Paros Chamber Choir Performs at a Concert with Yale Alumni Chorus
June 26, 2011.
In summer of 2010, Neeta Helms, President and the owner of Classical Movements/Blue Heart Tours (www.classicalmovements.com) contacted Armen Alaverdyan, Executive Director of Unison NGO and Managing Director of the Paros Chamber Choir. They met at the Unison office. Neeta Helms informed Mr. Alaverdyan that Classical Movements were planning to organize a concert of the Yale Alumni Chorus (YAC) in Yerevan late in June 2011. Helms and Alaverdyan discussed possible ways of cooperation and support from YAC to Unison/Paros.
As a follow-up of the meeting, they kept in touch via email and eventually an idea of the participation of Paros in the concert arouse. The initiative came from YAC and was enthusiastically supported by Paros. The program and format of the joint concert were discussed and approved. Simultaneously, a list of needs of Paros members was submitted to the YAC Outreach Committee (Chair: Toni Liebman).
On June 24, 2011, a press-conference devoted to the concert of the Yale Alumni Chorus was held in Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall. Composer and Pianist Konstantin Orbelian, Conductor Konstantin Orbelian Jr., Eduard Topchyan, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Jeffrey Douma, Conductor and Musical Director of the Yale Alumni Chorus, as well as Armen Alaverdyan were featured at the press-conference. They talked about preparation for the concert, and its significance as a unique cultural event aimed at strengthening the friendship between the American and Armenian nations.
After a dress rehearsal on June 25, Paros members met with Yale Alumni Chorus singers, who had just arrived in Yerevan. Over 150 singers of YAC visited Armenia. Since its foundation in 1997, the Chorus has extensively toured in China, Russia, Great Britain, throughout the U.S. and South America, South Africa, the Netherlands and many other countries. Repertoire of the Chorus expands from Baroque era to the works of contemporary composers.
During the meeting, YAC members made an invaluable donation to Paros disabled singers. The donation included 2 wheelchairs, 15 Roho cushions aimed at prevention of bedsores and 15 back cushions. Also, a cash donation was made towards the costs of the concert costumes for all of the Paros members.
The joint concert took place on June 26 in Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall. Paros (choirmaster: Raffi Mikaelean) opened the second part of the concert with 5 a capella songs: Gutanerg by Komitas, Tsoren em Tsane by Edgar Hovhannisyan, Menavor Mi Tsar by Avet Terteryan, Shorora by Edgar Hovhannisyan, and Usti Kugas by Grigor Syuni. Paros also joined YAC and the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra (APO) for the 3 final songs of the concert conducted by Maestro Jeffrey Douma: Friendship of the People and Song of Yerevan by Aram Khachaturian, and Make Our Garden Grow by Leonard Bernstein. The audience of about 1,300 music lovers gave a cordial welcome to the performance.