Latest Stories

Children instrumental ensembles and the Madz perform prelude to their New York show in May


Philippine Montessori Center Instrumental Ensemble

THE KIDDIE ensembles and the Madrigal Singers

Children instrumentalists from two schools, the Philippine Montessori Center (PMC) and Temple Hill International Ensemble (THIE), together with the Philippine Madrigal Singers, will have a collaborative performance at the Merkin Concert Hall, Kaufman Center in New York City, on May 28.

A matinee and a gala performance are scheduled on the same day under the banner “Pinoys to the World: A Celebration of the Filipino Musical Artistry,” before an international audience.

Their performance is made possible through the invitation of Amper Concert and Recording Productions Inc., which is dubbed  the Musical Voice of Filipinos in America.

Filipino guitarist-composer Michael Dadap heads the company. He is also the artistic director of New York’s Children’s Orchestra Society.

The organization’s main thrust is to present talented Filipino artists to international audiences through recordings and performances.

A sampling of the slated performance was recently held at the lobby of the Ayala Museum in Makati City. The concert served as a prelude, a soft launch to a bigger farewell performance set for April 28 at the Meralco Theater.


The soft launch was held to drum up financial support earmarked for the groups New York trip.

The performance also celebrated PMC’s 45th founding anniversary and the 25th anniversary of its outreach project in Smokey Mountain,  Mithing Pangarap Educational and Livelihood Foundation, which gives free education to indigents.

Simply stunning

The kiddie instrumental ensembles and the  Madrigal Singers electrified the audience. Their performance was simply stunning.

It has been three years since the children ensembles had performed on the local stage. Seeing the ensembles entirely made up of new members was refreshingly engaging. They showed admirable zest, sensitive musicality and dashing presence!

School director Iluminada Woellhaf said at the cocktails that it usually took some three years to hone the skills of the children, who are selected on the basis of potential and interest in music before a concert was staged.

At the Philippine Montessori Center, preschool children aged 4-6 years are already exposed to music and   trained. When the children move on to  elementary level at the Temple Hill International School, an affiliate of PMC, with age  ranging  7-10 years, music education continues and is integrated into the standard curriculum to provide the children a holistic development.

For the concert, the children rehearsed almost daily after classes, said TJ Manotoc, who hosted the program and whose daughter plays with Temple Hill School Musical Ensemble (Thisme).

TEMPLE Hill International School Music Ensemble.

Angel Aquino, whose daughter also attends Temple Hill, joined Manotoc in hosting the program warmly and intelligently.

Familiar tunes

The Madz opened the concert with arrangements of familiar tunes, a potpourri of familiar pieces from operatic arias to Cole Porter.

The mood for light listening was at once set, what with the usual antics the Madz are wont to do: dish out, for instance, Rossini’s familiar “William Tell Overture” in  syllables children are adept to do; rhapsodize with a familiar aria, “La Donna e Mobile,” with soloist tenor Ervin Lumauag; weave a cacophony of forest sounds in “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King”; croon  Cole Porter’s “Night and Day,” or spin a boogie-woogie beat with “In the Mood,” all to the delight of the audience.

In the second set, they awed the audience with more songs, notably, “Shine,” and their “a la bodabil” singing in “Da Cocunut Nut.”

The PMCIE, composed of a dozen toddlers, played on the marimba, anklung, metallophone, timpani and snare drum. Easily, they tackled Dimitri Kabalevsky’s “Comedian’s Gallop,” quickly dishing out tunes with startling precision. Interestingly, two girls played on the timpani and the snare drum, traditionally played by the opposite sex.

When “O Ilaw” was played, the ambiance easily changed from mundane to celestial. Truly through intuition, the children seemed to have a better understanding of what is divine, so pure and innocent!

PMCIE is composed of Aanya Agarwal, Elisha Victoria Alcantara, Francesca Claudia Aquino, Margarita Isabelle Cham, Tatiana Alexi Cruz, Natalie Kraut, Marie Helene Lizares, Alexandra Madison Norbert, Santino Enrico Reyes, Glan Elise Rocero and Angeline Vincent Tecson.

Arresting dynamics

Thisme has   included the mandolin (banduria), an instrument from the lute family, thus lending the ensemble a new look and sound. Rightly so, because the ensemble had to tackle a Vivaldi piece: Allegro, Concerto for Two Mandolins, which was played with aplomb, complete with arresting dynamics.

In Khachaturian’s “Saber Dance,” the ensemble brought the house down. Thunderous applause greeted their playing at the end.

Thisme is composed of Jillian Triana Bautista, Justine Therese Bautista, Annika Budhrani, Alexandra Beatrice Cruz, Jaime Lorenzo Cruz, Xinia Jia Ji, Tara Victoria Laconico, Katrina Lorenzana, Michaela Marie Manotoc, Lia Nanca, Juliana Grace Payumo, Gabriel Joseph Payumo and Isabella Louise Singson.

At the marimba, Jose Benjamin B. Angeles Jr. son of Nancy Binay and Jose Benjamin Sr. and a pupil of Magdalena Fernandez, collaborated with Jonathan Coo on the piano, and impressed the audience with his  playing of two contrasting musical styles from the Baroque and Romantic periods.

He showed adeptness in the first movement of Vivaldi’s Concerto in D Major, as he struck quick-paced tones up and down the scale of the marimba. Then he had a tour de force in Chopin’s “Grande Valse Brillante,” etching well-phrased lines and clear tones with such a professional touch.

A big ensemble  filled up the stage when the three groups made a composite group with Mark Carpio on the podium;  teacher Lois M. Espinosa cueing the children as teacher Cathy S. Zulueta sat at the piano; and other teachers Jay Ian de la Cruz, Garche Tura Crodua and Cecile P. Salcedo stayed on the wings to guide the children.

The composite group cut an impressive presence, and tugged at audience’s hearts as it played a medley of familiar Philippine love songs. The arrangement was well done and thought of, bringing together such popular love songs as “Usahay,” “Minamahal Kita,” “Sarung Banggi,” “Maalaala Mo Kaya,” and “Katakataka” with a singular sweep.

Woellhaf  said backstage that the success of the production was anchored on the magnificent collaboration: the trio of  child, teacher and parent.

Our warmest congratulations!

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: Lifestyle , Music , News , Philippine Montessori Center

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
  1. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  6. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  7. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  8. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  9. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  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. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions