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.

Biyaheng Diliman: Philippine Music at UP

As part of its 50th Anniversary Concert Series of the Abelardo Hall Auditorium, the UP College of Music presents Biyaheng Diliman: An Evening of Philippine Music on July 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm. The concert features visiting Filipino American artists from Boston, Massachusetts, USA , the Boston Iskwelahang Pilipino Rondalla Ensemble.

Iskwelahang Pilipino (IP) was formed in 1976 by a group of parents in Bedford, Massachusetts who needed to create this learning environment for their children. A volunteer based not-for-profit organization, IP is the “longest continuously running Filipino school in the United States” (FAHNS, Seattle, Washington). The rondalla program was established 10 years later by Cristina Castro. Under the musical direction of classical guitarist, Michael Dadap, and his successor Christi-Anne Castro, the IP Rondalla has developed into a versatile ensemble capable of playing folk, popular, and art music, as well as contemporary compositions for rondalla. The students quickly found that they could incorporate dance and movement into their repertoire, a first for rondallas in general and a signature of the IP Rondalla to this day.

Over the years, the IP Rondalla has matured as a truly Filipino American expression. The Rondalla regularly performs at colleges, folk festivals and other Filipino American events raising awareness about Filipino Americans and the Philippines and eliciting nostalgia for the homeland among Filipino expatriates through familiar tunes. Other highlights for the rondalla in the US include playing at the United Nations in NYC, twice performing for then- President Fidel Ramos, and devoting a concert to the Filipino maestro, Nitoy Gonzales. The rondalla has 2 CDs: Crossing Over (1995) and Pasko Sa America! (2002), an album of Filipino and Western Christmas favorites.

Biyaheng Diliman also features the special participation of the UP Tugtugang Musika Asyatika (UP Tugma), the student organization of Asian Music and Musicology majors at the UP College of Music. UP Tugma comprises of a number of performing ensembles including Chinese Sizhu, Japanese Koto, Javanese Gamelan, Korean Samulnori and Philippine Traditional music. The group has represented the country in international festivals in Hunan province, China and in various cities in Thailand. For this concert, the group will be presenting songs and dances of the Panay Bukidnon and the Maguindanao.

Tickets for the show are priced at P250 with special discounts for students and the elderly. For more details, please call 9818500 loc. 2639 and 9296963.


The UP Madrigal Singers (aka Philippine Madrigal Singers) celebrates its 50th Anniversary in concerts at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium on June 27 (Thursday) and June 28 (Friday) 2013, 6:30 p.m. Founded by National Artist in music Andrea Veneracion, the UP Madrigal Singers is considered the best choir in the Philippines and famous for its intense and heartfelt renditions of complicated art choral music. They recently completed a tour in the Americas. The 50th Anniversary coincides with the Golden Anniversary of the Abelardo Hall in UP Diliman.

Tickets at Php500; Php400 (Senior Citizen), Php250 (Students with valid IDs). For ticket reservation, please call 9818500 local 2639 or 9296963.