Garo Nichanian

Tribute Concert in Providence Honors Garo Nichanian


By Shirley Ventrone

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — On Saturday, June 16, the Cultural Committee of Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church, presented a concert honoring Garo Nichanian. Lisa Zaroogian was the mistress of ceremonies for the evening.


Nichanian is an accomplished bass-baritone who has been singing for more than 40 years. He engaged the audience and drew them into his performance. Due to his endeavors to bring Armenian music to Canada, Nichanian was considered the cultural bridge between Canada and Armenia. In 1998, Nichanian received the St. Nerses Shenorhali Medal from Catholicos, Karekin I, the supreme patriarch of all Armenians. At the end of the evening Nichanian thanked everyone who has inspired and encouraged him. One of those people is composer and conductor Konstantin Petrossian.

Janette Khalarian has received many accolades for her performances in the United States and in Yerevan. Khalarian’s CD, “Noritz Kez Hed,” was nominated in the Best Pop Retro category at the Armenian Music Awards. She sang both with Nichanian as well as the Nazeli Dance Group.

Very Rev. Shnork Souin with all the performers

David Griego performed Four Songs by Komitas. The lilting melodies were so beautiful. Although the melodies were familiar and lovely in their own right, they seemed to be enhanced by the flute. Griego also teaches flute in the Arts Education Program.

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The Nazeli Dance Group with choreographer Narine Lemme, has evolved into a very impressive troupe. There were even several costume changes. The young ladies exhibited a great deal of poise and professionalism in their performance. These young ladies worked together as a well-balanced comprehensive unit. They are committed to many rehearsals with arduous repetitions in order to get the results they have achieved. The dance group is a credit to all involved, including the parents, for making it happen.

Mari Panosian provided piano accompaniment for the evening. She seems to have a certain sense about whom she is accompanying, and she is right in step providing the proper cues.

The program concluded with Nichanian singing Petrossian’s Hayastan.

Very Rev. Shnork Souin gave the closing remarks for the evening. He also related a personal story about Canada. He recalled meeting with Garo Nichanian’s father, the Rev. Housig Nichanian, who told Souin that he thought that one day he would become a priest.

Due to the fact that this was a celebratory event, the cultural committee members went all out to make it special. There were two kinds of wine and of course coffee. There was an inordinate amount of specialty foods prepared by members.





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