UP Music Pays Homage to Early Filipino Symphonic Band Composers

The University of the Philippines (UP) College of Music presents a rare concert featuring UP Symphonic Band, under the baton of Prof. Rodney Ambat, playing an all-Filipino music repertoire originally composed for symphonic band. Scheduled on Thursday, July 18, 6:30 pm at Abelardo Hall Auditorium, Quezon City, the concert is titled “Ode to the Filipino People” and pays homage to music leaders who made remarkable contributions to the development of band music in the Philippines, especially during early twentieth century when Philippine Constabulary Band caught worldwide attention for its high level of musicianship.

The highlights of the evening are pieces by Capt. Pedro B. Navarro, the first Filipino conductor of the famed Philippine Constabulary (PC) Band and who succeeded Afro-American Walter H. Loving. The musical skill and artistry of Capt. Navarro was noticed by the world’s leading band conductors of his time, including John Philip Sousa. Capt. Navarro got his musical training under the great Filipino composer Marcelo Adonay.

Only nine of Navarro’s written scores survive today although the search for more compositions is on-going. Most of his music is composed for band with light, sometimes whimsical melodies. Often a Spanish rhythmic flavor underlies the harmonies while at other times Navarro’s military influence is evident in the percussion.

Tickets for the show are priced at P 150 wih special discounts for students and the elderly. For more details, please call 9260026. 9296963, or 9818500 loc. 2639.

The concert is part of the Philippine music heritage series of UP College of Music, which aims to promote the genius of Filipino creativity in the field of music. An educational exhibit on Capt. Navarro’s musical career will be provided by ethnomusicologist and great-granddaughter of Navarro, Dr. Mary Talusan.

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