The Marco Polo Plaza Hotel, led by general manager Hans Hauri, hosted a press conference at its lobby lounge with pianist Ingrid Sala Santamaria as special guest. It was actually for Ingrid to thank the media for their coverage of her 50th anniversary as a concert pianist in 2012.
It culminated with a grand concert held at the Marco Polo’s ballroom last Sept. 7, with a full house.
Accompanying her was a quintet from the Salvador and Pilar Sala Foundation’s Peace Philharmonic of the Philippines (PPP). The arrangements had been made by professor Jeffrey Solares, erstwhile music director of PPP.
The quintet was composed of excellent musicians like Reynaldo Abellana and Marc Hamlet Mercado, violins; Christian Abaiz, clarinet; Ariel Perez, bassoon; and Christopher Manus, bass.
Proceeds of this event amounted to P126,300. “We’re giving the check to the Salvador and Pilar Sala Foundation,” said Hans Hauri.
Ingrid stood up, and joined by her sister-in-law Susan M. Sala, president of the foundation, went to collect the outsize check.
With Hans Hauri were the hotel’s top brass—resident manager Julie Najar, director of sales and marketing Lara Constantino, e-marketing manager Yummy Mariot, front office manager Victor Alcantara, executive housekeeper Cielo Reyes, and press relations officers Kyra Cabaero and Mia Ali Faridoon.
Ingrid explained that the amount would help in training programs for Reynaldo Abellana, alumnus of the Sala Foundation’s music development program years back. In 2011 Rey set up the Cebu Philharmonic Orchestra of which he is the conductor and main inspiration.
At Calungsod chapel
This was an occasion to announce that a few nights later there would be a thanksgiving concert titled “Faith and Music: Glorious Gifts.” Venue would be the San Pedro Calungsod Chapel at the SM Seaside Complex soon to rise in Cebu City’s South Road Properties.
Presented by the SM Seaside Complex and the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod in cooperation with the Arts Council, the concert featured a classical program by the CPO conducted by Rey Abellana, with Ingrid in the finale.
An appreciative audience filled the chapel which is starkly elegant and comfortably air-conditioned. The program started at 8 p.m. with the Hymn to San Pedro Calungsod composed by Percival Cacanindin, and the national anthem.
In the repertoire were Beethoven’s Coriolanus Overture; the first movement (allegro con brio) from Mozart’s Symphony No. 25; the intermezzo from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana; and the first movement (vivace) from Bach’s Double Violin Concerto in D minor. Double “soloists” were the youngest members of the CPO—Paul Gilbert Ramos and Amira Axelle Miel.
Soprano Rhea Mae Sadaya sang “Nonot Kamo Kanako” as arranged by Francisco Feliciano, and Part I closed with a second rendition of the San Pedro Calungsod Hymn. A brief interval followed which allowed the grand piano to be wheeled in for Part II.
Sure enough, Ingrid made her entrance to great applause in an elegant aqua blue gown, a spray of diamante on her hair. She shone, as did the CPO, with the Piano Concerto in E minor by Chopin. Of course, there was a standing ovation.
The spotlight was next on Marissa Fernan, who on behalf of SM Seaside Complex Cebu, presented a hefty check to the CPO, represented by conductor Rey and concert master Marc.
Oh yes, there was an encore, with the CPO accompanying Rhea as she sang the San Pedro Calungsod Hymn. The printed program provided the lyrics which everyone could follow.
Kudos to all concerned. The CPO is preparing another concert before the year ends and Ingrid Sala Santamaria will once more be in it.