The UP Alumni Association (UPAA) has gathered almost 200 musical performers for the grand event slated on Friday, November 21, 2008, 7 p.m. at the UP Theater, Diliman, Quezon City. 100 Years of World Class Music is directed by Behn Cervantes, a theater institution himself, who established the UP Repertory Company.
The presentation will gather the university’s acclaimed choirs--the Philippine Madrigal Singers, the UP Concert Chorus, the UP Singing Ambassadors and the UP Manila Chorale. Musical greats like Evelyn Mandac, Noel Velasco, Frankie Asiñero, Camille Lopez-Molina, Nolyn Cabahug, Dondi Ong, Ana Feleo, Aileen Cura, Jean Velasco-Vicars, Emlyn Santos, Joseph Olfindo, Eric Ferrer, violinist Joseph Esmilla, flutist Tony Maigue and classical guitarist Lester Demetillo will also be performing with the orchestra of the UP College of Music.
UPAA President Gari Tiongco said that while many of these renowned musicians and performers are now based abroad, they could not miss the opportunity to honor their beloved alma mater. “By honoring UP through this once-in-a-lifetime event, these alumni also honor the University with their world-class performances,” he said.
100 Years of World Class Music will also recognize distinguished alumni soprano Evelyn Mandac, tenor Noel Espiritu Velasco, UP Cherubim and Seraphim founder Prof. Flora Zarco Rivera and the late UP Concert Chorus director Prof. Rey Paguio.
Mandac, a magna cum laude graduate of the UP College of Music, took advanced studies at the Juilliard School before embarking on a memorable career in opera in the United States. In her illustrious career, she has sung opposite Placido Domingo and Joan Sutherland, and has performed in prestigious music festivals and concert halls.
Velasco is a multi-awarded tenor who has won the Pavarotti International Voice Competition, the Metropolitan Opera District Auditions, and the Liederkrantz Foundation Wagnerian Competition, to name a few. After UP, he pursued an international career as an opera and concert singer, and a music teacher. He was Artist-in-Residence and principal tenor of the Opera Company of Boston for eight seasons.
Prof. Rivera is credited with rebuilding the Philippine children’s choral movement with her establishment of the UP Cherubim and Seraphim in 1971. Discovering that very few musical pieces were available for children’s choirs, she encouraged peers, notably composer Lucio San Pedro and her students Ramon Santos, Fabian Obispo, Ruben Federizon and Ryan Cayabyab, to write for children’s choirs.
The late Prof. Paguio is credited with turning the UP Mixed Choir in 1969 into the UP Concert Chorus as they are known today. Paguio graduated from the UP College of Music himself, and later became a beloved college professor and conductor.
The UP College of Music has nurtured some of the Philippines’ finest singers and musicians. The College has been privileged to have National Artists for Music among its faculty. The impressive list includes musician and composer Antonio J. Molina, a UP Conservatory of Music graduate who later taught two other National Artists, composer and later faculty member Felipe de Leon and Bayanihan Dance Company founder Lucresia Kasilag.
Lucio San Pedro, who composed the country’s most famous lullaby with Levi Celerio, Sa Ugoy ng Duyan, was also a faculty member. Other National Artists who have taught at the college are ethomusicologist Jose Maceda and Philippine Madrigal Singers founder Andrea O. Veneracion.
100 Years of World Class Music celebrates their wonderful musical contributions to the Philippines and to the world. Tickets are sold at popular prices with discounts for faculty and students. For details, call up the UPAA secretariat at 9206868 and 9206871.