Crosby Goshgarian leads the Canton Adult Chorus with accompaniment by Nune Hakobyan. (Photo courtesy of Crosby Goshgarian)

New Canton Adult Chorus launches at the Senior Center

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By Mary Ann Price

CANTON, Mass. (Canton Citizen) — The Canton Department of Elder and Human Services (DEHS) has added to its many program offerings at the Senior Center with the creation of the new Canton Adult Chorus. The director of the chorus, Crosby Goshgarian, led the group in a welcome session and first practice, accompanied by Nune Hakobyan, last Friday afternoon, April 5.

Goshgarian is the president and owner of Premium Plus Concierge Services in Canton and a passionate music lover. Music is his avocation and has long been a part of his life.

In high school Goshgarian played the clarinet and alto saxophone. He went on to join the Armenian Church choir, ultimately becoming its chairman. During his experience with the choir, he found out that he was a true bass singer. The church sent him to the Boston Conservatory; in return he served the church every Sunday in whatever capacity was needed.

“Basically, that was a great foundation for me,” he said of the many things he learned.

Goshgarian has a degree in business management from the University of Massachusetts and minored in music through the Boston Conservatory. He has completed additional studies through continuing education at the New England Conservatory.

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His parents were very supportive of his musical pursuits, and after he graduated from UMass, he started singing at a Protestant church in Melrose. He started his long business career, but always continued with music. “It never leaves you and it’s just such a wonderful outlet,” he said. He is also an ordained deacon and can serve on the altar of Christian churches.

Goshgarian is the founder and artistic director of the Canton Choral Society, and when he approached DEHS Director Diane Tynan about holding CCS rehearsals at the Senior Center, they began to discuss the idea for an adult chorus. “She was very interested in creating something new for the residents of Canton and surrounding towns in the area of music,” Goshgarian said.

During that conversation, Tynan mentioned that the piano at the Senior Center was in very poor condition. Goshgarian offered to look for a good used piano to replace the one at the center. He looked online and came across a woman in Cambridge who was moving to a smaller space that would not accommodate her piano, an upright made by Boston manufacturer Chickering.

Hakobyan visited the woman and played the piano, realizing it was a good fit for the Senior Center. Goshgarian not only negotiated a good price for the piano; he also negotiated with the woman’s moving company, requesting that the piano be the first item loaded on to the moving truck on the day of the move. The truck went to the woman’s new residence to unload her furniture and then came to Canton to deliver the piano to the Senior Center.

Hakobyan, who is originally from Armenia, is both an accompanist and a concert pianist who has worked with Goshgarian for many years. She studied at the world-renowned Komitas Conservatory and is also the organist at the Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston in Cambridge.

“We welcome everyone to come and enjoy and do some singing and do some listening,” Goshgarian said of those who are interested in the Canton Adult Chorus. He added that the chorus is open to those who appreciate music and is not limited to seniors.

He is planning to meet with the chorus at least once a month.

“It’s just something to bring people together through music,” Goshgarian said, “which in my opinion is one of the most wondrous therapies in the whole world.”

Those who participate in the Canton Adult Chorus will learn melodies and how to harmonize, as well as basic music theory, including tempo and beats.

Goshgarian is planning for a group of people who will bring all kinds of singing experiences to the chorus, and he intends to use a variety of pieces that are familiar and very singable, including Dona Nobis Pacem, patriotic songs such as America the Beautiful, and choral pieces like Let There Be Peace on Earth. He has plenty of music from his choral library to use for the new chorus.

“I’m starting somewhat basic so that people can come and enjoy, get used to it, and then we’ll go from there,” he said.

Goshgarian said that people who join the chorus will experience a very beautiful and natural therapy through singing, especially beneficial for anyone with a physical ailment or with something on their mind. “When they come and start singing, it seems to put them in a wonderful place emotionally and psychologically, which is indeed very therapeutic,” he said.

The chorus will give people a chance to enjoy music, have fun, rediscover music that they have always loved from the past, make new friends, and find inward gratification.

“My mission is to bring people together through music,” Goshgarian said. “If you can speak, you can sing!”

 

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