The main building is three stories high, with 34 classrooms, a concert hall, a sports hall, a fully equipped cafeteria, and a main entrance hall.
The other two buildings are designated as living quarters with capacity to house 200 students. Living quarters are five stories high and equipped with full amenities, to provide the much-needed tranquil living conditions for the children of Nagorno Karabakh and neighboring regions who chose to reside on campus.
On September 7, 1997, the Daniel Ghazaryan School began its first academic session with 35 students, following an official opening ceremony. Speakers at the ceremony included government dignitaries from the Republic of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The ceremony also featured poetry recited by the students.
That day, for the first time in the history of Shushi, the new flag of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh was raised, as the students performed the republic's anthem.
Daniel Ghazaryan School Today
Students from first to tenth grade follow standard academic curriculum appropriate to their respective grade level. Each student is given individual music instruction with high specialized music teachers.
Upon graduating, each student has the skills and credentials to pursue any career option, especially in music and teaching.
Some of our graduates have returned to the school and are teaching the new generation.
Daniel Ghazaryan is one of the most well-known Armenian composers who has also earned his fame as a conductor, teacher, and "the father" of the revival of Armenian children's music.
He was born in 1883 in the city of Shushi. Both of his parents were teachers. He received his primary eduation at the Shushi Elementary School, and his professional vocal training under the guidance of the renowned professor Petrov.
As a student in the conservatory, Daniel organized choirs for blue-collar workers in neighboring regions. He began his career as a choral conductor, and was highly respected children's music instructor for over 50 years. The music curriculum he prepared was followed by many generations of teachers.
In 1933, through the vision and hard work of this master, a new artistic era began for the Children's Opera of Yerevan. Masterpieces such as Ghazaryan's "Haghtvatz Bazen" and "Gaileh," as well as Muradyan's "Shunn u Gadoon," Umr-Shadi's "Oolignereh," "Chari Verjeh," and many other children's operas were performed regularly.
His legendary methods guide our school's teachers today.
Located in the Varanda province of Nagorno Karabakh. The city, on the banks of the Karkar River, is situated 1600 meters (5,249 feet) above sea level.
Since Christianity, prominent spiritual centers situated close to Shushi, such as Amaras and Gandzasar, played important roles in the history of Armenian culture; the monastery of Hovhaness Mkrtich of Gandzasar (1238) for instance, has been the residence of the Catholicos of Armenians in the eastern region for centuries.
In the mid 18th century, Shushi became a city-fortress and by the 19th century, a political, commercial and cultural center.
Shushi lived though its own Golden Age, lasting over 100 years, until March 23, 1920, when Turkish and Azeri mobs set the city on fire. Thousands of homes, shops, schools were burnt down
Since its foundation, the city did not live through much peace. Throughout its history, fierce battles have taken place between Armenian, Persian, Turkish and Russian armies.
A Long and Arduous Journey of Rebuilding
"When I visited Shushi in 1993, there was nothing left but ruins of a once beautiful and culturally thriving city.
Once we began the preliminary preparations in 1994, we realized what a monumental and unbelievably difficult task we were faced with. The only road to Armenia was via Lachin, and it was in terrible shape, and quite dangerous to drive through. There was no electricity and limited fuel. The city's location on a mountaintop further complicated the task ahead. In addition, the only equipment available was a heavy duty truck and a crane.
Our first project was to transport cement to Shushi. This, we accomplished by utilizing four cement trucks from Armenia. At the time, the Yerevan-Shushi trip was normally a ten-hour drive. It took the cement trucks three days to complete the trip. The fourth truck was lagging behind by a full day due to continued bombing along the stretch of road.
There were very few helping hands along the way. Shushi, a city once inhabited by 30,000 people, was now home to only 3,000, most of whom were women, children, and elderly. We therefore had to extend our search for laborers to the neighboring cities of Goris, Sisian, and Yeghegnadzor.
Workers would often come and work for a month and then leave for various reasons. Everything was done manually: hauling the cement, stones, and sand up to the third floor of the building, mixing them with water on site. Since winters are harsh in Shushi, construction could only take place from April to October.
By winter 1995, the three roofs of the main building were completed. Shortly thereafter, construction slowed down to a crawl when funds were exhausted and donations became scarce. Meanwhile, inflation was driving the cost of building materials higher and higher. We were therefore forced to stop construction several times until funds became available again.
Finding building material was yet another challenge. In 1997, we arranged for the transport of window glass, valued at $3,000 from Iran via Meghri. With help from the United Armenia Fund, $3,800 of plumbing material was shipped from Los Angeles. It was through the same channels that we were able to send $18,000 worth of new and used carpentry machines to Shushi. These machines provided great savings because building materials and classroom furniture could not be built onsite.
In September 1997, the renovation of 16 classrooms in the main building of the school were completed. Daniel Ghazaryan opened its doors to its first class of 35 students."
The Foundation of Shushi Music Academy
Since 1994, the Shushi Music Academy has been working relentlessly to found and support the Daniel Ghazaryan School. Located in the heart of Nagorno Karabah, this academy was established to stimulate the cultural reawakening of the ancient city of Shushi. The organization which was officially recognized by the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh in 1994, firmly believe that its graduates will play major roles in Shushi, the region, Armenia, and the world.
In 1994, the mayor of Shushi donated three war-torn buildings to the Daniel Ghazaryan School.