Rebecca Ann Holman was born in Wichita, Kansas on April 2, 1956 to E. Jack Holman and Dorothy Holman. The family moved to California where they eventually settled in Lemoore. Her father was musically inclined but taught English for many years at Lemoore High School where Rebecca graduated in 1974. Her mother was a classically trained soprano, and taught at the elementary school in Lemoore.
Rebecca, a soprano, earned her BA degree in Vocal Performance from CSU, Fresno in 1980. Rebecca met the man who was to become her husband, David Sarkisian, as they performed in a production of the musical, Kismet (fate). They were married in 1983.
Rebecca went on to receive her MM in Vocal Performance at San Francisco State University in 1986.
Rebecca and David brought into the world two children, Amelia and Philip. As their children grew up and began to show an interest and aptitude for theater, this musical couple helped foster in them a deep love and appreciation for the arts.
After college Mrs. Sarkisian performed in a variety of genres including opera, operetta, oratorio, musical theater and recital, both locally and throughout the state. Working with such organizations as the Music From Bear Valley Festival, Opera Fresno, Center Stage Productions, Good Company Players and The Sierra Chamber Opera, she has performed a number of roles. Rebecca served as vocal coach for a number of local theater companies including Good Company Players, Center Stage Productions, and Children’s Musical Theaterworks. She was associated with the Fresno City College Music Faculty since 1986, teaching voice and helped to build the Opera/Musical Theatre program. She took great care to prepare her students for four-year university degrees, and a professional career in music.
Rebecca served on the Board for the Sierra Chamber Opera, a local non-profit delivering entertaining and instructional music to grade schools throughout the Central Valley. She was a member of California Music Educators Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Mrs. Sarkisian also maintained a private voice studio, instructing students of all ages in the art of singing.
Furthermore, Rebecca completed another master’s degree: an MA in Education: Higher Education Leadership and Administration. In 2014, Rebecca was among the first adjunct faculty members in the state to receive the prestigious Hayward Award. She served as Interim Dean of Instruction for the Fine, Performing and Communication Arts Division at Fresno City College. Toward the end of her life, she became the vocal director for New Wrinkles, an annual stage production for senior citizens. The cast always expressed an appreciation for Rebecca’s kindness, patience and attention to details.
Rebecca is survived by her husband David, daughter Amelia Parks, son Philip Sarkisian, her brothers Jack Kere Holman and David Guy Holman, and her sister Patricia Thrasher.
David Bonetto's Tribute to Rebecca
I felt her spirit Wednesday night at dress rehearsal. She was ever present. Giving me strength to push through and make this show happen. She hung on to see the dream become exactly as we talked for Months actually a year to the day and countless hours on. I am beyond grateful.
My words for the Cast last tonight
If Becky could, she’d tell us that her work here on earth is done.
She received a call for an appointment, an assignment from which she will not be returning.
This assignment comes with an eternal dividends, a reunion with family and friends she has not not seen in a long time.
Her new mission takes her to a glorious place where she will be in the presence of amazing company, listening and directing to the most melodic music ever sang, dancing in the streets of gold, all to her heart’s content.
Music, joy, laughter and love are guaranteed to fill her days.
The best part is she has the perfect place all prepared for her, and she’s been welcomed with loving, open arms by the ONE who created her.
Becky left detailed instructions for all of us to celebrate her mission here which has now been completed.
1) Use her life example to make the world a better place, help those who need your help
2) Love everyone with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on anyone, give the person who deserves it least, kindness & grace
3) Be a uniting force within whatever circle you are a part of
4) Remember me (Becky) as I look down from Heaven knowing that I am 100% free, healed, and restored. I am happy and at peace
5) When you sing, sing with joy and exuberance, when you dance, dance with all you’ve got in you. And just remember Don’t Do It!!!!
6) Know that I’m so proud of you, and I’ll be cheering you on from above"
Not just from all of us her Colleagues at Fresno City College, her New Wrinkles family but the entire Performing Arts Community and all of her students and friends Thank You Rebecca Sarkisian for the GIFT you shared with all of us. You are missed. David Sarkisian Philip Anthony Sarkisian and Amelia Parks I hold you in special thought and prayer. We dedicate the run of our show to her.
PLEASE GO TO THE LINK BELOW FOR A TRIBUTE FROM DONALD MUNRO
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State Center Community College Foundation, Re: Rebecca Sarkisian Memorial Scholarship Fund
1171 Fulton Street, 2nd Floor, Fresno CA 93721