Plucking the Heartstrings

Arts Awake

A WORLD premiere and choral works transcribed for strings will highlight the first concert in celebration of the NAMCYA 45th Anniversary.

The National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA), in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Cultural Center of the Philippines brings the strings on center stage as they kick-off the celebration with “Minsan Lang Kami Maging Musiko” at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

The concert featuring NAMCYA winners, the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra, and Kuwerdas Filipinas (Philippine Rondalla Ensemble) will be staged on August 15, 2018 at 8:00 pm. Guests performers will include world renowned Filipino choir Novo Concertante Manila, and International opera singers Jonathan Badon and Stefanie Quintin.

“Performing in a prestigious venue such as the CCP comes in once in a lifetime for these young musicians,” says Dr. Renato B. Lucas, secretary-general of the NAMCYA. “The NAMCYA provides platforms for them to experience musical excellence.”

The Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra (MSJO) is the youth orchestra program of the Manila Symphony Orchestra. The group placed first, ex aequo, at the recently concluded Summa Cum Laude International Music Festival held in Vienna, Austria.

The group is composed of the most advanced students of the MSO Music Academy and other qualified students ages 8 to 18 years old, some of which have participated and won prizes in the NAMCYA. MSJO is under the baton of Prof. Jeffrey Solares (NAMCYA 1990 Violin Category B 2nd Prize and 1993 Violin Category C 3rd Prize). Emanuel John Villarin (2016 Strings Semifinalist), Jeanne Rafaella Marquez (2016 Strings Second Place), and Damodar Das Castillo (2016 Strings Second Place), all members of the MSJO, will be featured soloists.

They are presenting works by Vivaldi, Haydn, and selections from their competition repertoire including Nilo Alcala’s Dayo-dayo Kupita, and Benny Castillon’s Kruhay, both choral works transcribed for the string ensemble.

The newly-organized Kuwerdas Filipinas (Philippine Rondalla Ensemble) is a national rondalla ensemble composed of the participants of the First Rondalla Music Camp held in Baguio City in July 2017. Kuwerdas Filipinas presents a selection of rondalla-transcribed works by Mendelssohn, Abelardo, Brahms, among others. The ensemble will have a World Premiere of “Dambana,” composed by National Artist for Music Dr. Ramon Santos for rondalla and choir. To join the ensemble are NAMCYA Winners Nelson Quirit (2012 Solo Rondalla Instrument Third Prize), CEU Manila Singers (2017 Adult Choir Second Prize), plus soprano Stefanie Quintin, tenor Jonathan Badon, and Novo Concertante Manila. Under the directorship of National Artist for Music Dr. Ramon Santos, the Rondalla Music Camp and this year's 5th International Rondalla Festival is a project of the Musicological Society of the Philippines and the NAMCYA. The program seeks to elevate the Filipino rondalla into a state of prominence in the artistic realm of Philippine music and their public debut on August 15 will definetely usher in a new era for Philippine rondalla.

Tickets are now available at Ticketworld, CCP Box Office, and the NAMCYA Office and are priced at P800, P600, P400, P300, with 50% discount for students and 20% discount for PWD / Senior Citizens, Military and Government Employees. Call 891-9999 (Ticketworld), 836-4928 or 0917-7500107 (NAMCYA), or for inquiries and purchase.

NAMCYA has been a principal instrument in discovering major music talents from all over the country. Its projects have involved and continue to involve countless musicians, trainers and administrators, all serving in the difficult but fulfilling process of selecting the best artists from all seventeen regions of the nation annually.

The Foundation carries out a three-fold program: discovering outstanding young Filipino musicians from every region of the country through annual competitions; developing these musicians through Workshops and Training Programs; and enhancing and expanding the appreciation for and performance of Filipino music by way of mandated competition repertoire programs and commissioning of new works. (


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