All Things Assyrian
Mesopotamian Night 2009: Celebrating Assyrian Culture

The Assyrian Aid Society of America (AAS) Central Valley Chapter will present the third annual Mesopotamian Night concert on Saturday, August 15 in the Rogers Theater at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto, California.

The concert is part of AAS-A's continuing effort to promote Assyrian music, arts, and culture throughout the world. It also serves as a major fundraising event in support of AAS-A's education projects in what is known as Assyria, the ancient Assyrian homeland, located in present-day northern Iraq.

Assyrian symphonic, opera, folk, and popular music will highlight an evening of exciting and unforgettable entertainment. John Kendall Bailey will conduct the Gottschalk Music Center Orchestra, directed by Ernie Bucio. Assyrian writer and classical music radio personality Obelit Yadgar will be Master of Ceremonies.

Assyryt Suite, by the renowned French composer Michel Bosc, will open and close the classical portion of this year's Mesopotamian Night concert. Assyryt, performed in two separate suites for this program, is an orchestral arrangement of 20 piano pieces by the noted Assyrian composer, the late Paulus Khofri.

Like last year, the Mesopotamian Night gala again presents selections from another Assyrian opera-- sung in Assyrian. The Overture and the Malik Toma Castle scene from Act One of the opera Qateeni Gabara by Michel Bosc is set to selected stories from the Assyrian folk epic of the same title by the late William Daniel. Well-known singers from the San Francisco Bay Area will perform.

The Mesopotamian Singers Group, a newly formed ensemble specializing in Assyrian music, will perform songs by Paulus Khofri and Nebu Issabey. Assyrian soprano Lorraine Davis adds her lovely voice to the concert in songs by William Daniel.

The overture from the oratorio Gilgamesh will create excitement for a new work in progress by Pastor Samuel Khangaldy. Soloists and the orchestra will also turn to the opera Gilgamesh, also a work in progress by John Craton, for the Duet of Gilgamesh and Enkidu.

Assyrian recording stars Lida Lawando and Emanuel Bet Yonan, along with Gottschalk Music Center Orchestra, are sure to rock the hall in the second half with a string of Assyrian popular and traditional songs.

In the Mesopotamian Night gala tradition, the live auction offers an impressive gallery of art works this year donated by Assyrian artists Issa Benyamin, Alexander Bakuniance, Paul Batou, Juliet Moradian, Sharokina Bet Giwargis, and Samuel Khangaldy.

2009 Honorary Committee members include program sponsors Dr. Edison Ishaya, Dr. Eden Naby, Dr. Ebby Paul Jido, and Dr. John Michael, as well as Assyrian writer Fred Aprim.

This year AAS-A will recognize artistic and cultural icons Rabi Issa Benyamin and Rabi Daniel Benyamin for their contributions to Assyrian arts and literature with its first annual Mesopotamian Achievement Award.

Enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvre prior to the performance and at intermission.

Ticket reservation forms are available online at www.mesopotaminan-night.org, at www.galloarts.org, and at the Gallo Center box office.

For more information call AAS-A at 209-606-5438.

Proceeds from the performance and auction benefit AAS-A humanitarian, medical, and education projects in the Homeland.

The Mesopotamian Night 2009 concert is supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. The Assyrian Aid Society of America is a charitable 501(c)(3) non profit organization dedicated to assisting needy Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriacs in northern Iraq and around the world. Since 1991 AAS-A has raised nearly $8 million in donations and grants to build schools, staff and supply medical clinics, facilitate life-saving surgeries, rebuild homes, irrigate farmlands, bring electricity to rural villages and implement a host of other vital programs and services.

Assyrian Aid Society of America


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