Andre Garabedian was born in May 1945 in Lattakia, Syria. He obtained his primary and secondary education at the Terra Sancta College where he also participated in singing in and conducting the choir at a very young age. At the same time, he was involved in many scholastic activities at the district and national levels and was the recipient of the Model Student of the Year Award in 1960. He also received many musical awards including the Golden Lyre Award for solo piano performance at the national competitions in Damascus, and musical composition in multiple district and national levels.
In 1962 Andre moved to Damascus to attend the School of Medicine at the Syrian University of Damascus. During that time he also served as the choir master and musical director at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church, he was the musical director and the pianist for the Damascus University Musical Ensemble which performed in many national and international concert halls. Between 1966 and 1973 he was the musical director and talent coordinator for a weekly variety show at the National Syrian TV channel. He also managed a six member musical group “The Professionals” which performed in clubs and music halls almost continuously in the same years. Andre had the opportunity to accompany many international artists on stage and in recording studios. In 1973, he obtained his Doctorate Degree in Medicine and completed one year of residency in surgery in Damascus.
Andre immigrated to the United States in 1974 to continue his medical training and joined St. Mark’s Armenian Catholic Church. He became a family practitioner and in recent years has been specializing in the treatment of fibromyalgia. As a parishioner of St. Mark’s he continued his tradition of contribution and involvement. He quickly became an active member of the parish and choir and was elected Chairman of the Parish Council in 1989, a position he held for four years. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Armenian Sisters Academy in Radnor, PA.
Dr. Garabedian has actively participated in the Armenian community life in Philadelphia for years, being involved with the Armenian Intercommunal Committee activities for over eight years. He has performed in multiple local Armenian churches and functions. He enjoys playing the organ at his local church on Sundays and has played the Grand Organ of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York twice.
Andre has a great interest in Armenian music in general but especially the sacred and traditional music. He presents these traditional pieces in new arrangements and with a fresh look, using modern musical concepts while preserving the music’s fundamental Armenian spirit. “My ultimate goal is to revive this wonderful music and keep it very appealing to the young generations despite a strong influence by pop culture and music, while giving the older generations the chance to relive and reminisce with a renewed interest”.
HYE Quality Records has given Andre the opportunity to achieve his goal. “I was always asked by friends and fans to make a CD over the years, but due to career demands never had the time to devote for such a project. I know that for me this was a wonderful experience, and I hope that everyone will enjoy the music!” -Andre