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Pamaskong Handog: Where music makes its presence felt

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Music has a way of touching lives in ways no person, experience, action, and silence can.

It is as if a new atmosphere has been created during the Pamaskong Handog: Young Filipino Artists Concert 2013 last December 15, Sunday, at the Finster Auditorium, where unique and rare academic performances were introduced to the audiences.

Ateneo de Davao University’s very own Carillon Glee Club partnered with Ateneo Christian Life Community (ACLC) in the said benefit concert, where funds raised from purchased tickets will be donated to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

The concert featured classical music and Filipino folk songs, making it different from the usual performances in the campus. Arjay Viray, the concert’s Musical Director and Conductor of Carillon, said that he seeks to make it a tradition to have more performances similar to this at least once a year.

Pagdating ko rito sa Davao, nagulat ako kasi medyo showbiz ang nakasanayan na performances,” said Viray, who was also the former Assistant Conductor for Choral Development of the Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club.

Viray, who described the concert as academic, said that he was used to having this kind of performance back when he was studying Choral Conducting at the University of the Philippines College of Music in Diliman, Quezon City.

Unti-unti kong pinakilala sa kanila ang concept ng academic performances para hindi sila mabigla,” Viray said when asked how he prepared Carillon for the concert. As an Arts Appreciation professor, he felt happy that he was also able to integrate classical music in his classes.

The two-hour concert gave a recap of music’s history, enlightening the audience with pieces of prominent music composers from different eras such as Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi of the Baroque Period, and Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart of the Classical era.

The concert was graced with the presence of talented guest performers, such as Benjamin Belisario, Anton Luis Avila, Fidel Josiah Delos Reyes, Eugene Soyosa, and The Dawn String Quartet.

To make the influence of Mozart more felt than known, Belisario, the baritone, and Soyosa, the tenor, along with Viray himself, gave a captivating performance of Mozart’s operas Deh Vieni Alla Finestra, Un’Aura Amorosa, and La Vendetta.

Aside from Mozart’s operas, the concert also featured kundiman or traditional Filipino love songs such as Ang Pangarap Ko’y Ikaw Rin, Ang Langit Sa Lupa and Abelardo’s Bituing Marikit.

Despite the overwhelming popularity of modern music, people of all ages showed their support to the talented artists. At the same time, being exposed to academic performances will help them look at classical music with wonder and delight.

As soon as the concert wrapped up, Soyosa, Avila, and Delos Reyes said that they felt privileged for being instrumental in re-introducing classical music to the audience. They described themselves as stewards of music in Davao City.

“The concert had an academic set-up, because the performances were entertaining and informative at the same time,” Soyosa said.

“We’d like to have more concerts in the future, so that more people would appreciate classical music,” he added.

The guest performers, all of whom traveled all the way from Manila and are good friends of Viray, admitted that they would gladly return to Davao if invited to perform in future concerts.

When asked how it feels like to be part of the concert, Carillon member Vince Jebryl Montero said that he felt lucky.

“It’s not everyday you get to watch and hear something like this,” he said.

Arjay Viray hinted that there would be another concert next year. To those who have missed out on a lot of wonderful and breathtaking performances, it is never too late.

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