The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra's Woodwind Quintet stages its performance "Wondrous Woodwinds" on Friday, Oct. 27, at the CCP Black Box Theater in Pasay.

THOMASIAN talents were featured in a concert spotlighting woodwind instruments on Oct. 27 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Pasay. 

The “Wondrous Woodwinds” concert, featuring the Woodwind Quintet of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, culminated the CCP’s “Out-of-the-Box” series this year. 

“While often overlooked and given less emphasis, the woodwind section frequently adds color to orchestral music and produces gorgeous, sumptuous cinematic textures,” wrote CCP President Nikki Junia and Vice President Dennis Marasigan in a message. 

The Woodwind Quintet has John Peter Bautista on oboe, Ariel Sta. Ana on clarinet, Frenvee Andra on bassoon, Ernani Pascual on French horn, and Rosemarie Poblete on flute. 

Bautista, Sta. Ana, Andra, and Pascual are graduates of the UST Conservatory of Music.

“It’s actually the first time in the Philippines to have a woodwind quintet as a main performer,” said Bautista, who majored in oboe performance at the University’s conservatory. “This is a big step in general for woodwind musicians in the Philippines.” 

The two-hour performance covered a variety of music genres, ranging from baroque to pop music. 

Sta. Ana’s arrangement of Giulio Caccini’s “Ave Maria” opened the concert, accompanied by vocals by theater actress Lara Maigue and a dance performance by Bianca Manalo.

It was followed by “Fugue in G Minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach, also arranged by Sta. Ana to fit the quintet.

“Philippine Airs Medley” by Eduardo Parungao and the Filipino classic “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan” by National Artist for Music Lucio San Pedro were performed in the first half of the show.

The Woodwind Quintet opened the second half with “Art Deco Suite for Woodwind Quintet” by Richard Percival, accompanied by a tango performance from Brando Balmedina and Abigael Tinio.

Pop songs, including medleys of the Beatles’ top hits and Taylor Swift’s chart-toppers “Enchanted” and “Wildest Dreams,” were also performed by the group. 

Sta. Ana said the group chose to veer away from the usual genres to stay true to the concert’s “out-of-the-box” theme. 

“We could not stick to our usual repertoire as a quintet, which is classical,” said Sta. Ana, who majored in clarinet performance at the conservatory. “So our director said, ‘Why not perform the Beatles?’ for it to be really out of the box.” 

“We wanted to showcase that we can transition from one era to another,” Bautista added. 

The quintet capped their concert with a medley of Original Pilipino Music from the ’70s, including “Bongga ka ‘Day,” “Nosi Balasi,” and “Jeproks.” 

They performed a total of 14 compositions and medleys. 

“Wondrous Woodwinds” was the final performance in the 2023 edition of CCP’s Out-of-the-Box series, which featured unconventional performances not typically seen on stage.

It ran for two nights, ending on Oct. 28. 


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