(December 17)—The UPD community was treated to world-class entertainment last December 13 as the College of Music, source of University pride and home to many of UPD’s multi-awarded performing groups, gathered its finest performers and staged the annual University Christmas concert Händel’sMessiah.
Prof. Ruben D.F. Defeo, UP Theater Artistic Director, welcomed the audience with an introduction to the concert. “The heavy turnout of people is indeed a most positive sign and supports our decision to move from the nearby Abelardo Hall which, through the years, has been the traditional venue of this awesome campus event,” he said.
The first part of the program featured spot performances from the participating vocalists, where the UP String Chamber Orchestra (UP ARCO) kicked things off with a selection from Arcangelo Corelli’s Christmas Concerto under the baton of Prof. Edna Marcil M. Martinez.
The UP Concert Chorus then followed with a performance of Jubilate Deo by Ko Matsushita, Ama Namen by John August Pamintuan and Moses Hogan’s arrangement of My Soul’s Been Anchored with the Lord, all under the baton of Prof. Janet Sabas-Aracama.
The UP Singing Ambassadors then took to the stage, singing the popular Carol of the Bells by Peter Wilhousky and MykolaLeontovich, Lucio San Pedro’s arrangement of Payapang Daigdig by Felipe de Leon and MuntingSanggol by Ryan Cayabyab under the baton of conductor Edgardo Manguiat.
In one of the livelier performances of the night, the UP Cherubim and Seraphim, under choirmaster Dr. Elena Rivera-Mirano, performed “This Little Babe” from Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, Dalanginsa Pasko by Juan Silos and Silent Night by Franz Xaver Gruber, during which Mirano turned around and enjoined the audience to sing along.
Finally, the UP Madrigal Singers, under the baton of choirmaster Prof. Mark Anthony Carpio, launched into Cantate Domino by Josu Elberdin, Matthew Maniano’s arrangement of The Christmas Song by Mel Torme and Bob Wells, and Ken Burton and Roland Carter’s arrangement of Go Tell It on the Mountain.
After a 15-minute intermission and the entrance of the UP Orchestra, a whoop was heard throughout the Theater when the stage curtains were pulled up to reveal all the vocalists standing, arranged in a virtual wall of voice.
The second half of the program featured the participating vocalists, the CM chorus classes and the UP Orchestra’s combined performance of Händel’s Messiah under the baton of Martinez and accompanied by Carolyn Cheng on harpsichord.
Mia ArianaTanciongco (soprano), Mark Anthony Carpio (counter tenor), Ervin Lumauag (tenor) and Michael Bulaong (baritone) performed the recitative portions of the piece.
Messiah is an English-language oratorio composed by George FridericHändel in 1741. It reflects on Jesus Christ, beginning from the prophecies of His coming to His Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection to His glorification in heaven.
The program was directed by Prof. Alegria Ferrer with Aracama as choral master and Martinez as orchestra master.
Messiah 2012 was produced for the Office of the Chancellor by the University Theater and the Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts in cooperation with the College of Music. —AKR