Annual Christmas concert revamped

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Photo by Miah Terrenz Provido

HOMEGROWN talents from the Conservatory of Music bested in the performance of classical Christmas hymns to a much wider Thomasian crowd in this year’s revamped UST Christmas Concert.

The traditional two-night event of the Christmas concert was merged into one grand event with the University’s “Pre-Paskuhan festivities” last Dec. 1, ushering in the Yuletide season with an array of Christmas repertoire ranging from Schubert, Schiller and Handel.

UST Christmas concert held at Plaza Mayor

Overhauled this year, instead of two gala nights at the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church, one held for VIP’s and other UST guests and another held for the wider campus community, the 14th edition of the annual concert had only one gala night but at the UST Plaza Mayor on December 1, attracting a bigger crowd, 15,000 according to the estimate of organizers, and fostering warmer and closer campus communion.

In fact, the theme of the Christmas concert was a “united community,” according to Conservatory of Music Dean Antonio Africa. It was Father Rector Herminio Dagohoy’s wish, he told the Varsitarian.

The concert also took place along with the traditional lighting of the UST Christmas tree, which Africa said could be the practice in
the next years.

“No doubt this marriage of the Christmas lighting and the concert will be a much-awaited event at year’s end,” he said.

The UST Symphony Orchestra and resident choirs of the Conservatory opened the concert with a medley of Christmas carols—“12 Days of Christmas,” “Deck the Halls” and “’O Holy Night.”

Soprano Patricia Pacis and the UST Jazz Band then rendered the 1934 American record, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

Broadway artist Nerissa de Juan gave a soulful rendition of “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Renowned tenors Ronan Ferrer and Randy Gilongo and choirmaster Eugene delos Santos then took the stage to perform “Sleigh Ride” and “Jingle Bells.”

A choir of visually impaired singers graced the concert as voice professor and lyric soprano Thea Perez led them in singing the Felipe Padilla De Leon classic, “Payapang Daigdig.”

The singers, who were from from the Parent’s Advocate for Visually Impaired Children, also performed Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria” and George Frideric Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus,” from the latter’s most popular oratorio, “Messiah.”

The choir capped the concert with a heartfelt performance of Africa’s composition, “Pasko sa UST.”

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