On Dec. 7, 2012, the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich., sponsored a musical concert titled “Hye Harmony: Creating Dreams for Armenian Children.” The event was part of the museum’s ongoing cultural series known as Global Fridays, and was unique in that half of the ticket proceeds benefited the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) and its program assisting the children of Nagorno-Karabagh.
The Hye Harmony concert featured Detroit’s Ara Topouzian, a 2012 Kresge Artist Fellow, on kanun; Sean Blackman on guitar; and from New York, the vocal talents of Hooshere Bezdikian. These three artists were accompanied by Mark Gavoor on oud and Michael Shimmin on percussion. The musical program consisted of Armenian folk vocal and instrumental music along with several original compositions. This sold-out concert was held on a significant date for the Armenians, as on Dec. 7, 1988, the devastating earthquake in Armenia killed and displaced thousands, including many children.
“The museum asked for an Armenian charity we would be interested in donating to, and in my mind there was no doubt that the ARS should be the recipient for these funds. The work they have done I have witnessed first hand through my father [Armenian Topouzian] and his efforts in helping the children of Armenia,” said Ara Topouzian.
Over $1,000 were donated on behalf of the Arab American National Museum to the ARS. To see portions of the concert, visit http://youtu.be/LOnYCceewfw.