Rawson Duo with Fred Thompson Armenian Program update / Armenian Odyssey Addendum in Bits - - - For You, Armenia!
"rawsonduo ." <>
4/3/2016 6:53 PM

Good evening,

We just wish to confirm now that the waiting lists are full for both of our sold-out Armenian performances in 2 weeks.

As mentioned last week, we are planning our Season Finale for June 3rd and 5th, and a formal announcement will appear toward the end of April. We've already started a reservation list for that weekend, so feel free to email if you'd like to stake an early claim.

Alan and Sandy

Armenian Odyssey Addendum in Bits ~
I hope you had a chance to read last week's tale of gathering Armenian music and an amazing contact in Yerevan we made 8 years ago. We have received some very gratifying comments. In case that got lost in the shuffle, it's now posted on our web site archives which you can find by CLICKING HERE.

It was a long story, with much to pick and choose from. As an addendum, there is one spectacular video I'd like to include which professionally showcases the PAROS choir for the disabled shown in a link Armen sent two years ago. Somehow, I found it had gone missing in my collection of old messages, but with a little YouTube digging, I found it alive and well on a YouTube PAROS choir playlist.

It is a staged performance the choir did in collaboration with Davit Karapetyan of the San Francisco Ballet, performing an arrangement of a contemporary piece by a Swedish composer. Last week, I asked Armen how this video came about, and here's what he had to say.
"The story of Salve Regina is as follows: The son of Rashid Karapetyan (one of Paros singers) - Davit Karapetyan is a Principal Dancer of San Francisco Ballet. The supporter of the choir, American philanthropist Roger Strauch, encouraged me to produce a music video featuring Davit Karapetyan. At that time we had no suitable song in the Paros repertoire. When participating in a choral contest in Bratislava (2011), we heard a song by Lars Jansson/arr. Gunnar Eriksson: To the Mothers in Brazil (Salve Regina). We all loved this song and took the score from the choir which was performing Salve Regina. When we returned to Armenia, we immediately started practicing the song and soon managed to perform it at several concerts and at at TV show. In fact, we are the first on the only performers of Salve Regina in Armenia. Then I came back to the idea of producing a music video with the distinguished dancer Davit Karapetyan. I contacted him and he kindly agreed to dance for us in the music video."
I am blown away every time I watch it and have to say it one of the most beautiful short video experiences I can think of, so imaginative and so deeply moving. Click on the image to view this creative and beautiful, 4 minute video. It is truly moving.


It would not be right to send out this message this evening without acknowledging events in the last few days regarding the flare up of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Our introduction to the delightful Armenian people came in 1994 when we met a family who had just arrived in Fargo as political refugees from Baku and were tragically displaced in consequence of the original polarization that came with the breakup of the Soviet Union. Sponsored by local churches, this family of 4, husband and wife (both former professionals in Baku), along with their late teen son and mid 20s daughter, arrived with their lives packed into a couple of suit cases. The daughter was a violin graduate of the Baku conservatory, and entered our graduate performance program with 5 weeks experience in English watching daytime TV programs with alternating subtitles in English and Russian (her English comprehension at that point was unbelievable). Three years later she went from there to completing a Masters of Music degree in viola performance, and she now lives a successful life in Minneapolis, continuing in music and having branched out in real estate. Spending several wonderful evenings with her and her family over the course of her studies, we have seen a personal, endearing side of these wonderful people, and our hearts go  out to those caught in this horrible situation. For You, Armenia . . .