The Assyrian Aid Society of America celebrate the 1st Mesopotamian Night concert expanding to Los Angeles area on May 20, 2015, at the Performing arts Education Center in Calabasas, California

The first annual Mesopotamian Night — Los Angeles delivered a feast of Assyrian music and song Saturday, May 30, 2015 at the Performing Arts Education Center in Calabasas, California.  A professional symphony orchestra, soloists and chorus led by John Kendal Bailey, the American conductor with an Assyrian musical heart.

Assyrian singer, instrumentalist and composer Rachel Thomas opened the program with the powerful “Cuneiform Graffiti,” composed by Rachel and orchestrated by Edwin Elieh.  Followed by Maryam Kouchari singing the tender and longing song “Kharabid Nineveh” (“Ruins of Nineveh”) originally composed by Belis Daniel, with the lyrics by Yousip Jacob, and arranged and orchestrated by the Rev. Samuel Khangaldy.  Later in the show, Rachel performed two more songs “Ishtary” composed in 1977 by singer David Esha and followed it with “Ya Nishra d’Tkhoumeh” (The Eagle of Khumeh), composed, in 1917, by the legendary Assyrian Dr. Freydon Atouraya.

The highlight of the event was the premier of the Assyrian Genocide Suite for the Mesopotamia Choral and Orchestra Ensemble, composed and orchestrated by Edwin Elieh after the poem by Yosip Bet Yosip, commemorates the suffering of the Assyrians in the early days of the 20th century.

The famed Assyrian composer and conductor Honibal Yousef also made his first appearance after moving to the United States.  He performed his famous “Tanahang”, a Duet of Body & Piano, live on stage while showing the film he produced of an open-air concert held outside Tehran’s Theatre Shahr (city theatre), in September 2014, by the composer at the piano, with an incredible dance performance by Yaser Khaseb.  Honibal also incorporates music by the legendary Assyrian musician and composer Sooren Alexander.

The operetta Taliboota (The Marriage Contract), by the legendary Assyrian, the writer, composer and musician William Daniel, have now made it at three different Mesopotamian Night, San Jose, Chicago and now Los Angeles.  Composer Samuel Khangaldy set the operetta to the original song and subsequently expanded the poem with additional dialogue and musical variation.

The famed and popular Assyrian singer Ogin Bit Samo closed the concert with a rousing set of most popular and patriotic songs.