MEMBERS of the UST Symphony Orchestra (USTSO) gave audiences a crash course on basic music concepts in “Tricks and Musical Treats: A PPO Family Concert” on Oct. 31 via Zoom.

Performers from the USTSO discussed the basic elements of music as “space rangers” to the audiences on Zoom and Facebook live.

With flute as her instrument, music education senior Kimberly Camiling illustrated rhythm, beat, and movement of notes, using the tune of the Filipino version of the rock-paper-scissors game, “jack en poy.” 

She also demonstrated the “rhythmic ostinato,” or the repeating of musical patterns through rhythm and in the same pitch, by playing the flute to the tune of “Leron Leron Sinta” while the audience were asked to clap along to the beat.

“For the first time we did not perform as an orchestra. The goal of the concert was appreciation and music education. It was like a variety show with performances, games, music lessons, raffle draws, and gifts,” Camiling told the Varsitarian.

Marloe Maruyama used the song “Leron Leron Sinta” in demonstrating the “piano” or softness of music, as well as the “forte,” which is the loudness of music. He explained dynamics by playing the double bass. 

Maruyama also discussed texture, the organization of the layers of sound within a musical piece, through a cappella and accompanied renditions of “Bahay Kubo” and German composer Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.”

Melody, the succession of notes horizontally related to each other through rhythm and pitch, was tackled by Roie So, who also demonstrated pitch (the highness and lowness of notes) by playing the solfège or do-re-mi scale with his cello.

Franccine “Ema” Reyes demonstrated harmony, or the vertical relationship of notes following a similar rhythm, by playing German composer Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy” on top of the piece’s melody, using the viola.

“Music has terms and methods that may be too complex for children to understand as they are, that’s why this concert helps in simplifying understanding music for children and family audiences who aren’t too familiar with music,” she said.

Near the end of the concert, Armine Rane Carpio elaborated on timbre, or the tone quality of a sound, by playing her alto saxophone to showcase the difference between light, bright, smooth, and heavy timbres.

Music professor Herminigildo Ranera taught the viewers how to hold the baton, as he conducted the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) in a selection of popular Star Wars themes.

PPO opened the concert with John Williams’ iconic Star Wars “Main Title” theme, from the 1977 film, “A New Hope.”

Renditions of other themes from the Star Wars franchise, including Williams’ “Princess Leia’s Theme” from “A New Hope” and “The Mandalorian” theme by Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson from the 2019 Television spin-off series of the same name, were also performed during the event.

The concert was capped by Williams’s “Cantina Band”, which was also a theme from “A New Hope.”

The CCP has been presenting the “Tricks and Musical Treats” Halloween concert annually since 2015. It aims to promote music education and orchestra appreciation to children and families.

It held the first online installment of the concert on Oct. 31, with the theme “A Virtual Adventure in Camp Melodia,” as PPO musicians introduced their musical instruments to audiences and performed pieces from previous “Tricks and Musical Treats” concerts.

“Being able to organize an online interactive event like this for children has also helped [them] in staying active in terms of learning and social interactions even with the limitations that the pandemic has imposed,” Reyes told the Varsitarian.

Camiling said concerts, even if held virtually, can serve as a “bonding time” for the whole family and encourage children to be developed audiences and consumers of music. 

With its theme, “A Musical Voyage to Outer Space,” the virtual Halloween concert was presented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, with actor and Repertory Philippines Artistic Director Liesl Batucan directing and hosting the event as space pilot Celest.


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