March 22, 2012 | Press Releases

AGBU Debuts Musical Armenia Program for Diasporan Youth This Summer

The world’s largest Armenian nonprofit organization has announced the launch of a new cultural summer youth initiative, Musical Armenia. Diasporan Armenian musicians are invited to explore the melodies of their rich cultural heritage through this music education program in Yerevan. The program’s inaugural season will begin in July 14, 2012 and continue for three weeks until August 4.

Musical Armenia will welcome all eligible youth 18 years or older, who have  basic musical knowledge, have pursued certain courses of study involving musical instruments or voice training, and wish to have a new experience in the homeland. Special classes will be held in accordance with musical trends and the level of knowledge and preferences of the participants.

“Art is an essential part of our culture,” says AGBU Central Board member Vasken Yacoubian, who spearheaded the new addition to AGBU’s extensive youth programs in Armenia. “And Armenian music is a big part of that cultural heritage that we must keep alive in the youth of today. By exposing young Armenians to the rhythms, sounds and diversity of our musical life, we can ensure that the Armenian spirit stays alive everywhere.”

Musical Armenia is geared toward diasporan who play musical instruments (piano, violin, cello, duduk, guitar, etc.) and have some experience in singing. Eligible youth will have the opportunity to enrich their musical knowledge and performing artistry by attending master classes in their area of expertise. Courses will be offered in classical, contemporary (jazz, pop, etc.), national (popular, minstrel), and spiritual music. In addition, they will attend specialized lectures on the music and performances of Gomidas, as well as Armenian contemporary, jazz, popular, minstrel, and spiritual music, taught by well-known Armenian musicians, musicologists, and experts.

The classes and lectures will be conducted by well-known native Armenian musicians, musicologists and experts, including Anna Mayilian (spiritual music), Tovmas Poghosian (minstrel song art), Armen Tutunchian (jazz music), Gagik Kinosian (folk dance), Anna Arevshatian (contemporary music), Mher Navoyian (spiritual and medieval music), Gevorg Tappaghian (dudukist), Hakob Djaghatspanian (guitar), Lucine Grigorian (piano), Alina Pahlevanian (folk song art), Aram Talalian (cello), Bagrat Vardanian (violin), and Arusiak Sahakian (ethnographer).

Participants will be given the chance to immerse themselves in the musical life of the homeland by attending concerts, engaging in dialogue with professional artists and musicians, and performing with talented peers. While in Armenia, they will live in an AGBU residence and take part in a cultural enrichment program, as well as a variety of social & recreational activities, sightseeing, trips, and excursions.

The fee for participation in the Musical Armenia program is $1,500 USD, which includes visa entrance fee, accommodations, meals, local transportation, lectures & specialized courses, cultural enrichment program, social & recreational activities, sightseeing, trips, and excursions. Participants are responsible for their transportation costs to and from Armenia.

Those who wish to participate in this program must submit applications by May 15. Applications are available here.

The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) is the world’s largest non-profit organization devoted to upholding the Armenian heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs. Each year, AGBU is committed to making a difference in the lives of 500,000 people across Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian diaspora. Since 1906, AGBU has remained true to one overarching goal: to create a foundation for the prosperity of all Armenians.

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