Celebrating the 155th Anniversary of Gomidas: A Remarkable Evening at St Mary’s Church

Guildford, June 1st – The Armenian mission parish in Guildford recently hosted a memorable event at St Mary’s Church, celebrating the 155th anniversary of the revered Armenian composer, Gomidas. Bishop Hovakim Manukyan attended the evening and expressed his delight and appreciation for the event.

 “Just had a wonderful time at the Armenian mission parish in Guildford! The concert at St Mary’s Church, celebrating the 155th anniversary of the great Gomidas, was a superb mix of Armenian and classical music. Kudos to everyone who organised it,” shared Bishop Manukyan. He further highlighted the importance of spiritual music and the church’s role in promoting Armenian music. “This event is a testament to the enduring legacy of Gomidas and the vital role of music in our spiritual and cultural life,” he remarked.

The concert featured a stunning blend of Armenian and classical music, beautifully performed by talented artists, including St. Sarkis Church’s lead soprano, conductor of the Norahrash Choir, soprano Hasmik Harutyunyan, opera singers Arshak Kuzikian and Narine Malkhasyan, pianist Razmik Melkonyan, and Mezzo-Soprano Sophie Patterson.

The event commenced with a warm welcome from Irma Ozsivadjian, chair of the mission parish, who introduced the programme to all attendees. She spoke eloquently about Gomidas Vartaped and his significant contributions to Armenian music, providing a brief yet insightful biography of the great musician. Gomidas, born Soghomon Soghomonian in 1869, is the father of Armenian classical music. He dedicated his life to collecting, preserving, and popularising Armenian folk songs and liturgical music, greatly influencing the development of Armenian cultural identity.

Following the concert, participants enjoyed an array of delicious food prepared by the dedicated ladies of the mission parish. The evening provided a feast for the ears and a delightful culinary experience, fostering community and togetherness.

The celebration of Gomidas’ 155th anniversary was a resounding success, leaving attendees with cherished memories and a deeper appreciation for Armenian heritage.

The Guildford Mission Parish was established by Bishop Hovakim and local Armenians to meet the spiritual needs of Armenians in Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire. It also organises cultural events for local Armenians and their friends, enriching the community and promoting Armenian heritage.