The first week of July promises to be a week of symphonic sounds as the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) presents the Orchestra and Band Festival, a continuing project of past CCP festivals that seeks to provide opportunities for various orchestras and symphonic bands in the country that are deserving of proper exposure.
In a presscon held at the CCP, after welcome remarks by CCP Vice-President and Artistic Director Mr. Chris B. Millado, Assistant Festival Director Prof. Herminigildo Ranera gave the press an overview of the upcoming orchestra and band festival. Members of the media were also given a sampler of what to expect with a command performance by the 65-member University of Sto. Tomas (U.S.T.) Wind Orchestra, conducted by Prof. Michael E. Jacinto, rendering the Procession of Nobles (by Nicolas Rimsky Korsakov) and Disney’s Fantillusion (arranged by Takashi Hoshide).
Leading the orchestra groups on the first day of the festival (July 1, Tuesday), at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo), is the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO); the 42-member ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra; the University of the Philippines (U.P.) Symphony Orchestra and the UST Symphony Orchestra. Conductors are Mr. Olivier Ochanine (PPO Music Director) and Mr. Gerard Salonga.
Performances for the next four days (July 2 to 5), by select bands invited from all around the country, will be held at the CCP Little Theater (Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino).
Showing their mettle on July 2 (Tuesday) are Banda 88 (conductor: Mr. Arnel Jacinto) of Sta. Maria, Bulacan; Banda Kabyaw (conductor: Mr. Benedicto de la Peret, Jr.) of Nueva Ecija; the Presidential Security Group Band (conductor: PCGA Maj. Xavier Celestial) and the Malindig Institute Band (conductor: Mr. Ernani Pascual) of Marinduque.
On July 3 (Wednesday), it’s the turn of the U.P. Orchestra (conductor: Ms. Edna Marcil Martinez); the aforementioned U.S.T. Wind Orchestra; the De la Salle Santiago Zobel Symphonic Band (conductor: Ms. Nena Chavez and Mr. Linwell Lalic); and the University of St. Louis Band (conductor: Ms. Marivic Macaraeg) of Baguio City.
July 4 (Thursday) features Cardona 5 (conductor: Mr. Ernani Pascual); the 147-member Kapisanan Banda II Pulang Buhangin Band (conductor: Mr. Federico D.C. Frayna) of Sta. Maria, Bulacan; the Bukidnon State University Brass Band (conductor: Mr. Jay Haze Sablayan) and the the Bulacan State University Band (conductor: Dr. Herminio M. Suarez).
On July 5 (Friday), the 60-member Manila Symphony Orchestra (conductor: Prof. Arturo Molina), Asia’s first symphony orchestra, will render a solo performance.
On July 6, the festival will culminate with concert performances, at the CCP Main Theater, by the 50-member Philbanda Wind Orchestra (conductor: Herminigildo Rivera, Ph.D) and military bands – the 75-member Philippine Army Band (organized on October 15, 1902), the Philippine Navy Band, the Philippine Air Force Band, the 93-member Philippine Coast Guard Symphonic Band and the Presidential Security Group Band. Conducting the military bands are Cdr. Herminigildo Rivera, PCGA Maj. Xavier Celestial and PA 1st Lt. Ron Michael Soriao.
All performances during the 6-day festival start at 7 PM. For information, tickets and schedule, contact the CCP Box Office at Tel Nos. 832-1125 and 832-3704.