Yes, lawyers can sing too / Ochanine, trombonist perform


“Legal Luminaries in Concert,” presented at the UP Film Center, was far more delightful and entertaining than I had expected. The enthusiasm of all cast members was infectious, moving and irresistible.

Secondly, the songs were familiar Broadway and Filipino favorites. Thirdly, many of the former were inspirational: e.g., “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel and “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music.

Among the singular soloists was Victor Africa who sang “La Vie en Rose” in the original French, then rendered “She” in French, Pilipino and English, performing with deep expressivity and clear diction. He injected a gracious gesture into his act by handing roses to some women offstage, one of the last three roses reaching this surprised reviewer!

Joey Lina was similarly forceful and eloquent in “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as was Dick Gordon in “The Impossible Dream” which song enjoined the audience to achieve the impossible.

Other male soloists were Dean Danny Concepcion and Wilbert Candelaria who rendered “So in Love” and “Iyo Kailan Pa Man,” respectively.

The terribly congested traffic from Makati to QC caused me to miss the first three numbers. Nick Nangit’s piano solo, Marivic Benedicto’s “Mutya ng Pasig” by Abelardo and the song by the Charivari group consisting of Kay Balajadia, Caryl Miriam Lopez, Neil Simon Silva, Ferdinand Redulla and Asryman Rafanan.

Kay, who interpreted the concert’s only operatic aria, “Je Veux Vivre” from Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, reflected her vocal training, i.e., a Bachelor of Music degree, major in voice. She sustained the high notes firmly and evenly.

Sorayda Andam-Faustino, a choir singer and winner in vocal competitions, showed her talent in “I Dreamed a Dream” and “On My Own.” Dot Gancayco vibrantly sang duets, the first one with Mike Toledo in “Umagang Kay Ganda,” and the second with Bernard Lopez in “We Kiss in the Shadows” and “I Have Dreamed.”

Male singers also included Mario Andres and Lory Paredes who, accompanied by guitarist Lester Demetillo, sang “Blowing in the Wind” and “If I Had My Way.”

Magdangal de Leon, singing and accompanying on the guitar his “brothers-in-law” Oscar Palabyab, Ronnie Reyes and Irineo Lorin, Jr., set the zestful, spirited pace with a Pilipino medley for the Chorus Juris composed of Bernard Lopez, Juan Orendain Butid, Ariel Magno, Tim Abejo, Al Oxales who sang “Yesterday” and “You Change the World.”

(The audience was occasionally bothered by the blinding stage lights focused on it.) The all-women UP Singing Professors, most of whom were obviously older than the rest of the participants, brought the house down as they danced with tremendous zest and zeal while vibrantly singing an ABBA medley. The vivacious “seniors” were Myrna Feliciano, Chit Jardeleza, Ed Labitug, Gigi Reyes, Pats Daway, Rowena Morales, Bing Guanzon and JJ Disini.

The predominantly UP audience, electrified, applauded tremendously. The cast of major participants then rendered “Climb Every Mountain,” then enjoined the audience to sing with them “UP Beloved” in Pilipino to celebrate the institution’s one hundred years of excellence.

Being a UP alumna, I felt genuinely proud of the exceptionally gifted legal luminaries. Myrna Feliciano and Diane Franco were the chairman and co-chair, respectively, of the imminently successful concert under the direction of Alexander Cortez.

* * *

Japan’s eminent trombonist Takahiro Ono ushers in the New Year’s presentation of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra’s 5th concert series with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Trombone Concerto on January 20, 8 p.m. at the CCP main theater. PPO’s Music Director Olivier Ochanine conducts.

At the program dubbed “The Inextinguishable,” the PPO will also perform Dvorak’s Czech Suite, and one of the signature works of Denmark’s most celebrated composer, Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 “Inextinguishable.”

Takahiro Ono graduated from Tokyo College of Music and also from the Conservatoire Superieur de Paris and the Conservatoire National de Region de Boulogne, where he received First Prize in the Leopold Bellan Music Competition. He has participated in the Asia Youth Orchestra as a principal trombone player and in several music festivals in Sydney, England, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Korea and Australia.

In 2006, the Director of the Trento Conservatoire, Cosimo Colazzo, composed “La Lenta Discesa” for Takahiro Ono which he performed for the first time in Japan. He has performed with many world renowned artists.

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