The Hayastan All-Armenian Fund delegation, headed by Executive Director Ara Vardanyan, comprised Khoren Bandazian, chairman of the Armenia Fund USA; other affiliate representatives; and donors.
“Our culture is our wealth,” Vardanyan said in his welcome speech at the opening ceremony. “It’s a natural resource which, unlike other resources, is inexhaustible and will continue to be transmitted from one generation to the next and constantly expanded.”
“In 2014, when we had just completed the construction of the Martuni Hospital in Artsakh, we had the opportunity to visit the Tchaikovsky School, where we had a first-hand look at the dilapidated condition of the campus,” Bandazian said in his remarks. “During our visit, we were so moved by the piano performance of a student, a little girl, that we decided to sponsor the refurbishment of the school.”
Following the festive opening ceremony, many students, who have won competitions in both Armenia and internationally, treated the guests to a mini concert, performed at the refurbished auditorium.
Today more than 600 children study at the Tchaikovsky School, which provides a curriculum combining music and general education. The school was founded in 1939. The current campus, which was built in 1973, has now been transformed into world-class institution, thanks to the extensive renovations of the past two years.
The refurbishment project has encompassed a complete redesign, seismic retrofitting, and a slew of upgrades. The improvements include a new roof; new doors and windows; new heating, air-conditioning, electrical, water, plumbing, and security systems; the installation of an elevator; and the construction of evacuation staircases.
The main building of the campus has been thoroughly modernized and now features a sizeable foyer. The renovations have also included the reconstruction of the school’s gym and the transformation of the concert hall into a state-of-the-art auditorium, complete with a new stage and amenities for performers and audiences alike. Thanks to the refurbishment, the school’s symphony orchestra, string quartet, brass band, choir, and jazz band now have comfortable and fully appointed rehearsal rooms.
Other significant enhancements have comprised the construction of wheelchair ramps at the entrance of the school, a completely upgraded lighting system throughout the grounds, and the installation of pavilions and benches in the backyard. Artistic touches, including a relief sculpture on the façade of the main building, created by architect Jim Torossian, as well as the interior relief sculpture and updated stained-glass windows, continue to lend the school an esthetic character all its own.
In 2014, the Tchaikovsky Secondary Music School celebrated its 75th anniversary. The renowned Armenian composer Aram Khachaturyan has called the storied school a “foundry of musicians.” Among its alumni are Eduard Tadevosyan, Ruben Altunyan, Vahram Sarajev, Jean Ter-Merguerian, Levon Chaushyan, Sergey Smbatyan, Tigran Hamasyan, Aram Talalyan, Vahagn Hayrapetyan, Armen Babakhanyan, Stepan Lusikyan, Karen Hakobyan, Hayk Arsenian, Sofya Melikyan, Lilit Kurdyan, and many other musical giants who are the pride of the Armenian people.