UP College of Music Tribute to National Artists Ramon Santos and Francisco Feliciano

QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES – Marking its 98th anniversary, the UP College of Music opens its faculty concert season for academic year 2014-2015 with Ipagdiwang! Tribute Concert to National Artists Ramon P. Santos & Francisco F. Feliciano at 6 pm on Thursday, 4 September 2014 at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium, UP College of Music. Admission is free but limited seats are available on first come first served basis.

Formerly known as University of the Philippines Conservatory of Music, formally opened on 4 September 1916 on Calle R. Hidalgo in Quiapo, Manila, UP College of Music has continuously nurtured the nation’s artists, scholars and teachers, and composers and has produced a number of alumni and faculty who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine musical art, and who were later on declared National Artists for Music by virtue of a proclamation from the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines. These include Antonio Molina, Antonino Buenaventura, Lucio San Pedro, Felipe de Leon, Andrea Veneracion, Jovita Fuentes, Jose Maceda, Ramon Santos, and Francisco Feliciano.

The concert will honor Dr. Ramon P. Santos and Dr. Francisco Feliciano, noted Filipino contemporary composers and celebrated pedagogues, who have been recently proclaimed National Artists for Music 2014. Both have received various international awards and their works are critically acclaimed. UP university professor emeritus Santos is known for his significant contributions in studying Philippine traditional music and for his search for new directions in music, focusing on non-Western and Southeast Asian traditions. He was former dean of the UP College of Music and is currently teaching at the Theory and Composition Department of the same college. Feliciano is known for his significant contributions in bringing global awareness to the indigenous musics of the Philippines and for his leadership in liturgical music in Asia. He was a faculty member of the UP College of Music, founded the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music (AILM), and is currently the president of Samba-Likhaan Foundation.

The program will be highlighted by tribute addresses from their noted colleagues and will feature performances of some of the composers’ celebrated works to be rendered by UP Cherubim and Seraphim to be conducted by Dr. Elena Rivera-Mirano, guitarists Lester Demetillo and Nathan Matimtim, AILM Chorale and AUIT under Mary Katherine Trangco and Eudenice Palaruan, UP Rondalla Ensemble, sopranos Bianca Camille Lopez and Jade Rubis Riccio with pianist Albert Roldan (pianist), and UP Dance Company with choreography by Steve Villaruz, which will be restaged by Herbert Alvarez for the event. UP Dance Company is under the direction of Angel Baguilat and partially consists of dancers Sarah Maria Samaniego
, Angella Betina Carlos, 
Michael Barry Que
, Minette Caryl Masa. The UP Contemporary Music Ensemble (CONEMUS) and Department of Musicology’s Tugtugang Musika Asya (TUGMA) will complete the show.

For more information and reservations, please call 926-0026/ 981-8500 local 2639 or visit http://www.facebook.com/UPCollegeofmusic or twitter.com/UPCMu2014

One can also call UP Diliman Telephone: +(632)981-8500 loc. 2629, Telefax: +(632)929-6963

A Priceless Gift of Music Heritage

The University of the Philippines College of Music library received a valuable donation of music scores on 10 April 2014, which adds to its music library’s Filipiniana collection of Rare Philippine Music Manuscripts. The donation was given by the youngest granddaughter of the famed Spanish criollo Filipino composer Jose A. Estella of late 19th century, Mrs. Ma. Angeles (aka Mariles) Estella Teotico. Once catalogued and accessible to performers and scholars, the gift will fill in our knowledge on the music cultural history of the country during the late Spanish colonial period onto the early American occupation.

Jose Estella (1870-1943) composed the ever famous soprano masterpiece “Ang Maya” and, as Dr. Kasilag wrote the bionote of the composer in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the first Philippine symphony in the Philippines titled “Filipinas,” which unfortunately is missing from the donation, along with the tone poem “Ultimo Adios” that was inspired by Jose Rizal’s poem of the same title, are milestones in Philippine history for they were composed before the rise of UP Conservatory of Music in 1920s. Estella studied music in Madrid Conservatory of Music.

With Asst. Professor Alegria Ferrer, librarian Lita Estipona, and the dean of the College Dr. Jose S Buenconsejo the boxes were picked up from Mrs. Teotico’s house.

The College now plans another Philippine music heritage concert in August this year with “concierto testimonial” for the Estellas who must be thanked for because of their caring act in safeguarding Philippine cultural patrimony.

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Ambat Conducts Modern and Postmodern Works for Symphonic Band in UP Music

The University of the Philippines College closes its second semester concert season 2013-14 with the UP Symphonic Band on March 20, 2014 at 6:30 PM. Abelardo Hall Auditorium, Quezon City. Billed “Extreme Make-Over,” the concert will be conducted by Prof. Rodney Ambat and will feature original contemporary symphonic band compositions by world composers. The concert is Ambat’s third since 2012, in which modern and postmodern symphonic band music is offered to the Filipino public.

The seven works on 20 March are all Philippine premieres and are some of the most challenging contemporary symphonic band repertoire.

The programme will start with “Banja Luka” composed by Jan de Haan (b. 1951). This piece portrays the composer’s feelings about the civil war in the Balkans in early 1990s. This will be followed by “Theme and Variations, op. 43 by Arnold Schoenberg and Alfred Reed’s “Divertimento for Flute,” the solo part of which will be played by Lester Armenta, a senior member of the band and a prize winner in Flute NAMCYA competition. “Saga Candida,” a concert suite by Bert Appermont ends the first part of the concert.

Symphony in B-flat for Band by a German composer Paul Hindemith will start the second half. This will be followed by the highlight of the evening, a piece titled “Extreme Make-over” by Johan de Meij. “Extreme Make-over for Wind Orchestra” is a neo-classical piece that transforms, as in postmodern parody and quotation, famous themes from Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky such as “Andante Cantabile,” Fourth and Sixth Symphonies, and Fantasy-Overture “Romeo and Juliet .” The evening will end with “Fanfare-Hayabusa” by Satoshi Yagisawa.

Tickets are at 200 pesos each, with 25% discount to students and senior citizens. For details, please contact the UP College of Music (02) 929-6963.

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UP Dawani Women’s Choir in Concert at Abelardo Hall

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The University of the Philippines (UP) College of Music proudly presents Dr. Beverly Shangkuan-Cheng conducts the unique UP Dawani Women’s Choir in a concert titled “Serenade to Music” on Thursday, March 6, 6:30 PM in Abelardo Hall Auditorium, Quezon City. UP Dawani Women’s Choir is the only known all-women choir who performs on the concert stage in the Philippines today and is directed by the first Filipina who earned a doctorate in music arts in choral conducting from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor School of Music.

The rarity of hearing blended voices of women in the realm of art music live matches the repertoire of the evening some of which will be heard for the first time in the country. These are “We have come” by Abbie Betinis, Selections from “Suite de Lorca” by Einojuhani Rautavaara, “Tundra” by Ola Gjeilo, “Things That Never Die” by Lee Dengler, and “Serenade to Music” by Ralph Vaughan Williams. J.S. Bach’s “Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten” from Cantata No. 78 will complete the first part of the program. For the second section, Dr. Shangkuan-Cheng will conduct the UP Chorus Classes render the complete Mass in G Major, D. 167 by Franz Schubert.

Solo parts of the concert will be interpreted by Stefanie Quintin, Noemi Binag, Phoebe Bitoon, Ivy Buenaventura, Alyssa Dioquino, Maria Flores, Ervin Lumauag, Christopher Arceo, Pauline Arejola, John Borja, Myron dela Cruz, Lara Maigue, Louise Manuel,Rhys Plopinio, Jed Rodillas, Michael Undag, and Jay-El Viteño. They will be accompanied by pianist Mikhail Lastrilla, organist Armando Salarza, and instrumentalists Micah James Sanchez, Jacques Dufort, Jose Enrico Tuazon, Victoria Regalario, Ralph Taylan, Joy Allan Cruz, Giuseppe Andre Diestro, and Paolo Jaime Alcantara.

​Admission ticket to the concert on 6 March 2014 is Php 200. Students with valid IDs are entitled 50% discount and senior citizens, 20%. For details please cal 929-6963 or 981-8500 loc 2629 or email Eva at gondour03@yahoo.com.

IkoToki: Sounding UP Campus’ Daily Moves

 The University of the Philippiines College of Music presents the “IkoToki,” a new composition for a Jeepney Orchestra, composed by Dr. Maria Christine Muyco. This premiere will take place on February 28th, Friday at 6:00 PM at the Ampitheatre of the U.P. College of Science Complex on February 28, 2014, Friday, at 6 PM. The concert is free.

The Jeepney Orchestra consists of instruments from jeepney parts, which the composer collected from junk shops around Quezon City and turned into sounding instruments. JP Hernandez constructed wind instruments such as paihip (flute), tambudoy (side-blown flute), and tatot (trumpet). Percussions consist of tubophones (tube xylophone) and IkoToki Tultogan (mini jeep as idiophone) put together by Allan Hernandez, Romeo Cudiamat, and Boy Rullog. There is also the bakagong (tongue metal drum) and tatsulok (triangle) from Boy Rullog. Cris Garcimo created the Jeepnilamella, a kalimba-like instrument made out of jeepney plates. Another section of the Jeepney Orchestra is the Speech Choir by the Arts Studies students of Ms. Krina Cayabyab.

As the jeepneys highlight this concert, there will be actual jeepneys plying the circular Ampitheatre during the event. Ikot drivers Renato “James” Lino and Jason Reyes will be joined in by Toki drivers Julius Guevarra and Emmanuel Salvador. Music from sound installations will be part of the concert.

Works by students from the College of Music such as Jordan Peralta, Melita Cruz, Karl San Jose, Jairus Saldajeno, and Jonathan Domingo will be featured with the assistance of Nico Valdez (College of Engineering), Jam Respicio (College of Fine Arts), College of Arts and Letters classes, and that of Dr. Carmela Espanola from the College of Science, Institute of Biology. For further details, please email <jeepney.orch@yahoo.com.ph>

Cebuano Daygon by Estellores of Danao

From a unilineal point of view, it is ironic that I greet new year 2014 with an old Cebuano song “Gabii Dakong Bulahan,” which is a daygon (Christmas song). I recorded this in the midmorning of December 31, 2013 at the gate of the house where I grew up in Consolacion Cebu and I asked permission from the mature singer to have this recorded and posted here. The singer is Virginia Estellore, age 50, from Suba Duterte, Danao City, Northern Cebu, with daughter Mercy Estellore. Virginia is a part-time washerwoman who married to a trisikad (three-wheeled public vehicle) driver and part-time fisherman. She and her daughter learned the song by ear but it comes from a written “orihinal,” which texts can also be dictated to singers in a long performance version.

The material is posted for educational purpose. Here’s the link:

Happy and Blessed New Year!

On Fr. James Reuter, SJ play Ang Pagdating ng Hari

When I first encountered Fr James Reuter’s play two months ago, I immediately thought this was an excellent children’s play because it captures the Filipino essence of sharing and the ethic of pakikipagkapwa, particularly in Christmas time. In the play, gifts meant for oneself were shared to those in need and this action clearly pointed to the idea not of egoism or pagsasarili but of charity or pakikipagkapwa that becomes more significant because the gifts, originally meant for the King, were shared or sacrificed to strangers who, as we later know, were equivalents to the King. From childhood, we were taught that a King is a head of a state. But when the King explained in this story that he is the same as the poor child, old man, and woman, we were puzzled because we know they are different in real life in terms of status, kayamanan, and prestige. However, the King himself explained to us that he is the same as his kapwa tao, which simply means that there is equality in that kingdom or that each and every individual in that society deserves respect and recognition for his or her uniqueness. Thus, the King is a symbol of justice and this is why, I believe, he showed his presence. He appeared. Now supposing the gifts were not shared to the visitors, can we think of the King appearing in the midst of that family? Most likely not. In that scenario, we would not have this story, my speech, to tell you. The family and their visitors would have continued living on separate islands without a sense of community.
What the gift actually accomplished in the play was that it bonded the people beyond the family into a society whose individual members, in the eyes of the law, have inalienable rights to be treated as kapwa tao. The play clearly tells this morality, ie., each individual in the Kingdom has the responsibility to recognize the rights of his or her kapwa, whose presence compels the sarili to respond to the uniqueness of his or her katapat. More importantly, the play also informs us that this pakikipagkapwa, charity or compassion is absolutely founded on social justice because without it, the idea of state or society is not possible.
I believe this combination of justice and compassion is the true spirit of Christmas and in behalf of the UP College of Music Extension program, we are all happy to have shared this wonderful story of humanity to you this afternoon, thanks to the cooperation of our teachers in the extension program, students, and guests in the making of this project a reality for the season. For the additional funding that went to mounting this little production, I wish to thank sponsors Ms Helen Limcaoco of Little Gym and Mr. Peter Coyuito of First Life Financial Corporation and also to the parents of the children who accompanied them in rehearsals.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am deeply grateful to all of them. Please allow me now to introduce the cast, artistic staff and technical crew one by one as my way of recognizing their contributions to the making of Ang Pagdating ng Hari.