A dream come true ..
FROM THE CHAIRMAN - Dr. Jose "Dodong" R. Gullas (The Freeman) - August 25, 2019 - 12:00am

A year ago, I met Mr. Mark Anthony Carpio of the Philippine Madrigal Singers and Ms. Anna Piquero, choirmaster of the UV Chorale. Our meeting was for the Musikaalam 2018 Chorale Workshop where both were speakers.

At that time I expressed to Mr. Carpio my desire to have both choirs perform in a back-to-back concert with the primary intention of educating and sharing to our dear Cebuanos the beauty of choral singing and choral music.

To my observation, the yearning to experience joy in playing and listening to music is intrinsic and inherent to all cultures all over the world.

This year, as we were in the thick of preparations for the University of the Visayas’ Centennial celebration, I told my wife Nena, UV Chorale manager, of the idea of a back-to-back concert as one of the highlights of the year-long celebration. She was quick to ask if we could afford it as such an endeavor would surely entail a huge expense. “Nothing is impossible,” I said; I was being hopeful about it.

With the blessing of my constant companion Señor Santo Niño and the intercession of my brother, Servant of God, Bishop Teofilo Camomot, my dream of a joint performance by the Philippine Madrigal Singers and the University of the Visayas Chorale came true last Sunday, August 18, 2019. Cebuanos witnessed the two world-class choral groups perform together on one stage, at the Centerstage of SM Seaside City.

The musical extravaganza was graced by no less than His Excellency, Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma, who himself has a deep love for music. The archbishop was joined by Msgr. Boy Alesna, Msgr. Joseph Tan, Rev. Fr. Mhar Balili, Fr. Rick Anthony Reyes, and the Daughters of St. Teresa sisters of Valladolid, Carcar, led by Rev. Mo. Louella Grace Buscato.

To my great happiness and pride, the night of music also featured a sneak performance by our very own JRG Visayanian Halad Orchestra, led by Maestro Reynaldo Abellana. Many were pleasantly surprised, as well, to see the very young musicians comprising the orchestra making a kind of music that would usually come only from seasoned music masters. It was a delight to listen to them play and perform with two of the country’s finest choral singers.

Most likely that musical collaboration will not happen again but, surely, would be remembered by many. My wife Nena and I would like to thank everyone who made the event possible – with special thanks to Ms. Claudette Margarita Galura, manager of the Philippine Madrigal Singers.

On his way out of the concert venue afterwards, Archbishop Palma expressed his elation to me and Nena on what he had witnessed. The Archbishop said it was one of a kind, and bringing both choirs together on one stage is indeed an accomplishment. That comment made me and Nena happy.

“MADZSAULOG: Pagsaulog sa Awit ug Panaghigalaay” was indeed a celebration of songs and friendship. And for me personally, a dream come true.

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