Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mrs A's Oppus

How does an accomplished pianist, a well-known piano pedagogue, and an educator celebrate five decades of guidance, dedication, and passion for excellence in her musical craft?

In celebration of its 70th year, St. Paul University Manila College of Music and Performing Arts, in cooperation with Greenhills Music Studio, presents “Mrs. A’s Opus” - a tribute concert on August 1, 2010 at five o’clock p.m. at the Fleur de Lis Auditorium of St. Paul University

“Mrs. A’s Opus” is the 50th anniversary of teaching of renowned music professor Carmencita Guanzon Arambulo, one of the leading musicians of the Philippines today. She is more popularly called ‘Mrs. A”, a nickname coined by her students.
For the first time in the local music concert stage, “Mrs. A’s Opus” will feature some of the country’s renowned names in the music industry who flourished under the guidance of Mrs. A.

The featured artists are Rowena Arrieta, Louie Ocampo, Ryan Cayabyab, Oliver Salonga, Maritess Salientes, Ariel Arambulo, Rica Arambulo, Fr. Manoling Francisco, Jonathan Arevalo Coo, Therese Gemora, Katherine Fernandez, Hansel Ang, GMS-PSA String Orchestra, GMS Piano Ensemble, GMS Alumni Pop Ensemble, GMS Suzuki Music Kids, and Mass Appeal Choir.

New York-based Rowena Arrieta will fly back here in Manila after an eighteen year hiatus from the Philippine concert stage. For the first time, Rowena will perform “Ondoy-Ondoy” by Ryan Cayabyab and “Hallelujah Concerto” by Ariel Arambulo. These two exciting new works were commissioned and specially written for “Mrs. A’s Opus”. In “Hallelujah Concerto, ”Arrieta will be joined by pianists Therese Gemora, Jonathan Coo and the PSA/GMS string orchestra.

Rowena Arrieta, the Philippines’ only laureate at the prestigious 1982 Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, made history by winning fifth prize and special prize for being the competition’s youngest contestant. Under the tutelage of Mrs. A., she first gained recognition by winning first prize in piano at the 1976 National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and as a scholar at the Philippine High School for the Arts. She now resides in Long Island, New York with her husband and two children, and owns a private music studio with seventy students.

Ryan Cayabyab is master of his art as a multi-faceted musician. “Mr. C” as he is fondly called is a composer, arranger, producer, music director, conductor, performance artist, television show host, recording artist, music educator and arts administrator. His numerous local and international awards validate the excellence of his works. He graduated from U.P. College of Music (major in composition). His work “Ondoy-Ondoy” is Ryan’s gift to Mrs. A for being his mentor in music theory and as most influential in inspiring and shaping his career as a musician and composer.

Louie Ocampo shall perform a special medley of his most memorable original hits together with the Mass Appeal Choir. Louie is one of the Philippine’s foremost pop songwriter-musicians. He traces his musical roots to Greenhills Music Studio where he studied with Mrs. A since the age of 12. At 17, he first rose to prominence, winning at the 1977
International Electone Grand Prix in Japan, the 2nd Metro Manila Popular Song Festival, and the 6th Metropop Song Festival. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Louie has written countless radio hits – picking up several Awit and FAMAS awards, and continues to be very much in-demand composer for films and TV commercials.

Oliver Salonga will play “Precipitato” (from Sonata no. 7) by S. Prokofieff. Praised for his pianistic power and poetry, twenty-four year old Oliver Salonga has enthralled music aficionados in the concert halls of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific. Salonga began piano lessons at age 7 under the tutelage of Prof. Arambulo. He won top prizes at the National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) in 1998 and in 2001, graduated with honors from the Philippine High School for the Arts, and Bachelor of Music, summa cum laude (major in piano) from Lynn University in Florida. He recently obtained his Master of Music in Piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Salonga won Silver Medal in 2008 Joenju International Piano Competition in South Korea, and is currently pursuing his Artist’s Diploma at Cleveland Institute of Music.

Fr. Manoling Francisco is most known for the liturgical songs he has composed
over the past 30 years - Hindi Kita Malilimutan,Tanging Yaman, Sa ‘Yo Lamang, Huwag Kang Mangamba, Humayo’y Ihayag, One More Gift, Take and Receive, Your Heart Today and I Will Sing Forever. Fr. Manoling teaches Systematic Theology at the Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila. He is also Executive Director of the Tanging Yaman Foundation,
Inc. and is a co-founder of the Bukas Palad Music Ministry. He owes his musical training from Mrs. A and the Greenhills Music Studio (GMS) under Carolyn Kleiner; and Louie Ocampo.

Maritess Salientes will also mark the premiere performance of her composition, “Thank You For This Moment” with Nikko Atienza, on vocals and the Mass Appeal Choir, and Maritess Salientes on piano. Growing up under Mrs. A’s wing, Maritess won the 1974 Distinguished Performance Award (also the youngest contestant at age 16) at the 10th International Electone Grand Prix Concours in Japan. She was a teaching fellow at the Berklee College of Music and graduated with a Composition degree, Magna cum Laude.

Two of Mrs. A’s talented offspring are also versatile musicians. Ariel Arambulo, composer, violinist, and Suzuki violin teacher trainer, will conduct the PSA/GMS string orchestra who will perform his own works, “Hallelujah Concerto,” “Arkipelago Pilipino” and Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings.” Recording artist Rica Arambulo, award-winning pianist, composer, singer, arranger, and producer, and all rolled into one, will perform her own composition, ‘Ikaw at Ako Pa Rin” and sing several numbers with the Mass Appeal Choir.

Gifted seven year old pianist Hansel Ang will perform CONCERTO IN C (3rd movement - F. J. Haydn) together with the PSA/GMS String Orchestra. Hansel began formal lessons in Suzuki piano with Prof. Arambulo at age four.

  The concert shall also feature: Pianists Jonathan Coo and Katherine Fernandez with the GMS Alumni Pop Ensemble in Chopin’s “Revolutionary Etude”; “Perpetual Commotion” by Kevin Olson, with Patrick Sy, Warren Garrido, Miguel Panagsagan, and Paolo Panagsagan of GMS Piano Ensemble; Shinichi Suzuki‘s “Twinkle Variations” by GMS Suzuki Music Kids, and Mass Appeal Choir.
Celebrate fifty years of homegrown musical talent and watch “Mrs. A’s Opus”. Tickets at P500 and P300 are available at St. Paul University Manila, Tel. 5242687 and Greenhills Music Studio, Tel. 7240705.

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