TWELVE students of the Classic Orchestra Music School (COMS) wowed Cambodian royalty, making them forces to be reckoned with in the international music scene.
An invitation to play with the Angkor Wat Youth Orchestra for the Cambodian Queen Mother’s birthday was accepted by the Cebuano musicians. The 12 who went to Cambodia were violinists Paul Gilbert Ramos, Bruce Albert Lim, Cecil Angela Abellana and Paean Banday; violists Carlito Adarna, Grant Eythan Lim and Hans Theo Grado; cellist Doxa Banday; percussionists Marielle Beverly Bugtai and Louie Gexelle Bugtai; and flutists Yani Gale Valendez and James Vincent Natera. They were accompanied by their professors, violinist Reynaldo Abellana and flutist Geraldine Abellana.
The young musicians played for the Queen together with the Angkor Wat Youth Orchestra and the Japanese Youth Orchestra, who were also invited to play for the same event: Queen Monica’s 80th birthday last June 20.
Professor Abellana said he wanted his music students to be exposed to other cultures and other conductors, hence he took the opportunity to bring them to other countries when occasions like playing in Cambodia arose.
In August, he is bringing a team of four to Japan to play with the Takasaki Youth Orchestra. The four COMS students going to Japan are double bassists France Mabalcon and Benedict Joel Villarente, violinist Jannross Esmeralda and violist Arthur John Dale Yap. They will be accompanied by Abellana and double bass professor Jerome Rezaba.
Abellana is confident that this exposure to other cultures and other conductors will make his music students more flexible in the way they obey conductor’s cues, which will make it easy for them to become members of other orchestras, once they are past their youth stage.