8-year-old Elen is counting on her fingers the number of concerts she has performed in while studying at the Argavand Music School named after Maestro Arsen Sayan. “One, two, three, hmmm…, four…, yes four,” she chuckles, looking at her mom who has come to watch and record her daughter’s annual concert. Elen plays the piano and also sings.

Narine shares, “I am from Bangladesh [a nearby district, about two miles away]. We have three music schools nearby. However, I make the trip here so that my daughter can learn in an atmosphere of real comfort, and with expert teachers who are first and foremost good psychologists,” says Narine Avagyan.

In 2014, FAR renovated the Argavand Music school – which serves as the sole music center for at least five villages. Since then, the number of the children attending the music school has almost doubled – from 50 to about 100.

“A couple of years ago, we had a five-room music school,” says founding teacher Margarita Davtyan, who has taught at the school for 30 years. “No hall to perform concerts, very few musical instruments, and a lack of students.” She proudly shows her own studio with where she gives piano classes. Margarita also shares a photo album holding photos of her numerous students over the years – “Both old and new generations,” she says, “who are more than empowered to reach their potential – especially now when they have a nurturing environment… The renovation provided us with an opportunity to develop new talents, have a full-scale repertoire, and hold concerts for the public.”

The music school’s recent annual concert was a hit with the public – the entire hall was packed with parents, guests, and the community’s representatives. The children performed classical and folk music, impressing the audience with their talent of playing different musical instruments, and were awarded with medals and certificates.

The same positive and creative outburst was found in the renovated cultural center of the Harold and Josephine Gulamerian Youth Center located in Ashtarak.

On June 26, the students of Gulamerian Youth Center prepared a truly inspiring annual concert to showcase their hard work from the 2016-17 academic year. Each piece was enthusiastically received with fiery applause from the captivated audience.

Among the honorary guests attending the concert were his Grace Bishop Vardan Navasradyan, Director of the Christian Education Center in the Mother See Of Holy Etchmiadzin, representatives of the spiritual classes, as well as public and cultural figures.

During the welcome speech, both the Center Principal Karine Gevorgyan, and his Grace Bishop Vardan Navasradyan highlighted the importance of the cultural and spiritual education of the children attending Youth Center. They also expressed their gratitude to Michael and Marie Haratunians who, through the Gulamerian fund, have contributed to the promotion and strengthening of the national values of the center, thus also increasing students’ enrollment.

It’s been more than a decade that the FAR Gulamerian Fund has been providing financial assistance for the betterment of the Harold and Josephine Gulamerian Youth Center. The Fund has created excellent learning conditions, allowing children to discover new experiences every day, via various clubs and activities in the center.

As a part of its core mission, FAR has committed to renovate education centers and schools located in Yerevan and in the regions, such as the Argavand Music School and the Gulamerian Youth Center, to empower youth through the establishment of relevant resources and institutions.