THRIVE is an AIWA-SF April project dedicated to highlighting Armenians who are doing amazing things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today, we feature a dynamic musical duo Stephanie Chutjian Betjemann and Karenn Chutjian Presti.
Together they will host a children’s singalong concert on April 29th at 1:00pm at St. John Armenian Church in San Francisco, an interactive performance designed to entertain children while exposing them to live instrumental and vocal music, new Armenian vocabulary, and both new and familiar songs.
About Stephanie Chutjian Betjemann
Stephanie Chutjian Betjemann has cultivated her love of music through her background as a violinist and her participation in numerous choral groups. She is passionate about folk singing and is delighted to pass down the tradition of Armenian folk music through her participation in this project. When not singing, she deals with other functions of the vocal tract in her role as a speech-language pathologist.
About Karenn Chutjian Presti
Karenn Chutjian Presti is on the faculty of the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA, where she teaches Armenian music and serves on the voice faculty as a pianist teaching song interpretation and lyric diction of German, Italian, French, Spanish, and English to singers. Dr. Presti has served on the faculties of the Munich International School, Pasadena Conservatory of Music, Lark Musical Society, Artetonal Schule für Musik, and San Domenico School. She has performed extensively as a soloist and collaborator, winning competitions including the US Open Music Competition, the Leni FéBland Foundation Competition, and the Armenian Allied Arts Awards. She holds a doctorate degree in keyboard collaboration with an emphasis on music education and a masters degree in piano performance from the University of Southern California, along with a bachelors degree in piano performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
About the dynamic duo
Stephanie and Karenn have been making music together since their first duo concert at Saint Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Glendale, when they were 4 and 6 years old. Most recently, they have performed at Abril Books’ Roslin Gallery, Sardarabad Bookstore, and in multiple episodes Horizon TV’s ‘Happy Alphabet’ Program. Their recordings from My First Armenian Songbook can be found at St. John’s, online, in Armenian bookstores, and on iTunes and Spotify.
My First Armenian Songbook
In this award-winning (Global Music Awards, 3/18) songbook, English-language songs are presented along with their Armenian translations in order to celebrate both traditions. This comprehensive edition includes original translations of traditional songs from English to Armenian and one from Armenian to English. The book is ideal for children who are learning Armenian or are being exposed to Armenian culture. The rich English texts and the colorful original illustrations make it appealing to children of all backgrounds.
For those who cannot read Armenian, a pronunciation guide with a full transliteration of each song is included at the end of the book. The professionally recorded, enclosed CD contains all the tracks in the Armenian language. The original arrangements by Karenn Presti are for voice and piano, in a folk/classical tradition specifically designed to be educational in terms of both language acquisition and musical taste to babies and children. The wonderful book can be purchased online at www.dadivashop.com
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