By Alin K. Gregorian
LEXINGTON, Mass. — YerazArt held its annual gala fundraiser on November 17, at the home of Hrip and Charlie Minasian. The event, featuring dinner and an intimate concert with two YerazArt veterans, raised about $18,000.
Before the concert, YerazArt board president, Nicole Babikian Hajjar, spoke about YerazArt, its focus and the needs that the donations would address. She thanked co- founders Noubar Afeyan and Raffi Festekjian, both of whom were present, as well as the rest of the board, Sargis Karapetyan, Sylvie Zakarian, Avak Kahvejian, Anna Afeyan, Nina Festekjian, Seza Seraderian, Vahe Ghahraman, Apo Ashjian and Roset Atinizian. Festekjian and Afeyan founded YerazArt in 2006, she said, with “a mission to assist and promote young talented musicians from Armenia and offer them the opportunity to perform aboard. In the early days of the organization, the main focus was on selecting a few young talents and organizing a concert tour in North America. Over the years, however, our mission has evolved to better adapt to the changing needs of young musicians in Armenia and to better address the needs of classical music in Armenia.” Part of that change is that now, instead of bringing young performers here, YerazArt funds the music programs there.
This past year, she said, YerazArt distributed $12,000 through the Instrument Donation Program to three music schools in Armenia, one in rural Kapan, to the Kapan Arts College, and two to top schools in Yerevan, the Spendiaryan Music School and Tchaikovsky Music School.
“In Kapan, our initiative included a comprehensive donation ranging from trumpets and flutes to cello, violin, clarinet, synthesizer and guitar. In Yerevan, we donated much-needed oboes to Spendiaryan and Tchaikovsky Music Schools,” she said.