We must acknowledge that our duties as church choir members are cemented with the full knowing that we are held responsible for sharing our education, fostering and nurturing the love we hold for our church, and ensuring that we recruit new individuals to help keep these traditions alive not only within the hearts of our fellow faithful in Christ but for the eternal candle of light in the name of the Armenian Apostolic Church. 

Throughout my tenure, I have focused this organization’s priorities on education for all ages. I have been ardent in my message that we must continue to provide education and training to ensure proper succession planning. As I turn to the last few months of my tenure as Chairman, the time for me has come to toll the bells that many have put to the wayside. We must ensure that in our current capacities we are actively recruiting, educating, and fostering our church choirs to continue to be an integral part of our parishes while serving our duties as director, organist, or vocalist. It is our collective responsibility to understand that while continuing to serve our parishes without fostering new members is in turn detrimental to the sanctity of our sacred music. 

Our music, for hundreds of years, through the modern compositions of Yekmalian or Komitas are only recent compared to those hymns that have echoed within the sanctuaries across this Earth. However, even with published works and educational training, it takes perseverance and education to further disseminate the musical knowledge, biblical meaning, and delivery of these hymns. 

We must do better. 

We must acknowledge that while serving in these roles within our sanctuaries that there is a greater purpose to our musical and religious efforts. It is to ensure that our church and her traditions stay alive. It is to ensure that the love of Christ through song is passed down from one generation to another. It is to ensure that our faithful can hear and partake in the Celebration of the Divine Liturgy in all our parishes across this Diocese. It is to ensure that we lead the way for the next generation.

My message this month is identical to my first words as your elected chairman. It is to weave the thread of sacred music one note at a time across generations, regions, and parishes. Keep our music alive. Keep our history alive. Keep our traditions alive. Allow for new opportunities to form with the same love you share for your church with the future generations of our Armenian Apostolic Church.

Sevag Derderian
   Toronto, Canada • August 7, 2019