Symphonies in the heart of the metro
Micah Levin Isla (The Philippine Star) - October 24, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - At some point within the past year, shoppers and passersby alike have probably caught the beautiful melodies of the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) as they rehearse in full blast at Glorietta’s activity center. The prestigious orchestra, which was founded in 1926, is currently under the wing of Ayala Malls.

When the band left St. Scholastica’s College last year, they’ve started to wander around the metro in search of a place where they could rehearse properly — piano stores, condominiums, schools and restaurants. It was a rough time for the group, according to Jeffrey Solares, MSO’s executive director who’s an artist himself. But eight months into operating and trying to manage in exile, by the intercession of a kindhearted board member, the orchestra found its way into the arms of Ayala Malls. Glorietta, in particular, took them in with one simple yet novel condition: The band has to hold rehearsals publicly so that the mall-goers can enjoy their world-class music.

 “This arrangement, though temporary, works for the good of everyone involved. And because of this set-up, more Filipinos are starting to appreciate our music,” Jeffrey joyfully shared.

 Indeed, how lovely it is to walk through the air-conditioned corridors of the mall while the soothing hymns of the Manila Symphony Orchestra play in the background? To add, Jeffrey also noted that his friends from the Association of Asian Orchestras were in awe upon finding out that the MSO is currently based in a shopping mall. 

 Once in a month, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., the band gives a free “rush hour” concert that encourages Glorietta and Greenbelt passers to stop for a while and delight in a string of lovely tunes for an hour or two instead of braving Manila’s traffic head on.

 Don’t you think it’s quite an easy decision to make — killer traffic or stress-relieving harmonies?

 

ACIRC ASSOCIATION OF ASIAN ORCHESTRAS AYALA MALLS GLORIETTA GLORIETTA AND GREENBELT JEFFREY JEFFREY SOLARES MANILA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA NBSP ORCHESTRA ST. SCHOLASTICA
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