6th Annual Choir Association Assembly at St. Mary, Costa Mesa|
The 6th Annual Choir Assembly of the Armenian Church
Western Diocese convened on Saturday, November 7, 2009 at St. Mary Armenian
Church in Costa Mesa, CA. presided by His Eminence Arch. Hovnan Derderian,
Primate and hosted by the church’s Hovsepian Choir. Thirty six delegates and
clergy representing 13 chapters participated.
A delicious breakfast of croissant sandwiches, with orange juice and coffee
was served in the morning. The morning session began with singing of
Armenian and American national hymns and prayers led by the Diocesan
Primate. Fr. Moushegh Tashjian and Mrs. Hilda Sakarya welcomed the guests.
The meeting was chaired by Dn. Allen Jendian. Choir Central Council chair
Dn. Ari Demiral was also present and gave his report. Previous year’s
minutes were read, financial reports presented and new 11-member board was
The following clergy were present: Host Parish Pastor Archpriest Fr.
Moushegh Tashjian, Archpriest Fr. Arshag Khatchadourian (St. James),
Archpriest Fr. Manoug Markarian (St. John, Hollywood), Archpriest Fr. Nareg
Matarian (Diocesan Choir Master), Archpriest Fr. Hovsep Hagopian (La Canada
Parish), and several deacons from different churches.
Two workshops, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon sessions
were conducted mainly of singing church hymns and melodies by Fathers Arshag
and Nareg. The Hovsepian Choir Committee led by Chairman Mrs. Hilda Sakarya
served a delicious eggplant lunch with cheese beoreg, pilaf, hummus and
salad with wine, soda and coffee and assortment of baklavas for dessert. A
group picture was taken both in the sanctuary and outside in front of the
bell tower. The afternoon session continued until 3:00 p.m. Everyone
departed to their respective
and houses expressing thanks and
appreciation for a very warm welcome and generous hospitality to Archpriest
Fr. Moushegh Tashjian and Hovsepian Choir members.
We thank Hovsepian Choir members Mrs. Hilda Sakarya, Dn. Rupen Ozsogomonian,
Mrs. Lidia Tepelian, Mr. & Mrs. Baruyr & Hasmig Mirijanian, Hrant Rakijian,
Makruhi Cilingirian, Haig & Hermine Tashjian for their donation of foods and
beverages and participation and organizing a very well hospitality for our
Next year the Choir Assembly will be held at St. Gregory Armenian Church in
Fowler, in conjunction of their parish’s 100th Anniversary.
St. Mary Armenian Church was the selected location for
the “Zaratzi“ Compatriot Organization for their annual “ Hokehankist “ (
Requiem ) service for this year, for their ancestors who have fallen victim
of 1915 Genocide. Zaratzi Organization have been formed 7 years ago by
around 100 families , who have moved from Istanbul to Southern California
whose Roots goes back to Zara, a small town near Sivas, Turkey.
Primary purpose of the Zaratzi is to maintain the special bond among the
families which were established by their survivor parents and grandparents
after the Genocide. In addition to usual activities of the compatriot
Organizations, including extending financial support to various Armenian
Charity Organizations, they organize Annual Requiem services to remember
On Sunday November 1 2009 Zaratzi families gathered at St. Mary for the
Requiem service.During his Sermon, Church Pastor Rev. Fr. Moushegh Tashjian
emphasized on the importance of the remembrances of the Parents and
ancestors, and expressed his appreciation to Zaratzi families for their
exemplary action of establishing the Organization and for their annual
remembrance tradition. Following the very emotional requiem service with all
the worshipers present in the Church sanctuary holding candles, Zaratzi
families moved to the Church Hall for the “Hokejash “ ( Lucheon for the soul
of their ancestors). Past Chairman Ovagim Ashikyan , who had taken charge of
the event, was supervising and going over every small detail to assure the
perfection of the entire event.
Sebuh Madoyan , Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zaratzi Organization,
offered welcoming remarks thanking all members for their presence and
participation at the Organization’s activities. He presented detailed
information about the activities during the past year. He then called to
First Chairman and Present Honorary Chairman of the Organization Antranik
Zorayan for his remarks. Mr. Zorayan thanked and congratulated the members
present for their continuous support .He pointed out the wide range of
recognitional success of the Zaratzi by the Armenian community. He also
emphasized on the necessity of remembering ancestors, who have fallen victim
of Genocide, with Requiem service in a Church because they don’t even have a
grave that we could visit and take a bunch of flowers to .He suggested that
Zaratzis should consider having next year’s Requiem service at the Mother
Cathedral, which will be completed by September of 2010.
In his financial report Treasurer Garbis Zorian indicated all the financial
supports given to the Organizations which includes, United Armenian Fund ,
Mother Cathedral Fund, Hrant Dink School in France and Bolsahay Building
Fund. Following a solemn music by the Sarkis Bukujian Quartet, the event was
concluded with the Benediction by Rev. Fr. Moushegh Tashjian.
Zvartnots Choir and
Dance Ensemble held a Recital for the parents on Sunday October 23rd|
For a brief unforgettable hour, Saint Mary Armenian Church
was transformed into the Armenian Performing Arts Center on Sunday, October
23rd, 2009. With great anticipation, Zvartnots Choir and Dance Ensemble
performed magnificently as their family, friends and churchgoers watched.
Mothers and grandmothers, filled with tearful eyes, listened to the soft
voices singing “Hay Vortik” and other Armenian songs and Church Hymns.
Fathers and grandfathers, sitting tall and proud, watched the graceful moves
across the dance floor of their offspring dressed in traditional Armenian
It wasn’t easy for Zvartnots dance director and choreographer Maria Barin to
keep her tears back since this was her last directorship performance. After
voluntarily teaching and sharing her knowledge with dozens of Armenian youth
over the last decade, Maria is taking a much needed break. Her dedication to
Zvartnots over the years is unsurpassed by anyone. She will continue to be
involved as a Zvartnots Committee member.
Deacon and Choir
Director Roupen Ozsogomonian was proud of his labor of love. “Hay Vortik Vor
Gabrik Took Herou” and “Sourp Asdvaz” was just two of the many songs that
echoed throughout the church hall.
Since its establishment in
1997, Zvartnots has been home away from home to over 150 students over the years.
With the support of Rev. Fr. Moushegh Tashjian and St. Mary Parish Council,
Zvartnots has flourished over the years and continues to grow and evolve
with the changing times. As a new Zvartnots chapter begins in November 2009
with a new dance instructor, the Zvartnots youth is more excited than ever.
They look forward to not only expanding their knowledge of Armenian dance
with the help of the new dance teacher, but also growing and fostering
friendships with many of the new Zvartnots students that have recently
joined the group and will call Zvartnots home for years to come.
Click here to see pictures from this event. For more information or to
sign up, please see the Zvartnots Flyer
St. Mary Armenian Church Food Festival
was a Great Success|
Mary Armenian Church of Costa Mesa held its first annual
on Sunday, October 11, 2009 on the Church Grounds in Costa Mesa.
Hundreds of Armenians attended the festivities and enjoyed music and
entertainment by the Tom Bozigian Band, folk dancing and choir performances
Zvatnots Youth Choir and Dance Ensemble,
Saint Mary parking lot was magically transformed into a
beautiful festival grounds with bright white tents and tables and chairs
were set up for the attendees' comfort. Admittance was free and fresh
Armenian Food was available which included homemade Sarma Dolma, Lahmajun,
cheese boregh, sish kebob, chicken kabob lokma and baklava. Attendees
enjoyed themselves while socializing and dancing to Armenian Folk Music.
There was plenty of entertainment for kids as well. There
were several booths with kids games and a bouncy house was set to to keep
the little ones happy. Popcorn and ice cream was served. A face painting
both kept the young and the young at heart entertained.
Mommy & Me parents supervised the games and the bouncy house and made
popcorn for the little ones.
Several vendor and organization booths were set up to
satisfy the festival attendees shopping needs. AGBU Saturday School, St.
Mary Sunday School and Zvartnots Youth and Dance Ensemble all had
personnel on site to accept applications for youth who would like to learn
the Armenian Language, Armenian Religion or Armenian Folk Dancing , Songs
and Hymns A 50/50 raffle was carried out throughout the day to give
the guests a chance to try their luck and win some cash.
All Saint Mary Organizations contributed and worked hand in hand to make
this day possible.
New Zvartnots Dance Teacher was a Smash Hit|
With great anticipation and success, Zvartnots held its
first dance lesson under the leadership of Mr. Alex Khachaturian and his wife Shushan on Friday, November 6th. In two separate halls, nearly 30 boys and girls, ranging in ages 4 to 14, participated and took advantage of this amazing opportunity while others were learning Armenian songs and hymns in the church. Many parents had already submitted membership
applications for their children before the start of first class. Some parents had a lets wait and see attitude wanting to observe class before signing up. However, they did not wait long. Before going home that evening, their membership applications were turned in and dues were paid. Zvartnots expects many more new students to join next week and in the weeks and months to come as the word spreads and families discover what a gem they have in
Orange County for the Armenian children and youth with Alex Kachaturain and Shushan. For signup information please see
Zvartnots Choir and Dance Ensemble Flyer.