Thomasian musicians pay tribute to patron St. Cecilia

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Photo by Deejae S. Dumlao

VARIOUS musicians from the University performed an array of piano, cello, choir and orchestral pieces in a concert held at the Albertus Magnus auditorium last Nov. 22 for the feast day of St. Cecilia, the patroness of musicians.

Hosted by the Conservatory of Music in honor of the saint, the performers, composed of faculty members and students, prepared a line-up of works by Franz von Suppe, Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven.

The opening act, Franz von Suppe’s “Dichter Und Bauer Overture,” was played by the UST Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Assistant Conductor Reynato Ressurection Jr. This was followed by a softer, more charming rendition of Franz Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D major, with cellist Gerry Gonzales gracing the stage.

For the final act, pianist and professor Peter Porticos was the soloist for Ludwig von Beethoven’s “Fantasie in C minor, Op. 80,” otherwise known as the “Chorale Fantasie,” accompanied by the UST Symphony Orchestra and Coro Tomasino.

Beethoven’s Chorale Fantasie was one of the smaller works he had written before his 9th symphony, and may have been the famous symphony’s forerunner, explained Peter Porticos. The Fantasie shares a striking resemblance with the well-loved “Chorale Symphony,” the symphony that shook the world on its premiere in 1824, with its ingenious use of both a full choir and orchestra for one glorious moment at the ending.

Other faculty members who performed were sopranos Thea Perez and Elisanta Cortes and tenors Randy Gilongo and Ronan Ferrer, the latter being the head conductor for Coro Tomasino.

Two notable students took center stage — alto Courtney Gormley and tenor Erwin Dimaculangan. An overwhelming two-thirds of the audience were part of the concert, an act that “united the conservatory for a moment on stage,” said pianist Porticos.

“Beethoven’s grand merging of all the most prominent instruments was the perfect piece for [the collaboration] of the whole conservatory,” Porticos told the Varsitarian.

Friedrich Schiller, the poet behind the lyrics of Beethoven’s Chorale Symphony, wrote in the last verse of the chorus: “All men become brothers at the flap of thy wing.”

Porticos said these timely values must be realized by the community, especially the Conservatory.

“Every single day within these four walls, we celebrate high art through the practice of our music,” Porticos said.

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