In 1989 Vatsche Barsoumian invited a group of Armenian-American musicians, teachers, and community leaders to form an ad hoc collective interested in infusing their immediate community with high caliber artistic programs. The group harbored a desire for something permanent and established from the outset a vision for the long-term.
The overarching plan was laid out in three phases: The first required the creation and management of volunteer groups to organize various musical functions and thereby build up a community around artistic events. The second phase intended to create a conservatory with focus given to musical and performance education. The third and final phase envisioned the formation of a research institute to study and explore Armenian arts and music.
This vision in place, the group launched their first efforts, which resulted in a series of concerts and lecture recitals. The initial success proved energizing and the call for such cultural activities from the community at large indisputable. The steering committee launched new endeavors with a wider reach, establishing itself as a permanent institution and a force within the Los Angeles Armenian community.
The next several years bore witness to a series of formative decisions in the collective’s evolution. The group, which had initially registered as a corporation under the name Komitas Arts Institute and worked under the patronage of the Hamazkayin Cultural Association, finally established itself independently as Lark Musical Society – a multi-disciplinary, non-profit, cultural & charitable organization, dedicated to the promotion and development of Armenian aesthetic and intellectual values.
In 1994 Lark further established Drazark Press, the first step in the creation of a permanent research facility. Finally, in 1996, a landmark year for the Society, came the establishment of the most visible and active branch of the organization: The Lark Music Conservatory.
With these accomplishments Lark Musical Society embarked on what has been two decades of continuous cultural activity. To date, Lark has organized over 300 concert events, published 30 plus scholarly treatises and musical anthologies, produced 5 compact discs, hosted numerous symposia and lectures, garnered commendations and awards on the state, national, and international level, educated hundreds of students in a wide range of musical studies, and established itself as a vibrant feature, not only of the Armenian Diaspora, but of the Southern California Arts Community.