A night of music and memories-A A +A
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Chinggay Utzurrum and Cookie Newman
Family portrait after the concert.
More photos here:
IT WAS a night of wonderful music and memories of gold; of fifty years of Ingrid Sala Santamaria sharing her talent through piano concerts throughout the country and other parts of Asia, North America and Europe.
Celebrating her 50 years of concertizing had to be special. An exhibit of photos, of news clippings, of a few of her Filipiniana gowns was at the lobby of the Marco Polo Plaza grand ballroom where her celebratory concert was held. Cebu is especially proud of Dr. Santamaria who grew up in Cebu, her piano playing nurtured by her piano teacher mother, Pilar Blanco Sala. Cebu is also proud and grateful to her for embarking, with her siblings, a ten-year music education program for Cebu youth which resulted in the Peace Philharmonic Philippines (PPP) which changed forever the musical
landscape of Cebu and the musical taste of Cebuanos.
The concert was preceded by the entrance of her accompanists, the PPP quintet composed of violinists Mark Hamlet Mercado and Reynaldo Abellana, Christian Roy Abaiz, clarinet, Ariel Perez, bassoon and Christopher Mas, double bass. They were followed by all of Dr. Santamaria grandchildren, then by her children and finally, in came the woman of the evening, Dr. Ingrid Sala Santamaria.
She explained that she considered it her legacy to the concertizing world to be accompanied not by a full orchestra but by a quintet, like that night, or with a string ensemble or a quartet, arrangements for which she commissioned Prof. Jeffey Solares, the musical director of the Sala Foundation.
For the concert, she played Chopin's Piano Concert No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11 and Mendelssohn's Piano Concert No.1 in G minor, Op. 25, with passion and precision that had her audience in awe: this was quintessential Ingrid they were hearing and seeing, so sure of her notes, of the feelings they conveyed, making her audience feel the changing emotions and moods of the concertos she was playing. She merited a standing ovation from an audience that clamored for an encore, which she graciously gave.
At the end of her concert, Dr. Santamaria was given citations by the Cultural and Historical Arts Commission and by the St. Theresa College Alumnae Association.
For those familiar with Ingrid's work, the concert was a trip down memory lane, an occasion to recall her past concerts in other concert venues, and to recall her work in making a Peace Philharmonic Philippines a reality. Concert proceeds, by the way, were all donated by Marco Polo Plaza to the Sala Foundation to enable it to go on with its music education programs and scholarships.
The concert was a celebration, not a farewell affair, and Cebuanos can look forward to more concerts in the future from the city's golden girl, Ingrid Sala Santamaria.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 24, 2012.