The Diocese’s Khrimian Lyceum marked the 25th anniversary of its establishment with a cultural program at the Diocesan Center on Sat., May 19.
Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian presided over the afternoon program, during which students showcased their talent through musical performances, poetry recitations, and other activities. Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, the dean of St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral, was also present.
One highlight was the performance, in Armenian, of Hagop Baronian’s comedy “The Perils of Politeness.” The play was directed by Vartan Garniki, and featured students Arthur Ipek, Arthur Kesenci, Ara Arsenian, and Vahe Gemdzian.
A dance choreographed by Naira Mkrtchyan had students executing elaborate footwork while donning traditional Armenian costumes. Students also sang a selection of songs under the direction of Maro Partamian, with Florence Avakian accompanying on the piano. They recited poetry and gave performances on the piano, trumpet, and violin. Tamar Tokman sang and gave a solo dance performance.
A brief documentary titled “What it Means to Be Armenian” was screened for the audience. It was prepared by the Lyceum students earlier in the academic year with assistance from instructor Lisa Kletjian. The film featured young people’s reflections on their understanding of Armenian identity.
The audience—which was comprised of Khrimian Lyceum alumni, staff, parents, and other guests—also enjoyed a slideshow of photographs highlighting the institution’s 25-year history.
Archbishop Gizirian closed the program with a message and benediction. He encouraged the youth to preserve their heritage and continue their involvement in the life of the Armenian Church.
“The cultural and faith basics the students receive are enhanced with their artistic expression in the Armenian tradition,” said Gilda Buchakjian, director of the Khrimian Lyceum and the Diocese’s coordinator of Armenian studies. “In addition, the students feel a strong sense of camaraderie among their peers and can’t wait to get together during the Lyceum sessions.”
The Khrimian Lyceum was founded in 1987. The project was spearheaded by Sylva der Stepanian, the Diocese’s former Armenian studies coordinator, under the guidance of then-Primate Archbishop Torkom Manoogian. The educational program takes its name from Catholicos Mkrtich Khrimian, a great proponent of equal education for men and women who officially established the Armenian Church of America in 1898.
In its quarter-century of activity, the Khrimian Lyceum has helped countless young people strengthen their Armenian-language skills and develop a deeper understanding of the Armenian faith, history, and culture.
An art show of student work on display highlighted scenes from the Lyceum’s history. Students also unveiled a commemorative yearbook, co-edited by Tamar Tokman and Christopher Artun, dedicated to the 25th anniversary celebration.
“It was an exciting celebration,” said Buchakjian. “The credit goes first to the parents who are cognizant about the importance of this identity-building education and to the teachers who communicate it.”
Other students participating in Saturday’s program included Armen Arsenian, Varujan Belekdanian, Shant Bekarian, Armen Bjimenian, Daniela Haigian, Talar Hovsepian, Sarine Kabarajian, Patrick Kerestejian, Matthew Krikorian, Arthur Mouradian, Julia Naldjian, Lara Ozyan, Christina Rymond, Brian Sarafian, Kyle Torosian, Andrew and Linda Yenicag, and Lerna Yesiltepe.