St. Scholastica's College revives tertulia in honor of Sister Baptista Battig

The tertulia to be organized by St. Scholastica's College Schoolof Music will include six grand pianos with two pianists on each keyboard. Fivegenerations of pianists will perform, including the precocious eight-year-old Lorenzo Torres (foreground) and his piano teacher, Mae Santos-de Vera.

In celebration of the Centennial of St. Scholastica'sCollege School of Music, the academic institution revives the late 19th centurypractice of holding tertulias or soirees filled with music and poetry. Theupcoming St. Cecilia's Concert also aims to honor Sister Baptista Battig, thefounder of St. Scholastica's College of Music.

"As early as a hundred years ago, our founder Sister Baptista Battigrecognized the musical talent of the Filipino. She made it her lifelong missionto develop music education here in our country. It is my belief that music issomething innate in the Filipino. If you watch a Filipino perform on stage, whether as a singer or instrumentalist, he or shewill distinguish themselves," said Sister Mary Placid, Dean of St.Scholastica's College of Music.

This year marks the grand, yearlong celebration of the Centennial of the St.Scholastica's College School of Music. It will culminate in the annual St.Cecilia's Concert of the institution, renamed The Gala for thisoccasion. There are two upcoming dates, October 7, 4:30 pm and November 25 at5:30 pm at the said venue. Although these two dates are by invitation only,previous free concerts were held earlier this year.


Performers include the most prestigious alumnae (pianists, violinists) educatedin the system established by Sr. Baptista Battig, founder of the School ofMusic, and a pioneer in musical education in the country.

The featured pianistsare: Mary Ann Armovit, Della Bessa, Cristina
Bichara, Mary Anne Espina, Marianne Fajardo, Anamaria De Guzman, LeonorKilayco, Zenas Lozada, Carmen Padilla, and Rose Marie del Paz.

The featuredviolinists are: Sara Gonzales, Denise Huang, Gina Medina and DJ Salonga. DJSalonga will perform an all ensemble program of compositions by Vivaldi,Bizet-Wilberg, Liszt, George Gershwin, and
Filipino composers.

Towards the end of the 19th century 'til the beginning of World War II,Filipinos who lived in big homes held tertulias in their large salas. The termtertulia refers to a soiree of artists, and lovers of art and culture who wouldregale each other with songs, poetry readings or instrumental selections.Discussions on a variety of subjects would also take place, punctuated by thesedisplays of musical and literary talent. Merienda was served as part of thetertulia, after the performances.


Sister Angelica Leviste OSB, president of St. Scholastica's College, explained,"The founder of our College of Music, Sr. Battig came to the Philippines aboutthis same period. So we thought it is perfectly fitting that we honor her withan adaptation of the Tertulia in a concert venue. Works that were meaningful to her and relevant to the ideas thatguided her work shall be performed by graduates of the school that she founded.The alumnae will also be joined by present day faculty members."





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