THOMASIAN musicians took the center stage in the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) online concert “Sounds of the New Normal” on Oct. 23.

Through a collection of musical compositions, the UST Symphony Orchestra recounted the “mixed bag of experiences” brought by the pandemic. 

“Music, especially classical music, can reduce anxiety, depression, and can increase our well-being,” Herminigildo Ranera, a faculty member of Conservatory of Music, told the Varsitarian

The concert opened with the symphony orchestra’s performance of American composer Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings, Op.11.”

It was followed by a rendition of “Funeral Music For Queen Mary” by the UST Wind Orchestra. The piece was composed by Henry Purcell and arranged by Steven Stucky. 

Ranera, who is also the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra’s resident conductor, said the first two performances depicted the global impact of Covid-19. 

“[There have been] millions of deaths, economic and social disruptions. There are also negative effects of hopelessness and the pain of losing loved ones,” said Ranera.

The UST Symphony Orchestra segued into Bohemian composer Antonin Dvorak’s “Symphony no. 9,” widely known as “New World Symphony.”

“[The piece] tells us the story of a journey into new waters, a journey into something unknown. The journey may be turbulent, or it may carry exciting twists and turns, but all roads will eventually lead home,” narrator Peter Porticos said.

The concert concluded with the symphony orchestra’s performance of the “Salamat, Maria” composed by Vehnee Saturno, sung by Coro Tomasino and Ronan Ferrer. 

“The sounds of the new normal not only portray tragedies but the sounds of hope, of music, and of God’s love for us,” Ranera said. 

“Music is always with us, to uplift our souls especially during this time of crisis,” he added. 

The concert was broadcast on CCP’s official Facebook and YouTube pages. Nolene Beatrice H. Crucillo, Joanne Christine P. Ramos


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