San Sebastian to hold sacred music concert

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SAN SEBASTIAN Church in R. Hidalgo, Manila RICHARD A. REYES

Imagine sitting in a Gothic all-steel church looking resplendent because of the blend of lights especially designed for an event celebrating sacred music, which, according to the Sacrosanctum Concilium, or the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, “is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art.”

One will be awed with the sensory experience of feasting with the eyes and the ears on the lights and shadows upon the stained-glass windows, steel walls, pillars and ceilings, blending harmoniously with the sound and silences of musical creations the purpose of which is “the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful.”

This is what’s in store for everyone during the first Musica Sacra Festival to be held May 31 at San Sebastian Basilica.

The event, organized by San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation Inc. (BasteCon), is a celebration of both sacred music and sacred architecture.

Six choirs and individual musicians will perform.

May 31 is a Marian feast commemorating the Visitation, when Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth during which she sang the Magnificat, that most wonderful praise of God.

The Eucharistic celebration before the concert will be in Latin and presided at 5:30 p.m. by Fr. Rene Paglinawan, OAR, a member of BasteCon.

The concert, open to all for free, is at 7 p.m.

During the concert, Fr. Lauro Larlar, OAR, prior provincial of the Order of Augustinian Recollects (OAR), will give a short talk on the conservation of the cultural patrimony of the Church. Tina Paterno, conservator and member of the board of trustees of BasteCon, will give a status report on the conservation of the basilica.

Choirs performing are Bel Suono Chamber Singers, Coro Obcento, Lighter Side Movement Choir, Basilica Chorus, COC Ensemble of PUP and San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R) Manila Singers Ensemble.

Mafe Tingocia will sing Malotte’s “The Lord’s Prayer” as she opens the night of medieval, Renaissance, gospel and contemporary music. Joey Vargas, director for culture and arts of SSC-R Manila, is festival director.

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