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Hitting the right keys |

Modern Living

Hitting the right keys

- Honey Jarque Loop - The Philippine Star

Cebuana Ingrid Sala Santamaria has earned recognition and respect here and abroad as an accomplished pianist.

She has dedicated most of her life to music, having had her first piano recital at age 10 at the Battig Piano School in Cebu on Jan. 21, 1951. Her mother Pilar was her first piano teacher. 

In 1962, Sta. Isabel College presented her in the Schumann Concerto with the Filipino Youth Symphony Orchestra and in February that same year she played a full solo piano recital as first prize winner of the Jeunesse Musicales of the Philippines nationwide “Search for a Talent” competition. 

In the ‘70s and early ‘80s Ingrid performed numerous times at Malacañang Palace for visiting heads of state. She also played at corresponding dinners for the hosting heads of state. Imelda Romualdez Marcos has been her life-long inspiration mainly because of her unwavering commitment to the arts as an ennobling asset for the Filipino.

Putting on hold her personal career as a performing concert pianist, Ingrid founded and spearheaded the Salvador and Pilar Sala Foundation’s Ten-Year Orchestra Development Program, which launched the Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra in 1995 and the Peace Philharmonic Philippines in 2000.

With the help of her loyal and dedicated friend and volunteer, Dr. Amor Hernando, Ingrid was able to compile voluminous documentation of her 50 golden years as a pianist and orchestra developer. This milestone was celebrated with a series of  activities. One of the activities was an exhibit at Marco Polo Plaza Hotel that featured the talented, young and deserving Cebuano musicians’ progress, achievements and awards that clearly fulfilled the foundations vision.

Recently, Ingrid’s musical career and life have been summarized in a soon-to-be-published coffee table book, Santamaria! My Four Seasons. 

The book is peppered with over 500 photographs and 100 articles by different authors both in Cebu and Manila throughout the decades starting in 1950 when Santamaria was 10 years old.

Dr. Hernando, a faithful Sala Foundation volunteer, diligently collated and edited the book’s articles.

The foreword contains an exposition of Santamaria’s self-assigned life’s seasons, her Spring (1940-1961), Summer (1962-March 1991), Autumn (April 1991 – Sept. 7, 2012) and Winter (Sept. 8, 2012 onwards).

 Santamaria and the Cebu Philharmonic Orchestra concluded this year’s Christmas  holiday with a fitting concert at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel with California-based conductor Alfredo Villanueva. The program opened with Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor followed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Concerto no. l in Bb Minor with Ingrid as piano soloist.

The beneficiaries of the concert were typhoon Yolanda and Bohol earthquake victims.  

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