GCC Music

GCC Music

By Chiara Shafrazian 

Ovanes Arakelyan, a music instructor at Glendale Community College has organized a competition to showcase and ultimately attract gifted students to campus. Arakelyan announced the formation of a music competition sponsored by the school, which is open to all high school juniors and seniors in Los Angeles County.

The contest’s categories — voice, strings, piano, winds and percussion — will be judged by the college’s faculty members.

First prize winner will receive $500, while second will be $250. Auditions will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on January 19 at Glendale Community College, 1500 N. Verdugo Road. The cost is $25 per entry and application forms must be completed and postmarked to the college’s music department no later than Jan. 11.

The competition will be limited to 25 performers, and winners will be invited back to campus for a recital on Feb. 8.

Arakelyan wants as many Glendale high school and nearby schools to gain interest in the music program at GCC. The contest is a sort of “outreach program to the community and a contest.”

On top of the prizes, each category winner will also receive a free master class in the student’s respective specialty by a college instructor.

Arakelyan, who teaches keyboard harmony, piano and applied music classes, has confirmed that fellow music instructors Peter Green, Paul Sherman, Beth Pflueger, Tobin Sparfeld and Byron Delto will be assisting with the master classes and judging. Arakelyan, a product of Glendale High and Glendale Community College, has spent nearly six months organizing the competition and has been trying to get the word out.

“It takes a little while for something like this, and I started working out the details in July,” he said. “I’ve been going to the local high schools and making presentations and there has been some interest.”

Arakelyan said he’s already reached out to Burbank, Burroughs, Crescenta Valley, Glendale and Hoover high schools and is looking for students from those schools and even some from beyond the area. “Out of the 25 student participants, my ultimate goal would be getting some of those to come join our music program at GCC,” he said. “We would love to add them to our applied instruction. If we just got two or three students from this competition, that would be great for us.”