THE IMPOSING and majestic historic UST Main Building acquired a soft, romantic ambience complete with lights that surround the courtyard, touch of nature, cold Christmas breeze and melodious music as it served as venue for Samutsaring Himig Para sa Damdamin. This spectacular caroling by the UST Symphony Band last Dec. 4, was part of the ongoing UST Cultural Nights Series. The concert that ushered in the Christmas season in UST.

Formerly called Cultural Nights at the Colayco Park, the UST Cultural Nights Series has been renamed to allow flexibility in the venue that are conducive to the performances. It was launched in 1996 to provide a different form of entertainment, while at the same time facilitating cultural exchanges among the Thomasian members and friends.

The UST Symphony Band performed a repertoire of familiar Christmas songs such as Hallelujah, It’s Christmas and Together at Christmas, all with an outburst of merriment. There was also the beautiful and sentimental rendition of Pasko na Sinta Ko, the only Filipino song performed that night.

Moreover, there was a dash of pop hits like Laban o Bawi, popularized by the Sexbomb Dancers. The band had a surging finale with the lively performance of a medley Christmas songs such as Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells and Hark the Herald.

Hearing familiar songs played by the UST Symphony Band with intricate extravagance and meticulous artistry, was an awe-inspiring experience for the audience. The Band created thunderous harmonious music without sacrificing subtlety.

The UST Symphony Band, which consists of 60 multi-awarded student-members, is the first Philippine symphonic band, to be invited to the international band competition at Bangkok, Thailand last October.

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The Band performed under the batons of Herminigildo Ranera and Arnel Feliciano. Ranera obtained his Bachelor of Music degree in Trombone Performance and Theory at the UST Conservatory of Music and his Master’s Degree in Conducting at the University of Northern Colorado. Meanwhile, Feliciano serves as a faculty member at the Conservatory of Music since 1989, and is currently a percussionist of San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Other performances for the UST Cultural Nights Series will be on December 13, January 31, and February 28.

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