LOS ANGELES — It was standing room only on May 6, 2018, when the Board of Directors of the USC Thornton Friends of Armenian Music, celebrated their 39th Anniversary at the Louvre Banquet Hall, 1767 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles. Under the auspices of Dean Dr. Robert Cutietta and Assistant Dean of Advancement, Dr. Phoenix Delgado, friends and supporters packed the banquet hall to celebrate 39 years of promoting and supporting Armenian musical heritage.

On this occasion, the Past Presidents of the USC Thornton Friends of Armenian Music were honored for their leadership and direction through the years. “We are indebted to our founding members for their hard work and commitment,” stated Irene Sassounian, President, “and would like to express our thanks and appreciation for their dedicated service and support.

We wanted to acknowledge and recognize our Past Presidents who were instrumental in the establishment, success and perseverance of this worthwhile organization. It was through their efforts we were able to continue to provide support to students of Armenian descent at USC’s Thornton School of Music.”

The Past Presidents were honored to accept their awards from Dr. Robert A. Cutietta, Dean of the USC Thornton School of Music, and to receive his personal recognition and congratulations. The Past Presidents recognized on this occasion were: Eric Avazian, Audrey B. Gregor, Fred Mickaelian, Jr., Elise Tashjian, Artemis Bedros, Diana Artunian, Maro Makasjian Lily Ring Balian and Hilda Fidanian.

Under the leadership of Irene Sassounian, President, the organization is embarking on a course to reinvigorate participation and membership by planning major concerts, music lectures, seminars and symposiums in the near future. Established in 1984, the Scholarship Endowment Funds continue to present awards to eight to ten recipients each year. Another achievement was the formation of the USC Armenian Music Collection in the Doheny Music Library which was enriched with musical notes, scores and books by the generous donation of the Armenian community.

The highlight of the afternoon was a musical program, coordinated and selected by Irene Arathoon, Vice President. The program began with noted flutist,,,,, and her mother….playing the harp, delighting the audience with music from composers ….

Guests then enjoyed The Elixir Trio of Lucy Nargizian, piano; Samual Chilingarian, Violin; and Fang Fang Xu, Cello, performing the compositions of Sergei Rachmanioff, Astor Pizazolla, and Aram Khachaturian.

Irene Sassounian, President, in her closing remarks, expressed her thanks to Dr. Robert A. Cutietta, Dean of the USC Thornton School of Music,and Dr. Phoenx Delgado, Assistant Dean of Advancement, for their effective leadership and the celebration of the past 39 years .

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