Last month, a concert at the Ijevan Cultural Palace provided a special treat for the locals. The event celebrated several May holidays important to Armenians: Labor Day (May 1), Victory Day and Shushi Liberation Day (both celebrated on May 9), and the First Republic Day (May 28). More than 30 students from Gyumri’s Octet Music School came together to call for unity and peace through their performances.

“The goal of this concert is to unite the state and the public during these May celebrations. We sing for our people and for our country. We travel many towns and communities to inspire the public with our songs and music,” said the Octet Music School principal Harutyun Asatryan. He added, “In the past, we have had a number of concerts in Ijevan, and the public liked our students and performances. They wanted to host us again to celebrate the May holidays and we accepted the offer with pleasure.”

The varied repertoire of 17 pieces featured classical, folk, and popular music from all over the world, as well as Armenian favorites like “Zeytuntsiner,” “Sardarapat,” “Ktor me Yerking,” “Im Yerevan,” and “Spasum.” Each piece was enthusiastically received with fiery applause from the captivated audience.

Vocalist Tatyana Mikayelyan, 14, is a 7th grader at the music school and can’t imagine her life without music. Backstage, she shared her excitement and her plans for the future. “I am always thrilled to go to music classes. Lessons, books, teachers – these are a part of every student’s life, but for me, one of my fundamental needs is music,” she remarks.

Music is essential for 16-year-old choir member Angelina Yeghoyan, too. The past seven years of her life have been filled with rehearsals and concerts – both in school and on stages throughout Armenia. Today she performed Arno Babajanian’s “Spasum.” She slightly smiled as she confided in us, “I’m not waiting for someone, at least for now, but my song ‘Spasum’ is about someone who loves and waits.”

Two and a half hours flew by as the students dazzled the audience with their virtuosity and musicality. They ended the concert with Pascual Marquina’s famous “Pasodoble – España cañí – an audience favorite.

“I often attend Octet’s concerts, as my daughter sings in the choir,” shared one of the audience members. She was touched by the children’s ability to truly interact and communicate with the audience. “Their concerts aren’t like others where you just sit and passively watch. These children really speak to us through their performance.”

FAR is happy to support a series of Octet Music School’s performances, allowing students to share their gifts with music lovers throughout Armenia.


Click here to view and enjoy a video of the full concert at the Ijevan Cultural Palace.