Armenia’s Octet Music School Supported By TONY IOMMI, IAN GILLAN Opens

September 20, 2013, 5 years ago

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Gyumri Armenia’s Octet music school - with help from the Rock Aid Armenia/Armenia Grateful 2 Rock project spearheaded by BLACK SABBATH's Tony Iommi and DEEP PURPLE frontman Ian Gillan - officially opened today.

Iommi remarks: "Great news, the school in Armenia was officially opened today. I wasn't able to go but Ian did the honours, thanks mate. Tim from Millbank Music also went which was really good as he could see the instruments he sent over being used. I'm hoping to visit next year when things have slowed down a bit. Here's a photo of the school this morning."

The story started 25 years ago. A few months after the devastating Spitak earthquake that killed 25 thousand Armenians and left hundreds of thousands homeless (on December 7, 1988), 24 year old Jon Dee organized the Rock Aid Armenia project in London. British rock stars recorded a top 40 cover version of Deep Purple's 'Smoke On The Water' and helped to release the special Earthquake Album. Revenue from the single and album sales was contributed as aid to Armenia and to rebuild the Octet Music School.

In 2010, Ian Gillan and Tony Iommi set up the WhoCares ad-hoc super-group to raise funds for the Octet school. In May 2011, Edel Music released the first single by WhoCares with 2 brand new songs – 'Out of My Mind' and 'Holy Water'. In July 2012, Edel Music released the WhoCares album that comprises the two songs from the single and unreleased and rare material from Gillan and Iommi’s back catalogue.

Ian Gillan once called the Octet school a “great symbol”. This cause is a great combination of Philanthropy and Art that are coming together to support these talented young children.

“I am very pleased and honoured to be involved in this very special cause; it is dear to my heart. I can't wait for the music to start," said Ian Gillan.

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