By Taleen Babayan
NEW YORK — Two lifelong musical members of the New York community who have contributed greatly to the Armenian heritage and culture — Sahan Arzruni and Kris Kalfayan — were honored for their decades of service in a special banquet hosted by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan at the Eastern Diocese in New York City on Friday, May 18.
It was a fitting occasion, fulfilling the theme of “A Legacy of Dedication, Commitment and Service,” to highlight the talents and generosity of both men who have enhanced the rich cultural tradition of sacred and classical music, which was under the auspices of Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern).
For both Arzruni and Kalfayan, their musical and cultural roots were instilled in them in a young age in Istanbul, Turkey, before they emigrated to the US to pursue opportunities, but maintaining the Armenian Church and community as priorities in their lives.
Director of the Diocesan Gomidas Choir for over three decades, Kalfayan attended the Dadyan School as a youngster and his local Armenian Church in Bakirkoy.
“My father would take me to church on Sundays and once he and the choirmaster taught me to read Armenian notation, I started singing along,” said Kalfayan. “The seed was planted without me having a clue.”