SINGING its way into its first decade, the annual UST Christmas Concert Gala showcased the University’s home-grown talents at the Santisimo Rosario Parish last Dec. 6.

Opening the event was a tree-lighting ceremony initiated by concert organizers Maricris Zobel and Conservatory of Music Dean Raul Sunico. Zobel, along with UST Museum of Arts and Sciences director Fr. Isidro C. Abano, O.P..

Father Rector Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. greeted the guests. He thanked the organizers for the hard work put in to the production of the concert, noting that they had “never taken a shortcut to Christmas.”

Leading the concert was the UST Symphony Orchestra under its conductor Herminigildo Ranera. The UST Brass Ensemble delivered a lively performance of “Brassy Christmas,” followed by the UST String Orchestra’s rendition of National Artist Felipe de Leon’s “Payapang Daigdig,” sung by young soprano Vyktoria Therezze Bayle.

The Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir conducted by Maria Theresa Vizconde-Roldan followed suit with their performances of “Bells at Christmas” and “Kampana ng Simbahan,”

A union of melodies was encapsulated in cellist Renato Lucas and harpist Lourdes Greogrio’s performance of “Siciliene.”

Top voice talents of the faculty of the Conservatory of Music were showcased when sopranos Nenen Espina, Thea Perez and Naomi Sison teamed up with tenors Lemuel de la Cruz, Eugene de los Santos and Ronan Ferrer sang “Christmas Fantasia.”

Starting with a tenor solo of “When a Child is Born” and followed by a soprano rendition of “I Believe in Father Christmas,” the number ended with a breathtaking union of voices in “Nella Fantasia.”

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Much anticipated since they have won the Choir of the World title twice, the UST Singers, under conductor Fidel Calalang, did not disappoint the guests with their take on “My Grown Up Christmas List” and “A Christmas Carol.”

Filling the chapel with high notes, mezzo-soprano Clarissa Ocampo performed “But Who May Abide the Day of His Coming,” while premiere soprano Rachelle Gerodias made the crowd swoon with Johann Bach’s “Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen.”

Leading the finale was Coro Tomasino singing a string of Christmas songs such as “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” Jose Mari Chan’s “Christmas in Our Hearts,” and “Pasko sa UST,” which is composed by assistant professor Antonio Africa.

The event ended with the audience singing along with the performers “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “Joy to the World” as white and gold confetti rained on them.

Ranera expressed satisfaction at the musical selection and performances.

“I think that it is one of the best, if not one of the best shows we have performed,” he said.

Overwhelmed by the show’s outcome, Zobel said that the University has so much talent that she is honored to showcase the event every year.

“I have only been in this for five years, but it has improved greatly from the set design to the way everything flows,” Zobel said. “There is so much professionalism shown here.”

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