Con­cert marks first Filipino cho­ral group to per­form solo at the Walt Dis­ney Con­cert Hall

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - SATURDAY SPECIAL - Ruben V. Nepales E-mail rvnepales_5585@ya­hoo.com. Fol­low him at http://twit­ter.com/nepalesrub­en.

LOS AN­GE­LES—The Philip­pine Cham­ber Singers-Los An­ge­les (PCS-LA) will be the first Filipino cho­ral group to per­form solo at the famed Walt Dis­ney Con­cert Hall. The group will mark that mile­stone when it presents its 10th an­niver­sary con­cert, “I Will Sing For­ever,” at LA’s world-renowned, Frank Gehry-de­signed hall with its curv­ing steel walls on Satur­day, Aug. 16, at 7:30 p.m.

Founded by An­thony “Gelo” Fran­cisco, for­merly of the UP Madri­gal Singers, PCS-LA has be­come one of the top cho­ral groups in LA. Gelo, who stud­ied mu­sic as a voice ma­jor un­der Prof. Andrea O. Ven­era­cion, is also the group’s artis­tic direc­tor-con­duc­tor.

The PCS-LA mem­bers are—so­prano: Marivic Fran­cisco, Kit Buhion, Char­maine Nor­man­dia, Marnie San­ti­ago and Svet­lanna Gar­gantiel; alto: Ana Burog, Ap­ple Ogan, Lisa Ulan­day, Lorien Dador, Jennifer More­los, Jackie Vil­lanueva, Rege­line Castillo and Ju­dith Guer­rero; tenor: Alex Bao, Dino Padal­lan, Louie Ulan­day, Noel Anzures, Justin Sabino and John Mina; bass: Gelo, Em­manuel Mi­randa, Rainer Vil­lanueva, Tom Madrid and Novem Cabios (guest singer).

Tick­ets are avail­able through Tick­et­mas­ter, or at the Wal­ter Dis­ney Con­cert Hall box of­fice. More in­for­ma­tion about the cho­rale is avail­able at www.pc­sla.org or https://www.face­book.com/PC­SLA.

Ex­cerpts of our in­ter­view with Gelo:

What are you look­ing for­ward to about the PCS-LA per­form­ing at the Walt Dis­ney Con­cert Hall (WDCH)?

I’m very much look­ing for­ward to per­form­ing Filipino cho­ral

mu­sic for the first time at WDCH and see­ing mostly Filipinos and Filipino-Amer­i­cans, who are hope­fully wear­ing Filip­ini­ana, fill­ing the con­cert hall and be­ing proud.

For you, what have been the five most mem­o­rable per­for­mances of PCS-LA over the years?

Per­form­ing Beethoven’s “Ninth Sym­phony” at the Hol­ly­wood Bowl, un­der mae­stro Gus­tavo Du­damel (his in­au­gu­ral con­cert as the con­duc­tor of the LA Phil­har­monic); “Mozart’s Re­quiem” at the Carnegie Hall; a med­ley of “mod­ern ha­ranas” at the Hol­ly­wood Bowl for Apl.d.ap’s “Take You to the Philip­pines” con­cert; the historic “Mahler’s No. 8 – Sym­phony of a Thou­sand” at the Shrine Au­di­to­rium, un­der mae­stro Gus­tavo Du­damel; the Los An­ge­les Hol­i­day Cel­e­bra­tion ev­ery Christ­mas Eve for three con­sec­u­tive times, and sing­ing Christ­mas car­ols for the home­less at a feed­ing cen­ter in

San Fer­nando Val­ley, Cal­i­for­nia.

Reper­toire

What’s unique about your reper­toire for this show?

No cho­ral group has ever per­formed Filipino-com­posed and -ar­ranged songs at the WDCH. For the first time, an all-Pi­noy cho­rale will per­form these songs in this venue.

Some of the num­bers we’re per­form­ing in­clude a med­ley of Mano­ling Fran­cisco, S.J.’s work as a trib­ute to him and his wellloved mu­sic, in­clud­ing a chorus with “cats” in it, and a ’60s med­ley. We’ll also fea­ture the mu­sic of Filipino com­posers and ar­rangers like Ryan Cayabyab, Robin Estrada, Robert Del­gado, Ruben Fed­er­i­zon, Anna Abeleda-Piquiero, Ge­orge Her­nan­dez, Lu­cio San Pe­dro, Ni­toy Gon­za­les, Louie Ramos and Eu­denice Palaruan, to name a few.

What can the au­di­ence ex­pect from your guest per­form­ers?

They can ex­pect only the best from our guest artists, who are

also PCS-LA’s friends: Paul Con­cep­cion, Per­fecto de Cas­tro, Asun­cion Ojeda, Robert Shroder, El­son Trinidad, Im­mac­u­late Heart of Mary Chil­dren’s Choir, un­der Pete Aven­daño and past mem­bers of PCS-LA.

How did you man­age to keep the tick­ets very rea­son­ably priced?

We couldn’t have man­aged to keep the tick­ets rea­son­ably priced if it weren’t for the gen­eros­ity of Grace Mer­cado Ouano of FoodTri­ents. We sel­dom meet peo­ple like Grace, who be­lieves in the prin­ci­ple of pro­mot­ing and up­lift­ing the arts, es­pe­cially in the Fil-Am com­mu­nity. The PCS-LA mem­bers and artis­tic team are all vol­un­teers; they’re do­ing it for their pas­sion for mu­sic.

Our guest artists have waived their pro­fes­sional fees as their way of mak­ing our shared state­ment, that com­ing to­gether as a com­mu­nity of artists with com­mon artis­tic val­ues is first and fore­most es­sen­tial for com­mu­nity-build­ing.

PCS-LA be­lieves in the phi­los­o­phy that mu­sic should be shared at lit­tle to no cost. We fer­vently hope that, by keep­ing the tick­ets af­ford­able, it would mean peo­ple tak­ing this op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the Walt Dis­ney Con­cert Hall and be­ing part of a historic event in the Fil-Am com­mu­nity of An­ge­les.

PHOTO BY HYDEE UR­SOLINO ABRA­HAN

PCS-LA cel­e­brates its 10th an­niver­sary with “I Will Sing For­ever.”

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