“Our Light, Our Hope” was the theme of a special musical program, organized by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) and the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America (AEUNA), which took place on Saturday, January 24 at the Majestic Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, CA.
The Concert, performed by the Lark Musical Society Choir and Orchestra of Glendale, CA under the direction of Maestro Vatsche Barsoumian, “can merely be described as truly unique, that elated our souls, delighted our appetites, soared our imagination, flew us to the annals of our national epic history, cried out our pain, paid worthy tribute to the victims of the Genocide and embodied our victorious response to the crime with an unrelenting passion to live, love, dream, imagine and create, in all glorifying God for His delivered promise not to forsake us,” said Zaven Khanjian, Executive Director/CEO of the AMAA.
The program combined several artistic mediums such as music, recitation, and dance -an array of selections that was presented in three Acts.
ACT I – FOREFATHERS – reflected the traditions and heroism of the Armenian people. Through songs, recitations and dances, it represented our nation as one of the most ancient civilizations that boasts significant periods of spiritual, artistic, military, economic, and intellectual achievements.
ACT II – CALAMITY – commemorated the collective tragedy that befell the Armenian nation in the early twentieth century. It was a tribute to our martyrs who perished for their ethnicity and Christian faith. But the resurrection was inevitable, just like the resurrection of Jesus, in Whom they trusted.
ACT III – HOMELAND – celebrated our triumphant survival which heralded a brighter future. Through artistic voices it was a recommitment to our Lord, our Motherland Armenia and our Culture.
The theme of the Program, “Our Light, Our Hope,” was based on a patriotic song “Hayrenikis Hed” (With My Fatherland) written in 1915 by the famous poet Hovhannes Tumanian, (music by famous composer Alexander Harutiunian). Each act of the program started with this moving song divided into three parts – the first two verses of the poem describing our past, the third verse describing the atrocities that begot our nation and the fourth verse looking with triumph to the future for a revived Homeland and an all-powerful Homeland.
Nothing was spared for a capacity filled crowd to take this emotional journey to the past, savor the present and yearn for a bright future, despite the experience of the crime of Genocide.
“Hats off to every participant in the presentation, from dreamers to planners, organizers, producers, creators and each participant, in making this program a cultural miracle,” said Mr. Khanjian.