“A world without music, can you imagine that? No more songs. Actually music is a gift. Hindi puwedeng mawala ang music (no way can music disappear). There are many kinds of music; only we (Filipinos) can do the kulintang, for example. Without music there is no identity. We are the richest in the whole world. We move in two worlds; it is our identity.”
The words are from National Artist for Music Ramon P. Santos, who presided over a recent press conference of the National Competitions for Young Artists (Namcya) at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City. The press launch was called by Namcya, formally organized in 1973, to announce a “concert of winners” to be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippine (CCP) on Aug. 23.
Other Namcya officials present were leading cellist Renato Lucas, president, and Maria Paz Diaz-Lagdameo, chair. Program host was tenor Ronan Ferrer of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Conservatory of Music, who shared that the organization has touched base with more than million youths in its annual program of activities.
“Music is part of our lives,” Santos added. “It is part of our existence. Classical music, they say, is the highest level of aesthetics.”
Classical guitarist Aaron Biag performed during the press con.
Performers during the Aug. 23 concert include leading violinist Alfonso Bolipata, Lucas himself, and the UST Symphony Orchestra, a resident orchestra of the CCP; Pundaquit Virtousi, a multiawarded and well-travelled youth orchestra, two-time winner cellist Giancarlo Castrillo Gonzales, the choir DYCI Dagalak, often a winner in local competitions and conductor Nelson de la Cruz, acclaimed most outstanding in a competition in Singapore.
The semifinal round of competitions will take place in various parts of the country starting Aug. 31, while finals week will take place at the CCP from Nov. 26-Dec. 1, in keeping with National Music Week.—CONTRIBUTED