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Home Philippine Festivals The International Bamboo Organ Festival 2012

The International Bamboo Organ Festival 2012

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“Filipinos everywhere will gear their eyes towards this, a treasure that belongs to the Philippines.” Cited Msgr. Mario Martinez

The Las Pinas Bamboo Organ that rested in St. Joseph parish Church is a truly a Filipino pride as it was declared as a National Cultural Treasure. Tourists and visitors from all over never fail to pass by this magnificent work of art. The Las Pinas Bamboo Organ was restored by Leo Renier thus the birth of the International Bmaboo Organ Festival that started 37 years ago.

Prof. Armando V. Salarza has been the organist and Artistic Director of the International Bamboo Organ festival (IBOF), which is the longest-running international music festival in the Philippines. Though the festival has been around for years, and has gained its popularity and known throughout the world, sadly, it is not as popular among us Filipinos. I think the time has come for us to change that.

The 37th International Bamboo Organ Festival is scheduled from February 23 to 29, 2012. It celebrates the 400th death anniversary of Giovanni Gabrieli. He was an important Italian composer who popularized the “concertate” style. Concertate came from two words, “to concert” means to fight, and “consortium” which means a gathering of togetherness. Literally, “concertate” is the competition between two or more instrumental groups, what we now call: a concerto.  Imagine sitting in the middle of St. Joseph Parish church, with music featured in a setting similar to the practice in Venice: two, three or four ensembles (choral or instrumental) facing each other. It’s a once in a lifetime arrangement and performance to be seen, experienced and heard in the Philippines.

Among the works to be performed are  his “Omnes Gentes” , “Plaudite” and “In Ecclesiis” , a canzone for two organs, and a canzone for two or three ensembles. G. Gabrieli had an enormous influence on the next generation of composers, as will be demonstrated in works for double choir by Heinrich Schütz and Johann Sebastian Bach.  To perform this program are Jennifer Pascual (USA), Armando Salarza, Gerardo Fajardo , Manu Mellaerts (Belgium), Sherla Najera, Ily Matthew Maniano, Malvin Beethoven Macasaet, Arjay Nuas Viray, UP Music Education Chorale, Las Piñas Boys Choir and Las Piñas Mens Choir, accompanied by the Manila Symphony Orchestra led by Eudenice Palaruan.

During the traditional Concert Under the Trees, are the voices of The CompanY . Being Asia’s premiere vocal harmony group, they have won numerous awards and sold thousands of albums, and are responsible for popularizing great hits like “Now that I have You” and “Muntik na Kitang Minahal”.

A night of purely organ music is a must-see concert, wherein both the Bamboo Organ and Pipe Organ of St. Joseph’s Academy will be played.   For this year’s festival, Jennifer Pascual, an organist from the USA, will again be performing for the Filipino audience a variety of pieces ranging from Baroque to Contemporary.

The Festival also gives recognition to Filipino composers by featuring their creations in one of the concerts.  This year, the liturgical work of Fr. Nicolas Matias Sengson SVD  will be presented in a para-liturgy – titled “Awitan Kristo” -  reflecting on the Advent, Birth and Epiphany of Jesus Christ, with  Bishop Jesse Mercado, DD, as presiding minister. Performers are Armando Salarza, Gerardo Fajardo, Renato Lucas, Sherla Najera, Malvin Beethoven Macasaet, Arjay Nuas Viray, an assembly choir, Imusicapella and Las Pinas Boys Choir, to be accompanied by members of the Manila Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Eudenice Palaruan.

The last night of the festival is dedicated to Chamber Music. One will hear excerpts from Gluck’s most famous and influential opera, Orfeo, together with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.5 and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra.  Artists for this program are Raphael Leone (Austria), Armando Salarza,  Gerardo Fajardo, Orphej Simic (Austria),  Rui Hashiba (Austria) and Minette Padilla with the Manila Symphony Orchestra conducted by Aries Caces (Austria).

Now let me ask you this, how proud are you to be a Filipino? How proud are you of our heritage? If I were to ask, how many of you have seen the Las Pinas Bamboo Organ, will you be one of them? If you have seen the Las Pinas Bamboo Organ, have you heard it play? Foreigners such as Koreans and Russians make it a point to see the organ, maybe it is about time for us, Filipinos to be proud of what we have and experience it first-hand.

Come and watch the 37th International Bamboo Organ Festival. For ticket inquiries, (and I assure you its affordable and the proceeds go to the preservation of the Las Pinas Bamboo organ), please call the Foundation Secretariat at tel. nos. (632) 820-0795 or 825-7190, mobile no. 0999-5087838 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can also visit their  website atwww.bambooorgan.org


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