The UST Wind Orchestra (USTWO) marked National Women’s Month by mounting a concert titled “USTWO in Concert at the Park: Rights for All, Opportunities for All” at the Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium on March 26.

USTWO President Marianne Sol-Latina said the concert was their organization’s way of standing for women’s rights and privileges.

“This concert is an integration of what is happening in our society, in which equality is still a controversy despite all the experiences around the world and in our country,” Sol-Latina told the Varsitarian.

Playing under the baton of conductor Assoc. Prof. Herminigildo Ranera, the USTWO performed Ranera’s “New Normal March,” Alfred Reed’s “Viva Musica,” James Hosay’s “And the Multitude with One Voice Spoke,” Robert Sheldon’s “Velocity,” and “La Cucaracha” arranged by Naohiro Iwai.

“Playing in the orchestra is not only for men. It is also for women. We aim to empower women through this concert,” Ranera said.

Vanessa Celestial, a master’s student of trombone performance, played Angelina Jordan’s version of “When You’re Smiling,” arranged by the principal bassoon of Symphony Orchestra, Derrick Atangan. 

Celestial also performed Ed Sheeran’s pop song “Thinking Out Loud,” which former UST Golden Cross and Saber Battalion Commander Xavier Celestial arranged. 

Guest soloist Rhoxene Octaviano, who won the 2020 NAMCYA trumpet honorable mention, performed Alexander Arutiunian’s “Trumpet Concerto.”

“It was my first time playing the concerto with a wind orchestra,” Octaviano told the Varsitarian. “It is much harder to play with an orchestra because there are so many things happening, but it was a thrilling experience.”

The USTWO closed the concert with a performance of OPM band Mayonnaise’s “Jopay.” 

The event was organized in partnership with the National Parks Development Committee.


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