Title

Drago and Ingle were chosen for a recent concert to commemorate the Armenian Genocide centennial

Authors

Amy Halvorson

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-10-2015

Abstract

Drago and Ingle were chosen for a recent concert to commemorate the Armenian Genocide centennial

University of North Dakota Professors of Music Alejandro Drago and Ronnie Ingle took their talents to the world stage recently as they performed in the World Orchestra at the Yerevan Opera House ? the national opera house of Armenia.

The concert was put on to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, which took place in the Ottoman Empire from 1915-1920, when approximately 1.5 million of Turkey’s Armenians were killed and many more forcibly removed from the country.

The Turkish government, the heir government of the Ottoman Empire, still refuses to acknowledge that Armenian Genocide ever took place. The concert was a public international action to demand that the Turkish government recognize the Armenian Genocide.

The concert was called “24/04 Orchestra,” because April 24 is the official day of recognition for the Armenian Genocide. It was also the date of the concert.

“I believe that lasting friendships and comradery were forged on this Armenian stage and I can say confidently that all of us who participated left Armenia somehow transformed and deeply touched,” Drago said.

Of the 125 international orchestra members from 40 countries, eight represented the United States, and two of which ? Ingle and Drago ? were from UND.

Ingle had a trumpet solo during the concert, and his performance was shown on CNN in the United States. That solo can be viewed just before the 35-minute mark of the concert on the YouTube links that are provided.

“Performing with a fellow UND colleague on an international stage is another example of UND’s leadership in music performance among higher education institutions,” Ingle said.

“It is just another piece of proof of the quality of the instrumental faculty at UND,” Drago added.

These two UND professors showcased their world-class talent by Ingle playing the trumpet and Drago playing the violin.

“Performing alongside the very best musicians on their respective instruments from over 40 countries will go down as one of the most special highlights in my career, and the opportunity to have a solo with the orchestra was unforgettable” Ingle said.

The orchestra played an extensive selection of Armenian folk music arranged for orchestra and pieces by famous Armenian composers such as Khachaturian, Babadjianian, Arutunian and others.

The event was attended by several world leaders and celebrities, such as actor George Clooney.

Ingle said, “The most immediate challenge was in maintaining the highest level of musicianship at all times at rehearsals and in concert, and to ultimately manage the pressure of performing the concert for a sold-out audience broadcast live on national television!”

While there, Drago and Ingle were able to visit Armenian sites such as the Garni Greek Temple, the Geghard Monastery, the Komitas Pantheon and the Genocide Memorial.

Ingle and Drago received their musical parts a month in advance to become familiar with the musical selection and once they arrived in Armenia, they had an intense rehearsal schedule to bring all of the parts together.

“I believe that the professional result achieved can be compared to the top orchestras in Europe or the U.S.,” said Drago.

To view the live performance of the orchestra, go to Campaign Concert Revival 24/04 Orchestra.

Amy Halvorson University & Public Affairs writer

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