After the celebrated AGBU LA Choir ended a successful year with a dazzling “Tis the Season’ holiday variety show this past December, it promptly rang in the New Year with an open invitation to Armenian youth to join the newly formed AGBU LA Junior Choir—a natural extension of the adult choir.
This winter, musically inclined youth, ages 7 to 17, have a special opportunity to explore and cultivate their vocal abilities in a safe and nurturing environment, under the leadership LA Choir Maestro Gayane Baghdasaryan.
With her 30 years of dedicated training and expertise conducting various choirs, Baghdasaryan has a clear vision for inspiring a new generation of choral singers. “On the heels of our Christmas performance, we couldn’t be more excited to share our passion for artistic excellence with our youth. Choirs are not only an excellent way to develop vocal skills but also to make new friends and forge strong bonds. In many ways, a choir is like sports—each singer is a member of a team. We want our participants to learn the value of teamwork and experience interpersonal harmony as well as musical harmony.”
Each 90-minute class meets on Thursdays at 5 pm at the AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Cultural Center in Pasadena, CA. The first 45 minutes focuses on vocal technique, wherein students learn the proper use of their vocal cords, breath control and voice projection. “Vocal techniques are essential,” stated Baghdasaryan. “Contrary to popular belief, anyone can learn to sing, given the proper instruction, guidance, and training.”
The second 45-minute session is devoted to choir practice. Participants transfer their vocal training skills and apply them as a group. Early in the program, the Maestro will determine each student’s pitch: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, or Bass. In addition, the students practice the art of listening to others, which makes them more sensitive to harmonizing, learning songs as an ensemble, and observing differentiations in pitch.
To that end, the robust program will culminate in a live on-stage performance to showcase the LA Junior Choir’s progress over time. During the year, the junior and adult choirs will organize other concerts for the community, each one thoughtfully produced to spotlight the artists.
LA Choir Chair Garine Seuylemezian further emphasized the added value of the program for Armenian youth. “It’s an experience that can go a long way to appreciate choral music while building life skills such as the discipline of practice, the value of teamwork, and the power of stage presence.”
“For any young Armenian who attended the LA Choir holiday concert this past December and became enchanted by the magic of this inspiring musical genre, now is the time to discover their own ‘inner performer,” noted AGBU Western Region Director Gohar Stambolyan.
Early registration before January 19, 2023 is $100 per child for the first month of enrollment. Thereafter, the cost of weekly classes are $120 per month. To register, go to agbu.org/la-junior-choir-register.