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UP Symphony Orchestra performs in South Cotabato

The University of the Philippines Symphony Orchestra will bring its "Seasons of Love" concert to South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center in Koronadal City at exactly 6:00 p.m., on March 16, 2024. (Photo grabbed from UP Symphony Orchestra Facebook page)

South Cotabateños will be treated to a night of fine, orchestral music as the University of the Philippines Symphony Orchestra (UPSO) is set to perform at the South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center on March 16 for the “Seasons of Love 2024” concert.

“This is historical in nature, as it will be the first time a professional orchestra will play a full-length concert at the South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center,” Karl Garette Melegrito said, chair and head secretariat of the organizing committee.

Seasons of Love, he added, is a benefit concert for the University of the Philippines Manila School of Health Sciences (SHS), Koronadal City Campus.

For the concert, organizers are flying in 75 musicians and 5 tons of musical equipment. 

Apart from introducing orchestral music to the people of South Cotabato, the concert also aims to raise funds for the UP Manila SHS Koronadal City campus.

“We want to let everyone know that this kind of music is not just for the elite; music is for everyone. Most importantly, we are doing this because we have in our minds our scholars,” Melegrito pointed out. 

Students at the UP Manila SHS come from marginalized sectors, including children of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries and indigenous peoples, among others, in the so-called “galing sa laylayan.”

Proceeds of the University of the Philippines Symphony Orchestra's Seasons of Love concert will benefit the UP Manila School of Health Sciences Koronadal City Campus. (Photo by Danilo E. Doguiles/PIA Region 12)

As scholars, students in UP Manila SHS are backed by their respective local government units for their allowances and other school needs under a return of service contract, where after graduation, a scholar serves in the community for two years for every year spent in school.

“They are given the opportunity to have free education from midwifery to nursing until a doctor of medicine. Pagkatapos, babalik din sila [Thereafter, they will return] to serve sa kanilang [in their] community after their graduation,” he said.

Melegrito revealed in a press conference that proceeds from the concert will be used to acquire additional resources for students at the UP Manila SHS Koronadal City Campus and renovate the school's student dormitory.

Seasons of Love is about two hours and 30 minutes long.

Melegrito explained that the concert won’t entirely be classical and western since it will include “music for everyone,” such as Filipino music in full orchestra, Broadway favorites, and Visayan songs, among others.

“Our music cuts across social classes,” he noted.

Perlyn Joy Enriquez, music sector representative of the South Cotabato Culture and Arts Council, added, “This is a great opportunity for our community to really listen to music in different genres using the instruments of the orchestra. It is also an opportunity to really appreciate fine music.”

Prior to the concert, members of the UP Symphony Orchestra will hold a masterclass session with local musicians, the South Cotabato Family Rondalla, who will also perform at the Seasons of Love concert.

Manlilikha ng Bayan Bundos Bansil Fara for brass casting, Barbara Kiber Ofong for textile weaving, and Rosie Godwino Sula for Tboli chanting—all from Lake Sebu town—will also be presented during the concert.

Sula is also expected to perform a Tboli chant during the event.

Tickets are sold at P2,500, P1,500, P1,000, and P700. Until March 8, tickets are on sale with a 40 percent discount.

The UP Symphony Orchestra serves as the official system-wide orchestra of the University of the Philippines, funded by the UP-System Fund and hosted by the College of Music. 

Its main functions are as a repertory orchestra for musicians, a laboratory orchestra for Filipino composers, and a training orchestra for young conductors, according to an event briefer.

UPSO performed at the 12th China-ASEAN Music Festival in Nanning, China, on October 18 and 19, 2023. They have also performed in Baguio, Diliman, Davao, Tacloban, and Kaohsiung, Taiwan. (DED - Region 12)

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