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Arba Lijoch

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On route to Europe, while visiting the Armenian monastery in Jerusalem, Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, the Crown Prince met 40 Armenian orphans (አርባ ልጆች Arba Lijoch, "forty children") who had escaped from the Armenian genocide in Turkey. They impressed him so much that he received permission from the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem to adopt and bring them to Ethiopia, where he arranged for them to receive musical instruction, and they formed the Imperial brass band. The 40 teenagers arrived in Addis Ababa on September 6, 1924, and along with their bandleader Kevork Nalbandian became the first official orchestra of the nation. Nalbandian composed the music for the Imperial National Anthem, Marsh Teferi (words by Yoftahé Negusé), which was official in Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974.

Source: (French)

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