Ms. Edna Galo (second from left) visited the Octet Music School for the first time during the summer of 2014.

FAR is pleased to announce the start of the new “Galoust Galo Educational Fund”, which will exclusively support Gyumri’s Octet School of Music. The fund is made possible through the support of Ms. Edna Galo of New York.

It was in 2006 that Edna first heard about the Octet School where more than 200 young and talented musicians pursued their studies in classical and folk music despite sub-par housing conditions until massive renovations were completed in 2013 through the support of the Mardigian Family Foundation. A passionate lover of music, Edna soon became a dedicated supporter of Octet.

“I was brought up in a family where music was highly appreciated. My Father, Galoust Galo, studied the violin when we lived in Iran. So, when I first visited the Octet School back in 2014 encouraged by my dear friends Raffy and Shoghag Hovanessian, and witnessed [for] myself these amazing talents performing world class music in such desperate physical conditions something clicked in me and I decided that I will have to do something for the school,” she said.

That marked the beginning of a closer relationship between Edna and Octet, which culminated in the establishment of the Galoust Galo Educational Fund upon her return home to the U.S. The Fund will continuously provide support to the Octet Music School while contributing to Edna’s dream of giving Gyumri’s talented youth an opportunity to receive a proper education and shine in the world of music.

The Fund has already started supporting activities. It enabled the purchase of new chairs for the school’s outdoor performance area, as well as covered annual tuition for 50 talented Octet students from low-income families. In 2015, the Fund will cover the purchase of new musical instruments. It will also give students the opportunity to participate in a number of national musical contests and festivals, including the “Veratsnund” (Renaissance) International Music Festival, which is held in Gyumri every year.

“I am a happy man again. After more than 20 years of barely surviving our school is now entering a glorious stage. We have a new building thanks to the Mardigian Foundation, and now we are able to dream really high thanks to the generosity and kindness of Ms. Edna Galo. And of course, all these good things are happening to our kids because of care and support from the Fund for Armenian Relief,” said Principal of the Octet School Harout Asatryan.