‘We Sing Armenian Church Songs’ Children’s Album Released Last Week


Album features seven hymns including Hayr Mer

NEW YORK—Award-winning artist Nvair officially released her latest album, “We Sing Armenian Church Songs (Badarak Hymns for Children)” on Friday, October 18. Her latest compilation is an innovative educational tool, which teaches the hymns of the Armenian Divine Liturgy to the younger generation. Produced by Nvair Kadian Beylerian, creator of the HYEfamily children’s song series, and co-produced by educational consultant Andrea Arpiarian Carden, superintendent of the St. Leon Armenian Sunday School in Fair Lawn, NJ, the album serves to make the Armenian Divine Liturgy more accessible to children and their families. Each song is recorded in both Armenian and English and includes liner notes explaining the significance of each hymn during the church service.

“This album is about bringing our Armenian Church life into our daily lives,” said Beylerian, who has a master’s degree in education and has been involved in “edutainment,” combining both education and entertainment elements for children, since 2001. “It’s a reminder of who we are.”

“We want the kids to feel comfortable in church,” said Carden, who holds a master of arts degree and is a special education specialist in the New Jersey Public School system. “Feeling that connection and experiencing that familiarity gives them a reason to want to be there.”

The album, consisting of seven hymns including Hayr Mer/Our Father, Hamenaynee/In All Things, Soorp Soorp/Holy, Holy, Marmeen Deroonagan/The Body Of The Lord, Kreesdos Ee Mech/Christ In Our Midst, Amen Yegheetsee/Blessed Be and Ohrnetseets Uz Der/I Will Praise The Lord, are sung in both English and Armenian by the HYEfamily Children’s Chorus. The vibrant singers, most of whom are students of the St. Leon Armenian Sunday School, and whose ages range from four to ten years old, include Sophia Ashbahian, Victoria Ashbahian, Alexa Siran Farah, Liana Sarine Farah, Arpineh Halajian, Devan Vartan Regas, and Nickolas Ara Regas.

“These children brought remarkable focus, almost no self-consciousness and a wonderful sense of fun. They’re an example for performers of all ages,” said Joseph Halajian, recording engineer of the album. “The sound they make together is truly uplifting.”

“We Sing Armenian Church Songs” is the product of a 10-year journey Beylerian and Carden embarked on when they began collaborating together to teach primary-grade Sunday School students spiritual, Christian music along with Armenian church hymns. After observing how well the children grasped the hymns and their interest in knowing what the songs meant, Beylerian and Carden decided to dedicate an album solely to Armenian Church hymns so it could be used as a learning tool in Sunday School classrooms and at home, placing a teaching tool directly in the hands of parents and grandparents who can sing along not only in Sunday School but any day of the week.

“Once again Nvair has understood that the continuation of our culture and faith depends upon our youth’s involvement,” said Dinkjian, a renowned musician who arranged “Kreesdos Ee Mech/Christ In Our Midst” and played the guitar, lafta and oud on the track with a solo accompaniment from Nvair. “We Sing presents our Armenian youth singing Armenian sacred music, for the first time in Armenian and English. For my ears, there is very little which is more pure, innocent, and sincere as a child’s voice.

Following the album’s release, Beylerian and Carden are scheduled to make interactive educational presentations to Sunday Schools across the Eastern Diocese as well as to Armenian communities throughout the country. Their first presentation will be held in their home parish during the St. Leon Food & Arts Festival in Fair Lawn, NJ on Sunday, October 19 at 2:00 p.m.

Nvair Kadian Beylerian holds a BA in History and a Master’s degree in Education. She is a third-generation Armenian American who has had the privilege of growing up within a culturally rich, Armenian-speaking household rooted in the active and energetic Armenian-diasporan community of the NYC region. She has been on stage performing Armenian song and dance with her family since childhood. Nvair continues in that vein, performing for children and their families across the country, connecting them to their roots with joy and laughter.

Since 2001, Nvair has released three children’s CDs in Armenian (2Mayrer, Donadzar and Ari Mer Doon). She performs interactive bi-lingual concerts for Armenian and non-Armenian children and their families in the US and Canada. Each CD has been nominated for the Annual Armenian Music Awards in the category of Best Children’s Album in their respective years. Donadzar was awarded a Big Apple Music Award in 2003, in the Best Children’s Album category. For more information and updates, visit hyefamily.com.

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