A Thrilling Performance by Huyser Ensemble on the Diocesan Plaza


NEW YORK — A rocking concert under a starlit sky wowed a sell-out crowd of more than 200 on Diocesan Plaza on Thursday, September 7. The Huyser Music Ensemble of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral brought the audience to their feet cheering and clapping several times with their songs of love, desire and nationalism sung in Armenian, and performed by a band of six professional musicians and singers.

More than an hour before the start of the open-air concert, people had already lined up outside the Plaza anxiously waiting to grab their seats. The event was organized and hosted by St. Vartan Cathedral and Cathedral Dean Very Rev. Mamigon Kiledjian. It was titled “Our Mission, Creating the New while Preserving the Old.”

Even before the performers took to the outside steps of the Cathedral which were dramatically lighted by flares, and dancing colored configurations on the Cathedral entrance, some attendees could be heard humming and singing a few of the well-known Huyser favorites. Many were also seen greeting each other since they apparently had enjoyed other Huyser concerts in the Tri-state area.

With the excitement mounting, deafening applause and cheering greeted the performers with each number. One of the first folk songs, a joyous rendition of Tamzara, featuring the whole troupe, inspired several in the audience to spontaneously jump up and dance, with the audience loudly clapping. This was repeated again and again with other songs.

Two romantic numbers had the audience dreamily singing along. Chooni Ashkharuh Kezi Nman (None Like you in the World) by Razmik Amyan, was sung with heartfelt emotion by Maria Barsoumian, who also shared with great passion the deeply moving Haverj Ser (Eternal Love) by Georges Garvarentz and Charles Aznavour.

The feelings of romance continued with Diran Jebejian singing with great sensitivity the poignant Siro Yerk (Song of Love) by Arno Babajanyan and Vahan Haroutiunian, as well as the well-known lyrical folk song Sari Aghchig (Mountain Girl).

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A standout also was Life and War written and presented by Harout Barsoumian for his musical degree at the State Music Conservatory of Aleppo, and included several dynamic presentations, including placing the guitar behind his head at one point, and playing without missing a note. Joining him in this performance, which resulted in oohs and aahs from the audience, were Maria Barsoumian and Diana Vasilyan.

They are singular musicians in their own right, and for this concert included musical director Karine Barsoumian, artistic director, and lead vocalist Harout Barsoumian, vocalist and pianist Maria Barsoumian, vocalist and percussionist Diran Jebejian, guitarist and vocalist Ara Yegoryan, violinist Diana Vasilyan, and guest performer on the trumpet Michael Sarian who offered several rocking jazz solos.

By the conclusion of the performance, the enthusiasm of the audience had already reached fever pitch. Spontaneously they stood and cheered as the Ensemble passionately sang A Toast to Our Heroes, dedicated to all the courageous Armenian soldiers in Artsakh, Armenia and those fighting all over the world. With thunderous clapping by the crowd, the ensemble again repeated this powerful song, bring to a close a concert that long will be remembered.

Dignitaries attending included Diocesan Vicar General the Very Rev. Simeon Odabashian, St. Illuminator Armenian Cathedral pastor Rev. Mesrob Lakissian, and Armenia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Zohrab Mnatsakanyan. Present for this occasion were members of several church, and social Armenian organizations, along with a large number of Huyser devotees.

The performers of Huyser which was created in October 2010, have graced other stages, including those of the Tony Bennett Concert Hall in 2013, and the Florence Gould Hall in 2012, and the Tony Bennett Concert Hall in 2013, where an audience of 500 heard them perform “The Sound of Freedom – A celebration of Independence”, in tribute to the 95thanniversary of the First Armenian Republic, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Artsakh Liberation Movement.


Topics: New York
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