WORCESTER — The Greater Worcester Armenian Chorale presented a special Christmas concert on Sunday, December 6, in the Sanctuary of Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church. The program consisted of Christmas carols and songs in Armenian and English. The Chorale is under the direction of Konstantin Petrossian, artistic director and conductor, with organ accompaniment by Karine Avanesov. Operatic Soprano Knarik Nerkararyan was the guest soloist with organist Levon Hovsepian.
A medley of traditional carols performed by the Chorale opened the concert: Oh Come, All Ye Faithful; Hark, The Herald Angels Sing; Ave Maria by 16th Century Italian composer Giulio Caccini. Armenian Christmas songs were the following: Ov Hayots Asdvadz by Makar Yegmalian; Park Ee Partzoons (Gloria In Excelsis), Khorthoort Metz (O Great Mystery) both by Movses Kertogh from the 6th Century; Ov Zamamanalee (How Wondrous) by Grigor Pahlavuni from the 12th Century; Aysor Dzaynum Hayragan (Today, The Paternal Voice) by Hovhaness Yerzngatsi from the 13th Century; and Ee Horeh Tsagetsar, arranged by R. Grigorian. The Chorale also presented its signature piece, Yegeghetsin Haygagan (The Armenian Church) by Vahan Bedlian and Vahan Tekeyan.
Selections by Nerkararyan included Der Voghormya by Gomidas, Diramayr (Mother Of God) by K. Petrossian and Archbishop N. Bozabalian, and Ave Maria. The last was the classic Bach/Gounod version which brought the audience to its feet with much applause for her thrilling rendition
The free concert was enjoyed by parishioners, friends, and guests who gave the performers a well-deserved standing ovation following the conclusion of the final numbers: Silent Night, Carol Of The Bells, Joy To the World, and the Hayr Mer. Rev. Sahag Yemishian, pastor of Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church which co-sponsored the event, and Petrossian were both presented with a City Proclamation by Mayor Joseph Petty which declared December 6 to be “Greater Worcester Armenian Chorale Day” in Worcester “with the wish for success in today’s event and in all future endeavors of this most notable cultural organization.”
Yemishian congratulated Petrossian, the members of the Chorale, organists Gayane Kocharyan and Levon Hovsepian, and soloist Nerkararyan for the wonderful holiday season performance. He thanked the audience for their attendance and encouraged them to continue to support the Chorale, noting the importance of preserving and promoting the rich musical heritage of the Armenian people.