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Voyages of Winds performance – In Review

For photos of the special event, please click here.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, it seems like the perfect opportunity to give thanks to the inspiration of music. Voyages of Winds, an Armenian remembrance & celebration concert presented by ARTolerance, was hosted at St. Gregory’s Church on Sunday, November 14, 2021. It was a moving, uplifting afternoon filled with exceptional musical talent and fellowship.

ARTolerance is a group whose mission is to advance the role of the arts in dialogues, transcend communication boundaries and explore common ground through performances, events, conferences and workshops. Udi Bar-David, Founder and Artistic Director, has recently created ARTolerance in an important new effort to expand the crucial role music and the arts play in fostering understanding and tolerance.

We would like to thank Ramona and Jack Vosbikian, who were the driving force and instrumental in bringing this concert to our Church. Without their extensive involvement and experience with The Philadelphia Orchestra, none of this would have been possible.

We witnessed the world premiere of the composition, Voyages of Winds by Vartan Adjemian, which was commissioned by ArtTolerance and Angela Anderson Smith and made possible through a generous gift by Jack and Ramona Vosbikian. Vartan Adjemian is an Armenian composer of orchestral, operatic and chamber music who is regarded as being one of the most gifted composers of his generation and whose works are successfully performed worldwide.

This Duduk and Wind Quintet arrangement was beautifully performed by the following members of the Philadelphia Orchestra: Peter Smith – Oboe, Duduk, Angela Anderson Smith – Bassoon,
Patrick Williams – Flute, Socrates Villegas – Clarinet, Ernesto Tovar Torres – Horn.

Special guests who also performed in the program with stellar performances were:
Udi Bar-David, Cellist, is widely considered one of the most versatile cellists in the world, performing on international stages with both classical and ethnic musicians.

Zulal, which means “clear water”, is a New York based Armenian a capella trio that features Teni Apelian, Yeraz Markarian and Anais Tekerian. This magical trio is known for taking Armenia’s village folk melodies and weaving intricate arrangements that pay tribute to the rural roots of the music while introducing a sophisticated lyricism and energy.

Ara Dinkjian, Oud Virtuoso and Composer, is considered one of the finest oud players in the world. His style is a very personal one, with an emphasis on a uniquely beautiful tone. His earliest professional musical experience was accompanying his father, Onnik Dinkjian, a renowned Armenian folk and liturgical singer.

We are very blessed at St. Gregory’s Church to have many talented and hardworking parishioners. Thank you to the following individuals who also helped to make this event so successful: Der Nerses and the St. Gregory’s Board of Trustees – for their support, guidance and supervision, Alec Arakelian, Veronica Babayan, Kim Jehanian, Dori Keshgegian, Susan Pogharian, Lori Sarkisian, Silva Santerian, Tania Selverian and Cookie Vosbikian – for set up, serving and cleaning up so efficiently, enthusiastically and effortlessly. Asdghig Kazanjian – for donating the delicious and popular Basterma rolls and choreg. Thank you for always giving so generously and with all of your heart. Dori Keshgegian, Susan Pogharian and Diane Vosbikian – for your delicious dessert donations. Lori Sarkisian – for your creative flair with the elegant layout and decorating of Founders Hall. Rich Keshgegian, Holiday Cleaners – for volunteering to clean all of our tablecloths. St. Gregory’s Ladies Guild – We were able to enjoy many of the traditional Armenian mezza thanks to the Ladies Guild and their countless hours of cooking and preparing these delicious foods for the St. Gregory’s Food Festival.

It was an unforgettable day and we feel very fortunate to have shared such an incredible musical journey together. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Lydia Arakelian




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