about. On the regional development side, in a few short years, our agro-

they

modernization projects will bring in 6-figure revenue to local farming communities.


by an enemy bullet last April, who today is preparing for lessons with a top voice teacher

killed

the Komitas Conservatory.

at

ATKEN, we would like to hear your stories, comments, questions, and experiences. At this

At

stage, we need your feedback. Students, teachers, parents, donors and readers alike, tell

early

what has been your experience with the AAF? Why is it important to help Armenia for you?

us

not start or support a project with the AAF and tell your friends about it through ATKEN?

Why

appreciate your interest and are happy to have you as a reader of ATKEN. The AAF is proud

We

the work it has done but truly needs your help to continue. We hope you will enjoy this first

of

ARMENIAN

VAN

EDITOR

Van Armenian is a professional violinist, teacher, and the president of the AAF.

Canadian-born

regularly plays and tours with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and was recently a

He

of the All-Armenian Orchestra’s inaugural concert in Yerevan. He may be

concertmaster

at: vanarmenian@yahoo.ca or contact him through the AAF Facebook Page.

reached

E D I T O R ’ S N O T E S

issue and will join the AAF family where we Elevate ourselves by Elevating others!

4


start with a pivotal moment in the AAF

We

December 16, 2016, our first fund-

history:

concert. We set up a great organizing

raising

and found the ideal hosts for this

team

His Excellency, Ambassador of

concert:

to Canada, Mr. Armen Yeganian and

Armenia

wife Maria. Our beloved soprano and

his

member Aline Kutan truly made the

board

a magical one and a real

evening

of the power and glory of

demonstration

concert would not have been possible

This

our principal sponsors Arden &

without

Dervishian, and our partner sponsors

Christine

& Ana Afeyan, Hasmig Armenian, the

Levon

and Hagop Kestekian Foundation (Haig

Araxie

Virginia Misakyan), Drs. Jirair & Rita

&

impressive participation of the 40-some

The

choristers from the McGill Conservatory

young

and Youth Choirs under Penni

Children

the Mashtots Choir of AGBU under

Clarke,

5

and the Atken Ensemble helped

Quartet

this a very special and unforgettable

make

Montreal community friends got together

Our

volunteer and contribute in kind, namely:

to

Nazarian of Melan Print, Floriste

Garo

Ara Samson and Patrik Boghosian

Glamour,

George Maalouf of

photographers,

G.E.G., and Pianos H. Nalbandian.

Imprimerie

courageously risked the treacherous

Many

and parking conundrums to bring

weather

venue to near capacity. The AAF board

the

to make this an annual event in

plans

so keep posted, another concert on

Montreal,

horizon in December!

the

A M U S I C A L C H R I S T M A S

A MUSICAL CHRISTMAS

V. A.

Music.

experience.

Kuyumjian and an anonymous donor.

“Thank you Atken Armenian Foundation

for the beautiful Christmas concert

and wonderful projects

in Armenia!”

Gohar Manvelyan, as well as the HAYK Vocal

― Maria Yeganian ―


board members Antoine and Sheila

When

introduced Maro Simonyan to the

Terjanian

6 years ago, we found an energetic and

AAF

woman who wanted to bring

determined

culture to the children of her

musical

of Yegheknadzor. The AAF gave

hometown

a mission: build a serious children’s choir

her

head for the top!

and

the past 3 years, this choir has been

For

top prizes in Armenia and even a

winning

Medal in Georgia. There is a magical

Gold

when you enter the decrepit

atmosphere

Center; Maro has created a place

Culture

the love of music is palpable.

where

6

to Maro’s efforts, members of this

Thanks

such as Ani and Narek, are entering

program,

first year at the top music school in

their

the Komitas Conservatory. Another,

Armenia,

the talented Nané (pictured on p. 8), is

like

for a career as a folk-pop singer or

headed

even a choir conductor herself. Our

perhaps

class is growing, students, such as

piano

and young Gayane are practising

Seda

and showing promising results.

diligently

M A G N I F I C E N T M A R O

MAGNIFICENT MARO

V. A.

“I wish many successes to all your initiatives

as they are honest, kind and patriotic.”

― Maro Simonyan ―


THE MUSIC MAN

MHER,

talented young man eats and breathes music. We know he

This

AAF has a strong foothold in the

The

Dzor region. All our agro-

Vayots

takes place there and a

development

part of our music education

good

are based in the regional

programs

Yegheknadzor (affectionately

capital,

7

visits to “Little Y” motivate and

Regular

our top talents.

guide

IN THE MOUNTAINS

FLUTOPIA

amazing Yamaha flutes on loan to

Two

D I S P A T C H V A Y O T S D Z O R

PIANO LESSONS WITH TIGRAN

will go far, AAF has his back.

the local music school.

DISPATCH

VAYOTS DZOR

V. A.

A PILLAR OF THE AAF INITIATIVES

known as Little Y by AAF folk).


from having a bank of several

Apart

on loan to local music schools

instruments

as two beautiful Qanons, 2 flutes, 2

(such

and 4 pianos), we have invigorated the

violins,

musically speaking with the Armenian

area

Choir and have added Voice,

Children’s

Music History, Theory, Dictation, and

Piano,

classes. Every time our award-

Solfeggio

choir shows up in the capital Yerevan

winning

Y), heads are turned!

(big

instrument and voice classes are aided

Our

regular visits from specialists Tigran

with

8

course is also given to all our

English

by Verjiné Zabounian.

students

the past years, the AAF has helped

Over

healthcare sector of the area with

the

and equipment, has provided

donations

need scholarships to students of the

much

University, and has renovated a

Gitelik

of rooms in the Culture Center as

number

as a park and a playground. Board

well

Antoine and Sheila Terjanian,

members

the help of Naira Sargsyan of the

with

NGO oversee it all with loving care

Syunik

D I S P A T C H V A Y O T S D Z O R

Berkelyan and Herminé Gevorgyan. A weekly

on a volunteer basis.


in Little Y this April, we came across a

While

group of young actors performing

wonderful

Little Prince” by Saint-Exupéry. We were

“The

impressed by the quality and devotion to

truly

art form. Soon after, they were invited to

the

it in Yerevan! Unfortunately, they did

present

have enough funds to make it there. The

not

quickly went into action and found

AAF

from our friend Nancy Torosian,

funding

of Montreal’s Hay Pem Theatre

director

The costumes and sets were all made

Troupe.

the students and the director, Hrach

by

Impressive things happening in

Hovhannisyan.

Little Y indeed!

the

L E P E T I T P R I N C E

LE PETIT PRINCE

V.A

“The time for action is now.

It’s never too late to do something.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ―

9


it comes to harrowing tales, we all know

When

situation on the border with Azerbaijan is

the

of great concern. Young Narek from our

one

in Vayots Dzor completed his

program

military service in February of this

obligatory

His unit was posted on the border and

year.

in the middle of it all during the vicious

was

attacks in April 2016. His friend was

Azeri

next to him in one of the worst attacks.

killed

year later when we saw him in Armenia, he

A

still visibly shaken, but thanks to his

was

and the help of our teachers,

determination

managed to be accepted in the

Narek

Conservatory.

Komitas

these schools ask for irrational

Surprisingly,

fees that have no relation to the

tuition

10

of most citizens of the country. Even

income

the military service and “living outside

with

capital“ discounts, the cost was absurd

the

Narek. When he received the phone call

for

our representative Chaghig Arzrouni

from

the AAF would find a sponsor and

that

his tuition as long as he continues

guarantee

fantastic efforts, he was so taken aback

his

AAF does not allow talented and hard-

The

children to be forgotten due to

working

of the country; we will support

circumstances

as long as they continue to elevate

them

to the enormous challenge of

themselves

it in the music world.

making

A S O L D I E R S T A L E

A SOLDIER’S TALE

V. A.

that there was a full minute of silence. . .


few years back we met young Anna in a

A

town in Javaghk, Georgia. In January of

small

year we selected, now 13-year-old Anna

this

a special prize: a fellowship from the AAF

for

support of her extraordinary talent. Anna

in

spends 2-3 weeks in Yerevan,

regularly

by our wonderful voice specialist

hosted

Gervorgyan, for intensive daily voice

Herminé

only a few months, she won a

After

in Georgia with the possibility to

competition

in the finals in Italy. We took her

participate

Italy where she competed with

to

5 to 7 years older than her. Anna

candidates

one of 4 candidates selected by an

was

11

jury and Nino Lezhava, Director

international

the Academy Tebaldi Del Monaco, to

of

the Special Prize: A full scholarship

receive

participate in a 2-week masterclass in

to

is a talent to watch, mark our words!

This

AAF believes that talents such as Anna

The

be future ambassadors of Armenia, your

will

is needed to continue this work.

support

M I R A C L E I N J A V A G H K & . . .

MIRACLE IN JAVAGHK &... ITALY!

LIANA KHOSHBEKYAN

lessons.

Italy in 2018, room & board included!

“Make the AAF your voice in Armenia

this year.”

― AAF ―


board Members Tony Halepli and Antoine

AAF

in collaboration with the Syunik

Terjanian,

have spearheaded important work in

NGO,

Horticulture Development sector of the

the

Dzor region. This is an initiative that

Vayots

bring in 6-figure income to the region in a

will

short years; a project that will change

few

conditions of many families who live in

living

goal of the project is to contribute to the

The

of poverty in rural areas and to

reduction

the development of cooperation

promote

rural communities in Vayots Dzor and

between

12

their farming capabilities. For

modernize

part of the program will comprise

this,

and practical compulsory

theoretical

To date, with donations from Tony

courses.

have planted 4000 high-render fruit

we

and have given over 50 new

trees,

to villagers. We are grateful to

beehives

Syunik-Development NGO for their

the

and expertise in helping us make

guidance

project a reality.

this

B E E S & T R E E S

BEES & TREES

V.A

poverty.

“He who plants a tree, plants a hope.”

― Lucy Larcom ―


“DOING NOTHING FOR OTHERS

IS THE UNDOING

OF OURSELVES.”

― H O R A C E M A N N ―


years ago the AAF started a Vocal Talent program for the regions of Armavir and Kotayk. Under

3

leadership of soprano Herminé Gevorgyan (pictured left) and Tatevik Movsesyan results are

the

in! Two of the top talents, 16-year-old Ani (pictured) and Arminé, were accepted with full

rolling

to a top music college in Yerevan. They will be studying with Herminé’s own past

scholarships

June of this year the scope of the vocal program grew: Herminé and pianist Elen Kirakosyan, gave

In

in Ninotsminda, Javaghk (in Georgia) at the local music school. This is part of the

masterclasses

commitment to helping regional music schools get quality input to improve pedagogical

AAF’s

Both faculty and the students were thrilled with the sessions.

levels.

14

V O C A L I S E

VOCALISE

L. K.

teacher.

The work of the AAF paying off one student at a time! We promise there is more to come!


AND ANNA AT THE PARAJANOV

CHRISTINA

of the prize was to visit important cultural pillars in the

Part

Fellows, vocalists Christina from

AAF

(Vayots Dzor) and Anna from

Vernashen

were selected this year for a

Javaghk

gift. During the two weeks in

special

they had daily lessons with our

Yerevan,

specialist Herminé Gevorgyan, and

voice

to see museums and galleries. A true

went

immersion for these exceptionally

cultural

15

the museum dedicated to the

Visiting

core of the nation: Komitas.

musical

E M E R G I N G A R T I S T S

YEREVAN NIGHTS!

Teacher and student, a bond for life.

CHRISTINA MEETS KOMITAS

capital. Parajanov Museum is a must see.

EMERGING

ARTISTS

V. A.

diligent and musical youths.


we heard of 13-year-old Mariam, a

When

talented prize-winning flute

wonderfully

in Gyumri, we knew she would be the

student

candidate for an instrument we received

ideal

Professor Simon Channing, Head of

from

at the world-renowned Royal

Woodwind

of Music in London. The timing of the

College

of this flute couldn’t have been better:

arrival

own flute was no longer functioning in

her

registers! With the help of the much-

lower

instrument, she quickly won the

improved

to perform with the local symphony

chance

16

brother Alexandr, a pianist that the AAF

Her

taken under its wing this year (the AAF

has

him weekly lessons with our

provides

Tigran Berkelyan in Yerevan), won

specialist

prize at a competition securing him a TV

first

(pictured) and the opportunity to

interview

in a tour taking him to Austria,

participate

and Slovenia for concerts and

Italy,

all expenses paid. 10-year-old

masterclasses,

has an extraordinary talent and we

Alexandr

convinced, with Tigran’s guidance, he will

are

into a wonderful artist! Our promise

develop

you, dear AAF supporters, is that your

to

always go a long way!

donations

S P L E N D I D S I B L I N G S

SPLENDID SIBLINGS

L. K.

orchestra. The possibilities are limitless now!


“CHILDREN SEE MAGIC

BECAUSE

THEY LOOK FOR IT.”

― C H R I S T O P H E R M O O R E ―


AND ANI S., ANDIAMO!

ARMINÉ

vocal program quickly paying off with these two AAF Fellows

Our

Fellows Ani G. and Narek, from the

AAF

village of Karaklugh, Ani K. from

mountain

and Arminé from Ejmiadzin

Aradashen,

and got in their desired music

auditioned

in Armenia. They will be working

schools

the top voice teachers in the country.

with

thanks to our specialists Maro,

Many

and Tatevik for getting them to

Herminé,

18

G., FROM MOUNTAIN TO CITY

ANI

Fellow of immense talent starting

AAF

Fellow of immense talent also starting

AAF

now at the Komitas Conservatory.

studies

O N T H E G O !

studies now at the Komitas Conservatory.

NAREK, FROM SAME MOUNTAIN TO CITY

now enrolled in a top music college, full tuition paid.

ON THE GO!

V. A.

such high levels. Now, the sky is the limit!


Atken Armenian

The

is a

Foundation

Canadian

registered

Charity

to this issue:

Contributors

Armenian and

Van

receipts provided;

Tax

amount counts

every

T K E N A

1 1 0 R u e H a r b o u r

2

a v a l , Q u e b e c

L

7 T 2 M 5

H

AAF

costs:

administrative

you been touched

Have

the AAF by

us a short article

Send

we’ll publish it

and

the next issue

in

ATKEN. of

your article to:

email

vanarmenian@yahoo.ca

C R E D I T S , C O N T A C T S , E T C .

CREDITS, CONTACTS, ETC.

YOU?

NONE

and its activities?

Liana Khoshbekyan

Subject: ATKEN

C a n a d a

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