Quantcast
Latest Stories

Tasteful program and fresh singing mark UST Christmas Concert’s 10th anniversary

By

THE UST Symphony Orchestra under conductor Herminigildo Ranera with the background of the Nativity, designed by Gino Gonzales. PHOTOS BY JOHN PAUL R. AUTOR AND JOHN DANIEL J. HIRRO

One of the most disconcerting things about Christmas concerts is that you get an overdose of Christmas carols some of which are better off heard on noontime TV shows than showcased in a formal concert.

Sometimes the artists accept one engagement too many. On some nights, you hear them sounding like they have been staying late for days on end.

Most often, some concerts are not redeemed by new talents who can’t go beyond being “promising.”

But the latest edition of the UST Christmas Concert managed to elude holiday traps and musical clichés with a tasteful program enhanced by a dose of fresh singing from guest artists, most of whom are artists of consequence and homegrown talents from the University of Santo Tomas, which turned 401 years old this year, the oldest university in Asia.

Grand, focused and refreshing was the opening number, “A Brassy Christmas,” rendered by the UST Brass Ensemble with Christmas numbers tastefully arranged by Herminigildo Ranera.

Indeed, it was a fitting opening number for the succeeding solo number of child soprano Vyktoria Therezze Bayle, who sang Felipe Padilla de Leon’s “Payapang Daigdig” with the UST String Orchestra.

Bayle’s nightingale voice beautifully floated above the orchestra, and hers was an enchanting voice seldom heard these days.

A cerebral feast for the ear was the rendition of Jose Mari Chan’s “Bells at Christmas” and Juan Silos Jr.’s “Kampana sa Simbahan,” by the Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir directed by Maria Theresa Vizconde Roldan.

Three tenors and sopranos (Nenen Espina, Thea Perez, Naomi Sison, Lemuel de la Cruz, Eugene de los Santos and Ronan Ferrer) interpreted Orlando de la Cruz’s arrangements of “Christmas Fantasia,” which ended with the ever popular “Nelia Fantasia.”

THE UST Singers under conductor Fidel Calalang (inset)

If this number sounded like a gymnasium spectacular, it was because the soloists were pitted against each other with the ensemble singing like a vocal duel and confrontation. The applause was deafening.

 

Best treat

Speaking of ensemble singing, the best treat came from the much-heralded UST Singers which sang Ryan Cayabyab’s “Ave Maria” with such verve while maintaining its delicate, haunting, parts.

Conducted by Fidel Calalang, the UST Singers remained in good shape, glittering in their black ensemble get-up matching the dazzling Gino Gonzales stage design of the gala concert.

For this music-lover, the seasoned soloists were the pleasant highlights of the concert.

Mezzo-soprano Clarissa Ocampo astounded with her “But Who May Abide the Day of His Coming?” from Handel’s “Messiah.”

MARICRIS Zobel lights the UST Christmas Tree, with Tony Zobel of AirAsia and Cultural Center of the Philippines president Raul Sunico (right). PHOTOS BY JOHN PAUL R. AUTOR AND JOHN DANIEL J. HIRRO

Soprano Rachelle Gerodias’ rendition of Bach’s “Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen,” BWR 51, once again highlighted her vocal agility, her solid coloratura qualities, which all found their mark in the difficult passages.

The epitome of vocal eloquence was baritone Andrew Fernando’s rendition of “Suo Gan,” again arranged and orchestrated by De la Cruz. A few pounds less and looking hale and hearty, Fernando interpreted the traditional song with breathtaking lines, the phrases sounding as though the piece had been composed for him.

He is one of the few singers who can make traditional songs come alive with rare vocal artistry. I believe this kind of singing is the hallmark of what authentic singing should be.

But the piece that brought me to the very essence of Christmas was cellist Renato Lucas and harpist Lourdes de Leon Gregorio’s rendition of Faure’s “Siciliene.” Also written for flute and violin with orchestral accompaniment, “Sicilienne” —this time performed for cello and harp—was just perfect for this Christmas gala heavily weighed down with Christmas carols.

The melancholy and pastoral scenes inherent in the piece found eloquent interpretation from Lucas and Gregorio. One thought this was the perfect Christmas gift one could wish for.

 

Christmas tradition

The concert culminated in a fitting finale where the community sang along with the performers, which all the more communicated the spirit of the season.

UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy,OP, welcomes VIP guests to the 10th installment of the UST classical Christmas concert.

This UST Christmas tradition is 10 years old this year, and it is a good time as any for good musical recollections.

Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, OP, rector magnificus of the Pontifical University, pointed out the yearly musical event was actually more than a musical extravaganza.

“It is a benefit concert, a gift-giving event, for the conservation and restoration of UST’s precious artworks and cultural treasures and for the development of musicians and artists of the school’s conservatory of music.”

The concert was also a means of thanking UST alumni, friends and benefactors, who have supported the conservation and restoration cause, even as it showcased the immense musical talents of the school, noted Fr. Isidro C. Abaño, OP, director of the UST Museum of Arts and Sciences and co-chair of the concert gala.

Maricris C. Zobel, Christmas gala co-chair, was profused with thanks for the supporters of the gala, among them Singapore Airlines, San Miguel Corporation and the Belo Medical Group.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Christmas , Lifestyle , Music , UST Christmas Concert



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer

News

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • [VIDEO] No assurances on Janet Lim-Napoles’ bid to become state witness
  • South Sudan president fires long-time army leader
  • Grenade explodes outside MPD Station 1
  • 25 cops ordered relieved over links to drugs
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
    Marketplace