By Christine Marie Lim Magpile
Featuring the UP Guitar Orchestra, UP Tugma Koto Ensemble, and the Padayon Rondalla, the Musicology Department and the Strings and Chamber Music Department of the UP College of Music will hold “Kabit-Kabit na Kalabit: A Concert of Plucked Strings” on April 30, 2019, 7:00 p.m. at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium, UP Diliman.
The UP Guitar Orchestra is the first guitar orchestra in the Philippines. headed by UP guitar instructor and renowned professional banjo musician Lester Demetillo.
Showing prowess as well is the UP Tugtugang Musika Asyatika (UP Tugma) which was formed in 2007 and now is the premier organization of Philippine and Asian music-student performers based in the UP College of Music.
The UP Tugma performs various cultural presentations like the Mindanao kulintang ensemble, the Cordillera bamboo and gong ensemble, the Indonesian gamelan, the Japanese koto, the Chinese sizhu, and the Koreansamulnori.
Adding to the variety is the Ugma Koto Ensemble, one of the units of the UP Tugma. In 1991, the UP College of Music offered a course in koto. In 2012, the UP College of Music formally offered a major in koto as part of the Diploma in Creative and Performing Musical Arts. In Southeast Asia, this is the one and only university-based koto program.
Presently, Prof. Hiroko Nagai is the musical director of the Tugma Koto Ensemble. She is an assistant professor and former director of the Japanese Studies Program in Ateneo de Manila University. Apart from being a practitioner of koto music, she is also an anthropologist.
Inspired by Spanish culture, Padayon Rondalla which was formed in 2016 by a group of friends who share a love for rondalla music, takes center stage. Rondalla refers to an ensemble of stringed instruments, which originated in Spain. It comes from the Spanish “ronda,” which means serenade. Meanwhile, “padayon” is a Visayan term, which means “continue.”
The group envisions continuing the passion for rondalla music. The repertoire of the Padayon Rondalla includes Philippine folk songs, pop songs, and foreign classical music. In 2016, they performed at the Yilan International Children’s Folklore and Folkgame Festival in Yilan, Taiwan. Presently, Mr. Jimuel Dave Dagta is the musical director of the Padayon Rondalla.
Catch all this talent in just one night, admission is free and the concert is open to the public.