WORCESTER, Mass. — The Greater Worcester Armenian Chorale is presenting its 10th Anniversary Gala Concert and Dinner on Sunday, September 19, 12:30 p.m., at the Cultural Center of the Armenian Church Of Our Saviour, 34 Boynton St. Led by artistic director and conductor Konstantin Petrossian, the program features guest soloists Vagharshak Ohanyan and Hasmik Konjoyan, and the Arevig Armenian Children’s Chorus and Dance Group.
The Greater Worcester Armenian Chorale was founded in February 2000 by Petrossian of Providence, RI, Rev. Aved Terzian of the Armenian Church Of Our Saviour and Rev. Vazken Bekiarian of Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church. Following Bekiarian’s departure, Rev. Sarkis Aktvoukian and now Rev. Dr. Khatchadour Boghossian have lent their support on behalf of Holy Trinity. Petrossian has been artistic director and conductor since its inception and Karine Avanesov has been piano accompanist since 2004. The Chorale comprises the parishes of the two founding Worcester churches and Soorp Asdvadzadzin Armenian Apostolic Church of Whitinsville.
Since the first concert by the Greater Worcester Armenian Chorale in April 2000, two groups have been added to the roster of participants. Petrossian formed the Armenian Children’s Chorus in 2002 and under his guidance the youngsters have developed a continuing sense of poise combined with an enthusiasm and an ability to convey the meaning and spirit of their music. Three years ago a dance troupe was introduced and the two groups are known as the Arevig Children’s Chorus and Dance Group, under the direction of Petrossian. All dance instruction and choreography are by sisters Aline Sarkisian and Ani Yaghmourian, who are members of the Sayat Nova Dance Company of Boston as well as the chorale.
In addition to performances by the chorale and Arevig, the 10th Anniversary Program includes baritone/bass Ohanian and mezzosoprano Konjoyan.
Ohanian, born in Yerevan, Armenia, holds a doctorate in arts education and a master’s degree in music performance from the former Soviet Union as well as a certificate from the Juilliard School of Music in New York. In 1996 he became a union member of the American Guild of Musical Artists and in 2002 appeared as a soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra. Vagharshag made his acclaimed New York City Opera debut in 2006 as Sid in Puccini’s “La Fanciulla Del West.” Other highlights includes solo recitals with the Boston Chamber Orchestra and the role of Silvo in “Pagliacci” with the New York’s Opera Mobile at Lincoln Center. In Russia, he was a soloist in the Faure and Mozart Requiems with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
Konjoyan, also born in Yerevan, Armenia, graduated with honors from the Yerevan State Pedagogical University in the Music Department of Aesthetic Education. She sang in the Vocal Instrumental Ensemble Arevig of the State Radio and TV, later in Elegia and Ave Maria Chamber Choirs, as well as in the Chamber Choir of the Armenian National Radio. Konjoyan was a singer and manager of Luys Vocal Quintet, which has recorded “Luys,” a CD (2009) dedicated to 140th Anniversary of Komitas Vartapet (1869-1935) and produced in the US, which was a winner in the Armenian Music Awards (2009) in Los Angeles as Best Choir Album and a winner in the National Music Awards 2009 in Armenia. She was a conductor of the “Kantegh” Children Choir in the Arabkir Youth Center, which won a Golden Prize in the Pupil Art Competition-Festival in Yerevan.