A Christmas concert at The Pen
() - December 11, 2008 - 12:00am

Now on its 25th year, the “Silver Bells, Christmas Concert at the Pen” will be held on Dec. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the lobby of The Peninsula Manila.

Flying in from Milan is Maestro Ruggero Barbieri, who has been wielding his baton for the popular “Christmas Concert at The Pen” since December 1997.

“At the beginning, I was very hesitant because of the venue which I thought was inappropriate for a traditional concert. But I was immediately captivated by the magical atmosphere that the concert itself creates so wonderfully announcing that it’s Christmas time in Manila,” recalls Barbieri.

A galaxy of world-class Filipino performers which consists of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), sopranos Rachelle Gerodias and Camille Lopez-Molina; Germany-based tenor Abdul Candao, and the University of the Philippines Concert Chorus (UPCC) will perform classical favorites and Yuletide standards culminating with the glorious Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

The concert is sponsored by The Peninsula Manila, Stores Specialists, Inc. (SSI), the Philippine Tatler, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

The Peninsula Manila decided to make this year’s concert a benefit project for children. As such, concertgoers are asked to pay the P490+ fee (consumable with selections from a special merienda menu). Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.

“We have had a long relationship with Make-A-Wish Foundation. We wanted to continue and expand this tradition of charitable giving at our hotel that would involve our staff, guests and visitors. The ‘Christmas Concert at The Pen,’ as well as the Peninsula-wide Trees of Hope campaign, are designed to add beauty to the hotel both musically, physically, and spiritually, and to enrich the lives of the children touched by the Make-A-Wish Foundation this Christmas season,” said Jonathan H. Crook, general manager of The Peninsula Manila.

Throughout its 25-year history, “Christmas Concert at the Pen” has missed only one performance which was a result of the events that followed Sept. 11, 2001.

In 2003, Stores Specialists, Inc. president Nedy Tantoco approached David Batchelor, who was then the hotel’s general manager, and persuaded him to revive the landmark Christmas event with the PPO performing. SSI has co-sponsored the concert ever since. 

 “Since the concert is quite popular and we do not accept reservations. It would be wise to come early to secure a good seat,” said Crook.

For inquiries, call The Peninsula Manila at 887-2888, local 6694.

ABDUL CANDAO BUT I CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CONCERT CONCERT CULTURAL CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES DAVID BATCHELOR HALLELUJAH CHORUS MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION PENINSULA MANILA STORES SPECIALISTS
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