Catholic Church Establishes Chamber Orchestra

GLENDALE–The Armenian community of Glendale was granted two significant Armenian spiritual institutions recently–the first being the newly completed St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Catholic Church on Mountain Street. The second one–however less aesthetically pleasing but as much spiritual–is the newly founded St. Gregory the Illuminator Chamber Orchestra–which played its debut concert on October 14–in the church. The Orchestra–which features 15 string instrumen’s–will play throughout the season–ending May 16 and will play the works predominantly of Armenian and other classical composers.

The Orchestra–which primarily consists of musicians who have immigrated from Armenia–was a long-time dream of Fr. Rafael Minassian. All the musicians in the Orchestra–lead by Musical Director Sahak Karapetian–have a solid musical background–which they are eager to use to serenade the community to the best of their ability. However–the 15-member Orchestra features some foreign musicians–on viola and double bass–who complete the Orchestra and enable it to play pure chamber music.

The October 14 concert was conducted by Mikael Avetissian–who has previously lead the Symphony Orchestra of Armenia. The concert opened with short prologue by Fr. Rafael Minassian in remembrance of September 11 victims–which was followed by the Father’s unique performance of Hair Mer–accompanied by Sahak Karapetian. The concert also featured performances by famous community artists Rima Karapetian (soprano) and Rasmik Mansurian (baritone).

The Orchestra played several compositions of prominent composers including Bizet and Stratella as well as Gomidas–Ghazarian and Spendiarian.

Inferring from the audience’s reception–the humble and courageous undertaking of October 14 was a true success and at some point can be considered as the second musical blessing of the St. Gregory the Illuminator Catholic Church.

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