by Christine Marie Lim Magpile, LPT and Bernice Go
The United Nations Month is observed every October. Schools here in the Philippines usually celebrate it by holding a parade where students wear national costumes from different countries. Learning about the Philippine and Asian music at the UP College of Music, the UP Symphony Orchestra (UPSO) as “orkestra ng bayan” (orchestra for the people), features Filipino compositions and Asian music to celebrate local cultures of the world through a concert.
Through their concert Asyatika: Perceptions of Asia by Asian and Western Composers, the UP Symphony Orchestra will explore the Asian region through the perspectives of Eastern and Western composers. The Asyatika concert will feature works of Claude Debussy, Gustav Holst, Alexander Borodin, Angel Peña, and Zhong Juncheng.
Joining the UP Symphony Orchestra is the talented composer Robin Estrada as the featured UP artist under UPSO’s Balik UP Artista Project, that invites accomplished UP alumni to bring school pride, foster a sense of community, and express nationalism through their work as an artist.
The UP Symphony Orchestra with Robin Estrada will showcase a full orchestra that include kulintang and bamboo ensemble. Bamboo instruments from the Northern Philippines like the bungkaka (buzzer, left) and tongatong (stamping tubes, middle), and the palabunibunyan (kulintang ensemble, right) from Southern Philippines will be played alongside a Western orchestra. (Photo courtesy of the UP Symphony Orchestra)
Feature guest soloist Luo Chongyao will be playing the guzheng (Chinese zither) for Zhong Juncheng’s piece. The guzheng is a plucked string instrument, which usually has twenty-one strings and approximately 64 inches long.
Tagged as the “orchestra for the people,” the UP Symphony Orchestra was established during the 1337th meeting of the UP Board of Regents on August 30, 2018, and is the brain-child of UP President Danilo L. Concepcion. As an ‘Orkestra ng Bayan’, UPSO embodies the university’s commitment to excellence and serves as a repertory orchestra for musicians, laboratory orchestra for Filipino composers, and a training orchestra for young conductors.
The Asyatika concert will be held on October 19, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium, UP College of Music. Tickets cost at ₱500 (balcony) and ₱300 (regular). Senior citizens and students can avail of a ticket discount.
Tickets to the concert are available at bit.ly/upsoasyatika. For updates about the UP Symphony Orchestra, follow UPSO on their social media account (@upsymphonyorch) or sign up for their mailing list at bit.ly/upsomail.