By Karina Halajian
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — This year’s Christmas Concert of the renowned Erevan Choral Society and Orchestra of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston, held on Sunday, December 11, 2016, in the sanctuary, was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s independence and the 50th anniversary of the Erevan Choral Society.
Established in 1966, by Father Oshagan Minassian and directed by composer Konstantin Petrossian since 2009, this group — unique in the Diaspora — carries out great work in the advocacy of Armenian music. Thanks to a long-standing creative connection to Armenia’s composers and performers, many pieces by Armenian composers have been premiered and made famous overseas by the Erevan Choral Society.
The evening began with welcome remarks by Father Vasken A. Kouzouian, pastor of Holy Trinity Armenian Church, who stated that the church was honored by the presence of Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons. Simmons praised the activities of the Choral Society and Orchestra, and noted the importance of preserving the cultural heritage of Armenia. Following her remarks, Kouzouian asked the gathered crowd to partake in a special collection for the victims of the recent horrible fire in Cambridge that left 137 people homeless.
“In this holy season of Christmas,” he stated, “let us honor our Lord by helping those now left homeless by tragedy.” The group also received congratulatory letters from Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan, Republic of Armenia Minister of Culture Armen Amiryan, Republic of Armenia Minister of the Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, and President of Armenia’s Composers’ Union Aram Satian.
As a special treat for the opening portion of the musical program, Harvard University’s The Callbacks a cappella group, featuring Lena and Alex Afeyan, magnificently performed a series of Christmas Carols.