Young Musicians Gather for Training at St. Nersess
The Boyajian Youth Choir Directors Program began Tuesday evening at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary with six talented Armenian-American teenagers in attendance.
The program is named in memory of Dr. Socrates Boyajian, composer, musicologist, vioiinist, and long-time organist and choir director of St. Mary Armenian Church in Washington, DC. and an ordained deacon. Dr. Boyajian was active in choir training and in the publication of sacred music books for the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America. He also was a long-time champion of the junior choirs. He died of pancreatic cancer in 2008.
Sponsored by the Sacred Music Council of the Eastern Diocese, the six-day program is directed by Rev. Fr. Hovhan Khoja-Eynatian, Pastor of St. James Armenian Church, Evanston, IL. Fr. Hovhan is a conservatory-trained musician who was a professional music educator until he entered St. Nersess Seminary to prepare for the holy priesthood.
Students of the program, who range from age 11-19, are all musically gifted and have been selected and sponsored by their local church parishes to receive specialized training that will prepare them to become choir directors.
Their daily schedule is intensive, beginning with worship in the Seminary chapel followed a full day of liturgical and musical instruction, Armenian language, and tutoring in choral conducting and the musical interpretation of the hymns of the Divine Liturgy.
Besides Fr. Hovhan, other instructors will include V. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Seminary Dean and Professor of Liturgical Studies; V. Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian, Vicar General; Rev. Fr. Karekin Kasparian, Pastor of St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church, White Plains, NY; Rev. Fr. Gomidas Zohrabian, Pastor of St. George Armenian Church, Hartford, CT; and Maestro Khoren Meikhanedjian, Director of Musical Ministries for the Eastern Diocese and Director of the St. Vartan Cathedral Choir.