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Strike Up the Band: Asadoorian Named Fine Arts Director

High School band director takes over from retiring William Pappazisis.

Seven years ago, Arto Asadoorian said his "dream job" would be directing music in Belmont. 

Starting next month, the Belmont resident will be leading the entire arts curriculum in the Belmont School District as the popular High School band conductor was named the new Director of Fine and Performing Arts by Superintendent Dr. Thomas Kingston at the School Committee's Tuesday night meeting, June 5.

"(Asadoorian) was the candidate who has the greatest promise of eventually filling the shoes of Mr. Pappazisis," said Kingston, whose announcement was met with a round of applause. 

William Pappazisis who has headed the department since 2001 and is responsible for the growth of the arts program across the town's six schools is retiring next month. 

Kingston said he and Assistant Superintendent Janice Darin's choose Asadoorian due in large part to his experience teaching at all grade levels and working closely in other arts fields particularly drama which he directed the musical ensembles supporting stage plays and musicals.

The dilemna for Asadoorian will be giving up nearly all his teaching responsibilities to administer Belmont's highly recognized and award-winning arts program although he will continue directing for about fifth of his time in the next school year, said Kingston. 

A native of Shrewsbury who has strong family ties to Belmont, Asadoorian became a musician early, studying piano at five and taking up the saxophone in the fifth grade.

Asadoorian received a degree in Music Education and Saxophone Performance Honors from Syracuse University in 1999, and a Master's Degree in Jazz Composition from New Jersey City University in 2005.

After working for six years as a teacher and performer in the New York City area, he and is wife moved back to Massachusetts in 2005. 

In 2006, Asadoorian began his career in Belmont, directing the Belmont High School bands.

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