The Sayat Nova State Minstrel Ensemble from Armenia was the guest of the Diocesan Council on Friday 22 September 2017 for some warm hospitality at the Church of Holy Resurrection. The Ensemble is in Sydney at the invitation of the Hamazkaine Educational & Cultural Society of Australia to bring the ancient musical art of Ashugh or Troubadour that dates back some 700 years.

On arrival the group was met and led into the church by the Parish Priest, Reverend Father Avetis Hambardzumyan and Parish Council Vice-chairman, Mr Zaven Yaghljian where together they sang the Lord’s Prayer. They were then escorted to the Primate’s office to be warmly greeted by His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian and Diocesan Council Chairman, Mr Sarkis Der Bedrossian before joining the 100 guests in the hall, members from the church bodies, who were eagerly awaiting their arrival.

During the evening, Professor Dr Tovmas Poghosyan, the artistic director and president of the Sayat Nova Cultural Union presented the background on how minstrel music developed in Armenia, the authentic instruments utilised  and the story of the Ensemble’s formation. The members of the group then delighted all in attendance with a sample from their repertoire of 500 timeless songs.

The MC of the evening was Diocese Executive Director, Mr Nishan Basmajian; welcoming remarks were offered by Fr Hambardzumyan, Messrs Yaghljian and Der Bedrossian with closing expressions of appreciation and delight by Bishop Najarian. Reverend Father Norayr Patanian and Deacon Vartan Elmasian sang in honour of the guests. The Armenian Church Ladies Auxiliary ensured the evening was warmly-received by everyone with their wonderful hospitality.