Performing Arts Department Chair
Name: Michael Gend
Office: PAB 3539
Phone: (818) 710-2268
Music Faculty Advisor
Name: Wendy Mazon
Office: MUS 3403A
Phone: (818) 710-2295
Applied Music Instructor
Garineh Avakian, Voice
Garineh Avakian (mezzo-soprano) is originally from Los Angeles, California. She graduated with a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music. She holds a Bachelor and Masters in Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, also a Graduate Certificate Diploma from the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music. She has minored in both piano and conducting during her graduate studies. Dr. Avakian has been on voice faculty and has taught Advanced Music Theory/Musicianship, Piano and Voice at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy College and Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Hollywood, Ca. She has also been the Music Director at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Granada Hills, Ca, where she conducted two children’s choruses and the Chancel Choir. Dr. Avakian is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, and the Southern California Vocal Association. She is also a member/chorister of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Walt Disney Hall and Hollywood Bowl. Dr. Avakian has served on faculty as a Full time Visiting Assistant Professor in Voice and Commercial Piano at the University of Texas at El Paso. In 2014-2015 Dr. Avakian was the Music/Choral Director at Maranatha High School (Christian, College Preparatory) in Pasadena, CA and an Adjunct Professor in Voice at El Camino College. Currently Dr. Avakian is a Full Time Tenured Associate Professor in Voice and Choral Music at Los Angeles Pierce Community College in Woodland Hills, CA also the Associate Conductor for the National Children’s Chorus, Los Angeles chapter.
Dr. Avakian made her Walt Disney Concert Hall solo debut with the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s Sing Along Messiah 2016 as the alto soloist. She has sung on soundtracks such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In March 2016 Dr. Avakian sang the alto solos in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Lark Musical Society. In April 2015 she was the alto soloist in Ian Krouse’s world premiere of “Armenian Requiem” at UCLA, Royce Hall conducted by Neil Stulberg with the Lark Musical Society. In May of 2015, she performed the roles of both mothers in Armen Tigranian’s opera Anoush with the Lark Musical Society at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena Ca. In May of 2015 she also sang the west coast premiere of David Lefkowitz’s “Love Fragments” for Mezzo Soprano, Viola and Harp at UCLA, Schoenberg Hall. She has sung the role of Katisha in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado with the Lark Musical Society and Opera A la Carte. December of 2010 and 2012 Dr. Avakian sang a recital at Carnegie Hall in New York organized by the Armenian General Benevolent Union. She has been invited by the Eurasia Foundation to perform at the Cosmo’s Club and the Turkish Embassy in Washington DC. In 2006, she received an honorable mention at the Western Regional Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She has appeared as Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aenaes, Madame de la Hartiere in Massenet’s Cendrillon, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, the role of Arsamene in Handel’s Xerxe, Arnalta in Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea, the role of Sandman in Hansel and Gretel, Athamus in Handel’s Semele, and as Rosina in Scarlatti’s The Triumph of Honor. Dr. Avakian sang the role of Fay Doyle in the west coast premiere of Lowell Liebrmann’s Miss Lonelyhearts based on Nathanael West’s novel. She has also sung the role of Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the USC Opera in April of 2009.
Described by the San Francisco Classical Voice “Avakian is a singer of student age, not a student singer. The young mezzo sings with power and charisma, showing a veteran’s stage presence, delivering every note on the money, with great diction”. Ms. Avakian is equally at home on the operatic as well as the concert stage. She has performed as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah at the San Francisco Symphony, alto soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with Maestro Carl St. Clair conducting the USC Chamber Orchestra and Choral Artists. She has performed with the San Jose Symphonic Choir as a soloist in Bach’s St. Mathew Passion, Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein with the Monterey Symphony.
In the early 1990’s, Dr. Avakian released two cassette tapes (E Zen Hayer & Ganche Hoghin) consisting of Armenian patriotic and national songs in support of Armenian orphans living in Armenia. All proceeds totaling over $65,000.00 was sent primarily for the children and their families. In addition to her professional engagements Dr. Avakian regularly performs for nonprofit organizations and at various fundraising functions throughout the United States.