THE MUSIC of French composer Camille Saint-Saens was the main feature in the annual Tribute to the Thomasian concert by the UST Symphony Orchestra at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) last March 12.

Mostly Camille: The Music of Camille Saint-Saens featured a repertoire of Saint-Saens’ classics along with songs by acclaimed European composers from the 19th century. Music professor Herminigildo Ranera and oboeist Reynato Resurreccion Jr. conducted the performances.

“The concert featured the music of Camille Saint-Saens to pay homage to his remarkable contributions to music as suggested by former Music dean Raul Sunico,” Ranera told the Varsitarian.

The concert opened with Resurreccion leading the UST Symphony Orchestra in Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Forza Del Destino” (The Power of Fate), an Italian opera overture based on the popular Spanish romantic drama, “Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino.”

As Ranera took hold of the baton, Music faculty member Randy Gilongo treated the audience to soulful renditions of “Cielo e’mar,” from the 1876 opera, “La Gioconda,” by Amilcare Ponchielli, and “Le Reve” from the French opera, “Manon,” by Jules Massenet.

It was followed by a two-movement piano performance of Saint-Saens’ “Piano Concerto No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 44” by Music faculty secretary Peter Porticos. The piano concerto started with an allegro moderato (moderately quick tempo) that transitioned into an andante (moderately slow tempo) and allegro vivace (very quick and lively tempo).

Saint-Saens’ “Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78” concluded the concert with faculty member Victor Victorino on the organ.

Saint-Saens, a musical prodigy of the Romantic era, is best-known for compositions scattered throughout almost all musical genres—from symphonies, concertos, sacred music, secular music and opera; including his widely performed opera, “Samson and Delilah.”

“The concert is a way of honoring the Thomasian community through showcasing the many talents of the Conservatory,” Music regent Fr. Jose. Ma. B. Tikono, O.P. said in his message.

Tribute to the Thomasians  was previously held in January in celebration of UST’s foundation anniversary but in 2015, after the Papal Visit and academic calendar shift, the annual concert was moved to March. It is led by the UST Symphony Orchestra in partnership with CCP.

The 70-member orchestra is the official orchestra of UST and the only campus orchestra that is a resident performer at CCP. It was founded in 1927 by Dr. Manuel Casas of the College of Medicine. 

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