MONTROSE, Calif. – On September 9, the Crescenta Valley “Garegin Njdeh” AYF Juniors hosted the annual Juniors Song Competition at the Armenian Sisters Academy in Montrose, CA.
The five chapters in attendance were Montebello “Vahan Cardashian,” Burbank “Gaidzag,” CV “Garegin Njdeh,” Pasadena “Nigol Touman,” and North Valley “Hrayr Maroukhian.”
The judges were Dr. Garineh Avakian Akkus, an assistant professor in music, voice and choral at Pierce College who made her Walt Disney Concert Hall solo debut in 2016. Varand Avanesian, a professional Armenian and Farsi singer who has been in the music industry for 10 years recording, performing, and producing music. And finally, Armen Adamyan who received his undergraduate education in the fields of psychology and music composition and worked on an experimental music performance program with kids at TUMO in Armenia. He is currently working towards a PhD in ethnomusicology from UCLA.
The day started with a short educational about Kedashen, given by the AYF CV “Garegin Njdeh” Juniors, followed with the chapters singing their chapter chosen song, and the mandatory song, “Kedashen.” Each chapter did a remarkable job, including a solo performed by Stella Ghevondyan (12) from the Burbank “Gaidzag” chapter. The judges made a difficult decision deciding the winners and awarded the titles to the AYF Pasadena “Nigol Touman” Juniors for third place, AYF Montebello “Vahan Cardashian” Juniors in second, and AYF CV “Garegin Njdeh” Juniors in first.
While the event was executed by the CV chapter, they wanted to make it unique and different for the first time. For over couple of months, the juniors we’re practicing two patriotic songs directed by Unger Arick Gevorkian and traditional Armenian folk dances taught by Unger Alex Avaneszadeh. Their goal was to have a flash mob at the end of song competition. They successfully surprised all the participants, and many of them joined in the “shurjbar.”
Judge Varand Avanesian said, “Our youth are the future of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Hearing their passionate performances made me proud, and I had tears of joy.”
“The event was a great success, chapters did an amazing job singing the songs, and I am very proud of all of our juniors,” said Hripsik Shatikian, the long-standing AYF Juniors Director for the “Garegin Njdeh” juniors. The CV juniors worked very hard by themselves in the organizing, executing, and hosting this event.”
The AYF CV “Garegin Njdeh” Juniors would like to give special thanks to ARF Zavarian Gomideh for their unconditional support and sponsoring the competition, Unger Arick Gevorkian for his time and artistic input, and Armenian Sisters Academy for opening their school to our juniors.