PROVIDENCE, R.I. (A.W.)—The Armenian Cultural Association of America (ACAA) Rhode Island chapter, under the auspices of the Providence Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Kristapor gomideh, recently hosted “A Celebration Concert to Honor the 100th Anniversary of the First Republic of Armenia.” The concert, which was free and open to the public, was held on Monday, May 28, at the Cathedral of Saints Peter in Paul in Providence, R.I.
A crowd of 400 people gathered to pay homage to the momentous occasion. The selection of patriotic and revolutionary songs, all performed under the direction of Maestro Konstantin Petrossian, honored those that fought for Armenia’s independence and shone a light on the resiliency of the Armenian people during such a dark time in the nation’s history.
Petrossian, accompanied by pianist Maro Panosian, led the orchestra and the Armenian Chorales of Rhode Island and Greater Worcester. Famed soloist, Yerevan-born Babin Boghosian, thrilled the crowd with appearances in “Azg Parapantz” and “Kenats Yerg.” The Bostonians, a repertory vocal quartet, provided their superb singing to songs such as “Hayrenikis Het” and “Cilicia.” The concert ended with all performers and members of the chorales and orchestra performing “Ayrounot Drosh” to an excited and participatory audience that rose to their feet through the entire conclusion of the concert.
The program included national anthems of the United States and the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh, with flags presented by Providence Homenetmen Scouts. Remarks were provided by Levon Attarian, co-chair of the Centennial Committee, and Hagop Khatchadourian, member of the Centennial Committee and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sts. Vartanantz Church.
Attarian tied the past with the present and stated: “The month of May has come to symbolize a month of victory for the Armenian people,” referencing the first independence of Armenia and the liberation of Shushi. He went on to say, “The work is not done. We need to be the next generation of heroes. It is our dream to one day stand here and celebrate a new May 28th, which will be the international recognition of Artsakh and the return of the occupied territory of Western Armenia—the day Mount Ararat finally comes back home where it belongs.”
Khatchadourian highlighted the independence and the role of those who created it. “The Armenian people remain faithful to the sacred testament of our past and present heroes who have created the homeland’s independence… The strengthening of the statehood of Armenia and Artsakh and the strengthening of its independence are the basis of our national claim and guarantee a bright future of our nation,” he said. Khatchadourian also mentioned that it is necessary to remain faithful to the independence of the homeland created by blood and sweat and to defend it at all costs.
In his remarks, Unger Hagop Donoyan, Chairman of the ARF Providence Kristapor gomideh, said: “For months the gomideh and the Centennial Committee have been working hard in order for the community to celebrate our 100th anniversary and to raise both awareness and funds to help our brothers and sisters in Artsakh.” He went on to say that the gomideh is ready at all times to support Artsakh in any way that it can.
Master of Ceremonies, Hrag Arakelian, expressed gratitude to all those that supported the concert, either by attending the event or by providing a monetary donation. Arakelian noted that in attendance were clergy from the three Rhode Island Armenian churches, the Armenian churches of the Greater Worcester area, long-time supporter of Armenian issues U.S. Congressman David Cicilline, and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza. Representatives from all of the Armenian organizations in Rhode Island were also present.
As the event was dedicated to Armenian soldiers both past and present, who have and continue to sacrifice their lives to defend Armenia’s borders, all net proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Armenian Relief Society’s (ARS) Central Executive Board’s Wounded and Disabled Soldiers Initiative. This worthwhile project assists the needs of Yerevan Hospital #1, which offers medical services to disabled veterans that risked their lives to defend Armenia and Artsakh.
The concert committee expressed its gratitude to all donors who have generously supported this event and to the Armenian community of Rhode Island. The committee also thanked Maestro Konstantin Petrossian, the symphony orchestra, and the Armenian Chorales of Rhode Island and Greater Worcester who have been preparing themselves for months for the centennial event.
Voice of America provided news coverage of the concert, which was seen across the globe, including Armenia. To view the clip visit: https://www.amerikayidzayn.com/a/4414189.html
Net proceeds from the event have surpassed $6,500.00. Donations will continue to be collected either online or by check until June 30.
To show your support and make a donation to the Wounded and Disabled Soldiers Initiative, please mail a check to ACA-RI, 7 Armenia Street, Providence, R.I. 02909. You may also visit our Facebook page: Armenian Cultural Association of America – Rhode Island or 100th Anniversary of the First Republic of Armenia to donate and watch the recording of the concert in full.