GARGATCH Children Choir of Hamazkayin was established to refine the artistic taste of up-and-coming generation in 1997 by Maestro Zakar Keshishian , its founding artistic director and conductor.
GARGATCH has performed annual concerts in Lebanon and held a series of concerts in Armenia (2001) and Cyprus (2007, 2009) for over 20.000 listeners. During the past eighteen yerars, GARGATCH had more than 600 members performing scores of songs written and composed by talented poets and composers who regularly enriched its repertoire with songs exclusively composed for the choir. The annual programs of the choir includes multi-lingual, classical and contemporary songs.
GARGATCH is respected among the professional children’s choirs in Lebanon singing in 4 parts (quatre voix).
In addition to annual concerts, GARGATCH has performed Christmas concerts organized by the Lebanese American University (December 2009) and by Friends of Al Bustan Festival (December 2009).In recent years, GARGATCH regularly participated in “Beirut Chants”- The Festival of Sacred Music with program consisting of multi-lingual, classical and contemporary Christmas carols and songs. Last year (2014) GARGATCH performed an special concert as part of the AUB Zaki Nassif Program Music Festival.
Conductor, performer of duduk & Shvi (Folk wind instruments).
Born Anjar, Lebanon, Maestro Zakar Keshishian got his training in Folk Instruments and Choir Conducting at the Komtas State Conservatory in Yerevan, Armenia. He completed his post-graduate studies with distinction, also in Yerevan, in 1996.
Keshishian has founded and conducted a number of choirs both in Lebanon and Armenia. A born pedagogue, he is beloved by the young singers of his children’s choirs and much respected by the members of the adult mixed choirs he has led. A firm believer in the magical properties of music in general and choir music in particular, Keshishian has guided many students both in war-torn Lebanon and in Armenia to the world of beauty and the art. Many of the members of his choirs, as well as many of his theory and wind instrument students at the National Conservatory of Lebanon or at the Armenian Ganatchian Music School (Lebanon) have embraced professional musicians’ careers.
He is the founder of several choirs: the Gakavig choir of the Hamazkayin Educational and Cultural Society (1988); Dziadzan (1992); Varanda (1992) in the town of Shushi, Mountainous Karabakh (Artsakh); the Gargatch choir (1997) and the Ayc Armenian Youth Choir (2008), the latter two under the auspices of the Hamazkayin Educational and Cultural Society.