Our church choir was organized in 1955 by a group of singers who had been trained in the choirs of New York’s Holy Cross and St. Gregory Churches. Until our community had its own church building, the choir singers rehearsed in homes, the YMCA and borrowed churches. The choir participated in various milestone events such as the Groundbreaking and the Cornerstone-Laying Ceremonies.
In 1956, Deacon Haroutune K. Shalian was appointed choirmaster and preparations were made for the first Divine Liturgy to be celebrated in our new house of worship. Two years later, on September 28, 1958, the church was consecrated in the name of Holy Martyrs. Others who served as choirmasters through the years were Deacon Onnik Dokmecian, Dr. Dikran Tahtaburunian and Deacon Mirijohn Givelekian, with Mary Selvinazian as their assistant.
In 1999, Carol Loshigian was appointed as co-director of the choir and more recently Ruthann Turekian Drewitz was also appointed as a co-director. They continue to serve in that capacity to this day. Juliet Jamie Gregorio was the church’s first organist and Nevart Zeronian-Dadourian has been serving in that capacity since 1988.
The administrative functions of the choir are carried out by a core committee consisting of the three directors, our organist, and two of our deacons, Dn. Garbis Martayan and Dn. Krikor Ghazarian, who meet monthly under the presidency of our Pastor Fr. Abraham Malkhasyan.
Members of the choir have also supported and participated with the St. Vartan Cathedral Choir and combined choirs of the New York Metropolitan Area on important occasions and celebrations.
It has also become a tradition for the Gomidas Choir of the Diocese to sing the Gomidas version of the Divine Liturgy several times during the year at Holy Martyrs. This group of singers who settled in the United States mainly from Constantinople had formed a choir to carry on the legacy of the great Gomidas Vartabed. It was on Palm Sunday in 1958, following their participation in the Divine Liturgy at our church, that they were officially organized as the Gomidas Choir of the Diocese of the Armenian Church.
In an effort to teach the Badarak to the younger generation, a Junior Choir was formed in 1960. The Junior Choir members sing the Badarak on Easter Eve and Armenian Christmas Eve. Several members also sing with their senior counterparts on Sundays. In addition to singing the Divine Liturgy on Sundays, while including the variables for various feast days, the choir also participates in the American Christmas Eve service with many traditional Christmas Carols. Parishioners are invited and welcome to participate with the choir during this festive time.
The Holy Martyrs Choir has grown and flourished over the years, continuing to enhance the beauty and spiritual effect of our church rituals. If you would like to sing in our Church Choir or If have a child who would like to join the Junior Choir please contact the church office at 718-225-0235.
LOUSAPER YOUTH CHOIR
All youth of the parish ages 5 and above and all experience levels are invited to join the Lousaper Youth Choir. Join us for the choir practices led by Nargiz & Tigran Dumanyan on Sundays, at 1:00pm in Kalustyan Hall. For inquiries, please contact the church office: 718-225-0235 .