Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Mrs. A's Opus," a 50th Anniversary Concert gathering music icons and world class artists

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In celebration of its 70th year, St. Paul University Manila College of Music and Performing Arts, in cooperation with Greenhills Music Studio, presents Mrs. A’s Opus - a concert on August 1, 2010  (Sunday) at 5 o’clock p.m. at the Fleur de Lis Auditorium of St. Paul University Manila.

Mrs. A’s Opus shall celebrate the 50th anniversary of teaching of renowned music professor Carmencita Guanzon Arambulo.  Considered as one of the leading musicians of the Philippines today, Prof. Arambulo is an  accomplished pianist, a well-known piano pedagogue, and  educator. Throughout five decades of guidance, dedication, and passion for excellence in her musical craft, "Mrs. A," (a nickname coined by her students) has launched many a musical career spanning several generations.

Featured Performers
For the first time in the local music concert stage, Mrs. A’s Opus will feature some of the country’s renowned names in the music industry who flourished under the guidance of Mrs. A.

New York-based Rowena Arrieta came back here in Manila after an eighteen year hiatus from the Philippine concert stage. For the first time, Rowena will perform “Ondoy-Ondoy” by Ryan Cayabyab and “Hallelujah Concerto” by Ariel Arambulo. These two exciting new works were commissioned and specially written for Mrs. A’s Opus.

Rowena Arrieta, the Philippines’ only laureate at the prestigious 1982 Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, made history by winning fifth prize and special prize for being the competition’s youngest contestant.  Under the tutelage of Mrs. A., she first gained recognition by winning first prize in piano at the 1976 National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and as a scholar at the Philippine High School for the Arts. She now resides in Long Island, New York with her husband and two children, and owns a private music studio with seventy students.

Ryan Cayabyab is master of his art as a multi-faceted musician.  “Mr. C” as  he is fondly called is a composer, arranger, producer, music director, conductor, performance artist, television show host, recording artist, music educator and arts administrator. His numerous local and international awards validate the excellence of his works.  He graduated from U.P. College of Music (major in composition) and regards his mentor in music theory, Prof. Carmencita Arambulo, as most influential in inspiring and shaping his career as a musician and composer.

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Louie Ocampo shall perform a special medley of his most memorable original hits together with the Mass Appeal Choir. Louie is one of the Philippine’s foremost pop songwriter-musicians.  He traces his musical roots to Greenhills Music Studio where he studied with Mrs. A since the age of 12.  At 17, he first rose to prominence, winning at the 1977 International Electone Grand Prix in Japan, the 2nd Metro Manila Popular Song Festival, and the 6th Metropop Song Festival. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Louie has written countless radio hits – picking up several Awit and FAMAS awards, and continues to be very much in-demand composer for films and TV commercials. 
Oliver Salonga will play “Precipitato” (from Sonata no. 7) by S. Prokofieff.  Praised for his pianistic power and poetry, twenty-four year old Oliver Salonga has enthralled music aficionados in the concert halls of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific.  Salonga started playing the piano at age 7 under the tutelage of Prof. Carmencita Arambulo.  He first gained  recognition when he won the National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) in 1998 and in 2001.  Salonga graduated with honors from the Philippine High School for the Arts and Bachelor of Music, summa cum laude (major in piano) from Lynn University in Florida.  He recently obtained his Master of Music in Piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Salonga won Silver Medal in the 2008 Joenju International Piano Competition in South Korea, and is currently pursuing his Artist’s Diploma at Cleveland Institute of Music.

Fr. Manoling Francisco is most known for the liturgical songs he has composed over the past 30 years - Hindi Kita Malilimutan, Tanging Yaman, Sa ‘Yo Lamang, Huwag Kang Mangamba, Humayo’y Ihayag, One More Gift, Take and Receive, Your Heart Today and I Will Sing Forever.  Fr. Manoling teaches Systematic Theology at the Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila.  He is also Executive Director of the Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc. and is a co-founder of the Bukas Palad Music Ministry. He owes his musical training from Mrs. A and the Greenhills Music Studio (GMS) under Carolyn Kleiner and Louie Ocampo.

Maritess Salientes will also mark the premiere performance of her composition, “Thank You For This Moment” with Nikko Atienza, on vocals and the Mass Appeal Choir, and Maritess Salientes on piano. Growing up under Mrs. A’s wing,  Maritess  won the the Distinguished Performance Award (also the youngest contestant at age 16) at the 10th International Electone Grand Prix Concours.  She was a teaching fellow at the Berklee College of Music and graduated with a Composition degree, Magna cum Laude.
Two of Mrs. A’s talented offspring are also versatile musicians. Ariel Arambulo, composer, violinist, and Suzuki violin teacher trainer, will conduct the PSA/GMS string orchestra who will perform his own works, “Hallelujah Concerto,”  “Arkipelago Pilipino” and Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings.” Recording artist Rica Arambulo, award-winning pianist, composer, singer, arranger, and producer, and all rolled into one, will perform her own composition, ‘Ikaw at Ako Pa Rin” and sing several numbers with the Mass Appeal Choir.

Gifted seven year old pianist Hansel Ang will perform CONCERTO IN C (3rd movement - F. J. Haydn) together with the PSA/GMS String Orchestra. Hansel began formal lessons in Suzuki piano with Prof. Arambulo at age four. 
The concert shall also feature: Pianists Jonathan Coo and Katherine Fernandez with the GMS Alumni Pop Ensemble in Chopin’s “Revolutionary Etude”; “Perpetual Commotion” by Kevin Olson, with Patrick Sy, Warren Garrido, Miguel Panagsagan, and Paolo Panagsagan of GMS Piano Ensemble; Shinichi Suzuki‘s “Twinkle Variations” by GMS Suzuki Music Kids, and Mass Appeal Choir.

Mrs. A herself
The Master Teacher
Asked what her calling is, Mrs. A. thinks of herself as a missionary in music. She describes herself as a very passionate person – a perfectionist and passionate about everything she does. “To me it’s all or nothing. Todo buhos. I love what I am doing. I have patience with children. I have had students aged 3 and then continued with me up to 19. I dream of having a foundation so I can help many poor Filipino children study music and be good human beings.”

Mrs. A also believes what Pablo Casals said that ''music can save the world." Breathing and living music is a way of life with Mrs. A.  Her nurturing hundreds and thousands of Filipino children has gone a long way in shaping musicians that deliver world-class performances, any time, any day.
Prof. Carmencita G. Arambulo graduated magna cum laude in 1958 with a Bachelor of Music  degree from Saint  Paul  College of Manila. She completed her Master of Music degree in piano and theory in 1961 with highest honors and was named Outstanding Graduate of the Year at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. She won first prize in the 1961 Concerto Competition at New England Conservatory.  She is a member of  Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honor society in the USA.
In 1979, Prof. Arambulo was awarded a grant by the Soviet ministry of Culture to observe specialized music schools in the former USSR.  She is the very first Filipino Suzuki method specialist, having received her training at the American Suzuki Institute at the University of Wisconsin in Stevenspoint and under Dr. Haruko Kataoka of Matsumoto, Japan.

Prof. Arambulo is the founder and directress of the Greenhills Music Studio and the Children’s Talent Education Center, the only Suzuki pre-school in the country. For 31 years, she was a faculty member of the University of the Philippines College of Music and the Saint Paul University College of Music and the Performing, Arts and currently teaches at the Philippine High School for the Arts and the Greenhills Music Studio.

She is the president of the Philippine Suzuki Association, founding member, secretary  and chief piano trainer of the Asia Suzuki Association.  She has been guest faculty in Suzuki conferences in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, and Italy.  She is also a member of the Suzuki International Piano Committee.

Prof. Arambulo is an active member of the Piano Teachers’ Guild of the Philippines (PTGP) and has been the teacher of many local, national and international piano competition winners. She has received awards of achievement from the PTGP, and most recently the highest award ever given by Saint Paul University for the nurturing and development of musical talent, and her pioneering efforts in the Suzuki Music Method in the Philippines.

Celebrate 50 years of homegrown musical talent and watch Mrs. A’s Opus.   This is a rare chance you shouldn't miss! Tickets at PhP500 and 300 are available at St. Paul University Manila, Tel. (632) 5242687 and Greenhills Music Studio. Tel. (632) 7240705.

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