Recently, yours truly was invited in one of the performance of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra at the Dolphy Theater. It was a resounding experience. I was rekindling my youth days when I was still a member of a church choir. So, symphonic music is not alien to me and also I'm an avid listener of one of the local radio station that plays classical music. I love it very much and I feel relax when ever I hear one.
In an effort to establish a connection between the general public and symphonic music, ABS-CBN, the country's largest multimedia conglomerate, and First Philippine Holdings Corporation has established the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.
Composed of 40 musicians, the orchestra is under the baton of music director Gerard Salonga and the guidance of executive director Mickey Munoz.
According to Sir Gerard Salonga, "We aim to bring live orchestral performance closer to the Filipinos and give them an option of what to listen to." And as a start, they have conducted some series of performance that they have made and this recent performance was one of them, to let the orchestra be felt by the general public.
Aside from their performances, the orchestra will be holding educational outreach programs that will give both kids and adults a chance to experience a medium that is considered as one of the highest forms of art. The project will consist of three categories: "Philharmonikids" will cater to grade school students; "Musicoveries" will cater to high school students; and "Philharmonic Discoveries" will be for the mature audiences that want to be acquainted with classical music
Those who would like to watch the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra live can catch the inaugural concert at the Francisco Santiago Hall in Makati on August 18 (Saturday). The program will include Hector Berlioz's "Roman Carnival Overture", Franz Liszt's "Piano Concerto #1" with Jovianney Cruz, Johannes Brahms's "Symphony #1 in C minor".
On September 2 (Sunday), the orchestra will also hold a tribute concert at the Meralco Theater for American composer and conductor John Williams. The award-winning Williams is known for his iconic movie theme compositions such as "Superman," "E.T.," "Star Wars," "Jaws," "Indiana Jones," and "Schindler's List."
For updates on the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, follow @absphilharmonic on Twitter and 'like' on Facebook at http://facebook.com//ABSPhilharmonic.