AGBU Musical Armenia Program (MAP), the newest of AGBU’s summer youth programs, celebrated its third birthday this summer.

The third season of the program brought 12 talented Diaspora-Armenian musicians from the USA, Canada, Cyprus, Great Britain, Syria, Russia and Uruguay. The three-week program included individual master classes given by the most renowned professionals, lectures by well-known professors, various cultural events and sightseeing. At the end of the program participants also performed during their own Gala Concert. Since its establishment, the Musical Armenia Program has hosted 30 talented Diaspora-Armenians some of whom have stayed on after the program or have returned to live and work in the Homeland. The 3rd Musical Armenia Program took place between July 14-August 4. This year’s participants played the violin, viola, kanon, flute, guitar, piano and vocals. Joint classes and individual master classes were given by such renowned artists as Armen Tutunjyan, Hakob Jaghatspanyan, Lilit Pipoyan, Tsovinar Hovhannisyan, Mher Navoyan, Bagrat Vardanyan, Alexander Kosem-yan, Arthur Shahnazaryan, Tovmas Poghosyan, Lusine Grigoryan, Arusyak Sahakyan, Aram Hovhannisyan, Arman Abrahamyan and Hayk Arsenyan. “This program is a real discovery. I have working with AGBU as part of this program for three years and have had the opportunity to meet many talented Armenian musicians. Some of them really need help and guidance, others are already established musicians, yet they participate in order to get that truly unique experience of learning Armenian music in Armenia. I am glad to be a part of this wonderful program. Culture is the best way to connect Diaspora-Armenian youth and the Homeland, as there is so much love in culture. Only art can bring people together and I truly get attached to each and every one of my students” said violinist Bagrat Vardanyan, pro-fessor at Yerevan State Conservatory. For three continuing weeks, participants of the program became a part of the cultural landscape of the Homeland. They attended concerts, met renowned musicians and artists, performed with their talented peers, participated in various events and went sightseeing. Program participants study in various conservatories and musical institutions around the world; however the best place to learn Armenian music is naturally Armenia. The participants also had the opportunity to be present at the rehearsals of the “Sayat Nova” Ashough (troubadour) song ensemble, headed by Tovmas Poghosyan, which made an unforgettable impression on the Diaspora-Armenian youth. Most had never heard a live performance of the kamancha, tar and saz (traditional Armenian instruments). Among the most memorable events were the musical evening with Ruben Hakhverdyan, whom they met after the performance. “I was very glad to learn about AGBU’s Musical Armenia Program. I applied and was admitted to it. I have been playing the guitar for 12 years and for the last ten days I’ve been taking classes with Hakob Jaghatspanyan. I learn a lot of new things, find out details, and correct my mistakes. I am extremely happy that I have been offered such an opportunity by AGBU. This program will surely help us build our future musical careers”,said 18 years old Sako Dermenjian from Syria, the youngest of this year’s MAP participants. At the end of the three-week program, a Gala Concert with the participation of MAP students took place at the concert hall of the Narekatsi Art Institute on August 2. The program included works by Komitas, Sayat-Nova, Romanos Melikyan, Arno Babajanian, Armen Tigranyan, Stepan Jrbashyan, Albenis and Mozart. Following the concert, Vasken Yacoubian, AGBU Central Board Member and the initiator of MAP handed out certificates to each participant. In his speech, Mr. Yacoubian thanked all the professors who spared neither effort nor expense to make these three weeks memorable for MAP students. “Musical Armenia Program” joined AGBU’s Diaspora youth programs in 2012. This annual program is open for students aged 18 and above, who play any musical instrument or have vocal abilities, with primary musical education and who desire to gain new experience and knowledge in the Homeland. It is coordinated in Armenia by AGBU Special Projects Coordinator Inessa Margaryan.





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