In Memoriam

CHOIRMASTER VARTAN SERAYDARIAN (February 21, 1922 – March 21, 2022)

Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, and the Religious and Lay Councils learned with sorrow of the passing of Vartan Seraydarian, aged 100, on March 21, 2022.

A devoted choirmaster, teacher, and active member of St. Stephen’s Church in Watertown, MA, Mr. Seraydarian consecrated his life to music, especially to the sacred music of the Armenian Church. He has touched the lives of generations of students now scattered throughout the world.

Born in Aintab, Cilicia, in 1922, he settled with his family in Aleppo, where he received his elementary education at Giligian and Grtasirats schools. In 1938 he was admitted as an auditor to the Seminary of the Great House of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon.

He completed the course at the Seminary in three years, during which he also served as a soloist and choirmaster at the Holy See’s Cathedral. Catholicos Karekin I Hovsepiants, of blessed memory, and educator Puzant Yeghiayan, the Seminary dean at the time, were among the most influential figures during his formative years in Antelias. During those years, he also took classes in German with a view of pursuing higher studies in Berlin, but these plans failed to materialize.

After graduating from the Seminary in 1941, Mr. Seraydarian returned to Aleppo, where he was immediately invited to teach at Sahagian School as well as to become the choirmaster at St. Gregory the Illuminator’s Church. He served in both capacities until 1961, when he moved to Beirut to take over as choirmaster at Soorp Nshan Cathedral and teacher at the eponymous school, later renamed Khanamirian College. He also organized the “Gomidas” choir with 100 members.

Four years after the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war in 1975, Mr. Seraydarian left for the United States. In 1980 he took the position of choirmaster at the St. Stephens’ Church of Watertown (Massachusetts), where he served for many years. He organized seminars to teach the proper execution of Armenian sacred music, especially Holy Week hymns and rites, as he had been entrusted by Catholicos Khoren I, of blessed memory.

In 1999 Mr. Seraydarian was decorated by His Holiness Aram I with the order of Mesrob Mashdots for his lifelong service to the Armenian Church.

The Prelate, along with the clergy of the area, will preside over Vartan Seraydarian’s funeral, which will be held on Saturday, April 2, at St. Stephens Church in Watertown.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Stephens’ Church or to the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center (ACEC).

Archbishop Anoushavan and the Religious and Lay Councils extend their condolences to Mr. Seraydarian’s family members and loved ones. May God illuminate his soul. Asdvadz hokeen lousavoreh.