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They say that music is the voice of the soul. And indeed last Friday, 11th March, the night was alive while the Thomasian Alumni and other kindred souls had the pleasure of receiving a most beautiful message from the heavenly music of some of the most esteemed musical groups of the nation: the UST Education High School Choir, the Caleruega Children’s Choir, the Hiyas ng Pilipinas Choir and the UST Junior High School Glee Club, accompanied by the 2015 Aliw Awardee for Best Instrumentalist, Merjohn Lagaya.

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The concert was entitled “Something Beautiful Began Here, an Evening Serenade to Thomasian Alumni and Friends” and true to its name, the talented musicians brought forth their best music and arrangements to pay tribute to the alumni and guests. With a combination of classic and new songs arranged by some of the best in the industry, the serenade went on for a good three hours started by an invocation from Asst. Prof. Maria Cherry G. Tanodra, Assistant Director of the Office of Alumni Relations and a welcome message from the Director of O.A.R., Asst. Prof. Fides Maria Lourdes F. Carlos.

Different songs from different periods of time arranged into musical perfection by some of the most famous musical pioneers including Ryan Cayabyab, Arnold Zamora (a Thomasian Alumnus), Robert Prizeman, Roger Emerson and our very own UST Singers Conductorh, Prof. Fidel G. Calalang Jr. made the night blossom into a spectacular celebration of triumph and joy. Te concert was attended by a great number of Thomasians from all corners of the metro: alumni, administrators, colleagues and friends.

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[Song line up: Dominican Blessing, Panalangin, The Scientist, and Can You Feel the Love Tonight]

The UST EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR was established at the beginning of the school year 2015 with the purpose of singing for the regular masses and special occasions of the Education High School. The choir is composed of students ranging from grade 7 to grade 10, which were handpicked in an audition held on August 2015. The goal of the choir is to enhance the musical capabilities and talents of the students, and to showcase their artistry in singing for the school, for the university and for the Lord.

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[Song line up: Sanctus, ‘Somewhere’ from the West Side Story Musical, ‘Tomorrow’ from the musical Annie, Choral Highlights from the move Frozen, Minsan Lang Kitang Iibigin, Uptown Funk! and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You]

The CALERUEGA CHILDREN’S CHOIR began when employees of Caleruega Philippines were invited to volunteer their children from age 6-16 years old to form a choir who will sing for the regular 11:00am Sunday Mass. After a month of training and doing their best to not sound off-tune, the kids sang at their first Mass on November 3, 2013. Later on, other kids from the local rural mountain area – their friends, classmates & relatives – joined the choir. Composed of mostly students from Kaylaway National High School & Kaylaway Elementary School, they now also regularly sing at weddings, events, and have their yearly “Christmas Serenade” on December & “Harana sa Caleruega” on February.  The children are given support for their schooling and music training through the help of sponsors and benefactors. Founded and trained by Fr. Allen de Guzman OP, and with the help of guest choir conductors, they continue their mission: “mga Batang Umaawit para sa Diyos, at para sa mga Taong Nagmamahal at Nagdarasal”.

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[Song line up: Alleluia, A Choral Flourish, Iniibig Kita, Love Yourself, Sorry, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and Angels Brought Me Here]

HIYAS NG PILIPINAS YOUTH CHOIR was originally known as Hiyas ng Pilipinas Children’s Choir under the baton of Nicanor Castro Infante, a Teacher’s Diploma graduate in voice earned at the UST Conservatory of Music. Founded in 2006, the group has blossomed into one of the most outstanding and sought after choirs in the Philippines by bagging the Championship Title in the Himig ng Pasko Chorale Competition staged by the Manila Broadcasting Company for three consecutive years (2007-2009), elevating them to the Hall of Fame. In 2009, the group got two Silver Awards in Children’s Choir and Folkloric Category, and a Bronze award in Sacred Music Category in the 1st CCP National Choral Competition. Also, they won 1st prize in the Annual Vivere Suites Hotel Christmas Choral Competition in 2008. In 2013 at the Sing’n’Joy Manila of Interkultur – Philippine International Choir Competition, Hiyas won Gold in Youth Choirs of Equal Voices Category. The group often sings for visiting dignitaries, local and foreign tourists, television appearances, events from hotels, malls, and weddings, Sunday mass, and more. Their repertoire comprises of Classical, Folk, Sacred, Modern, Love, Patriotic, Christmas and Children Songs. Ordinary kids with big dreams and the heart to pursue them while having fun at the same time, who dream of becoming great singers and performing for audiences in prestigious events, especially in other countries, Hiyas ng Pilipinas believes that nothing is impossible when you work hard to reach your goals.

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[Song line up: Manila, Kruhay, Anak, L’important C’est La Rose, Roar, Seasons of Love, and Ikaw]

The UST JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL GLEE CLUB is the school’s official chorale ambassadors composed of a select group of students, under the direction of Ms. Maria Lulu P. Orlina and Mr. Nicanor C. Infante. The Glee Club envisions itself to be one of the best high school choirs in the country. They aim to explore the different genres of choral music and to sing songs to build relationships, to inspire the human spirit with the Divine, and to serenade hope and healing in those they are sent to reach out.  Also known before as the UST High School Music Society, it had its humble beginnings as the school’s show choir for school and club programs, and also as a liturgical choir for regular Masses and prayers. Through the years, choir members have gone on to become the nation’s popular chorale conductors, musicians, and singers.

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[Violin solo: Besame Mucho and Ikaw]

MERJOHN LAGAYA

2015 Aliw Awardee for Best Instrumentalist, Principal Violinist of il Divo’s, Josh Groban’s and Andrea Bocelli’s Asian Concert Tours and Concert Master of the ASEAN Symphony Orchestra

 

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The serenade ended with a Tutti from all the performers present, along with a presentation of certificates to the conductors.

 

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