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It is said that among the arts, music has the most universal appeal and acceptance. The Filipino people are heirs to a musical legacy that embodies their collective consciousness, their hopes and dreams, their trials and triumphs, their aspirations for a better life. These are echoed in the songs they sing and in the instruments they play, which truly become a vital force in creating harmony among the culturally-diverse people like the Filipinos.

Singing

Singing

UMak Chorale with mayor Jojo Binay

University of Makati Chorale

Brief History of the University of Makati

The University of Makati is a public university locally-funded by the Makati City government originally established in 1972 (Mun. Res. No. 242, Ordinance No. 64) as the Makati Polytechnic College. In response to the growing demands for more curricular program offerings, the Polytechnic Community College was elevated to the status of a full-blown college in 1987 and was renamed Makati College.

On January 10, 1990, a merger with former Fort Andres Bonifacio College at Barangay West Rembo paved the way for the transformation of Makati College into a university. By virtue of Municipal Ordinance No. 433, Pamantasan ng Makati became a chartered University on December 19, 1991 under the administration of Mayor Jejomar C. Binay. On August 27, 2002, City Ordinance No. 2002-111 approved the change of the official name of Pamantasan ng Makati (PNM) to University of Makati (UMak) to give the school a sophisticated image towards global excellence.

As the premier university of Makati, it is serving an average of 11,000 students coming from the marginalized families in Makati and nearby cities.

Background of the University of Makati Chorale Madz Et Al

Formally organized in 2003, the University of Makati Chorale is the only school-based acapella vocal ensemble of the University and the City of Makati. Over the years, the Chorale has developed a reputation for its remarkable interpretation of vocal musical literature – from classical to contemporary, from gospel to standards, from kundiman to OPM. With an unbroken blend of male and female voices ranging from the first soprano to second bass, the group has already made a name not only for the University but for the City as well with its remarkable performances.

Today, the group has matured from merely a singing group, composed of indigent but musically-gifted youth, that aspired to provide entertainment to a group propelled by a mission to respond to the cultural aspirations of Makati as its ambassador of goodwill. With this challenge, coupled with its new vision to become world renowned singing ambassadors, they would like to responsively commit to make a difference - to bring more honors not only to the University, but most importantly, to the City of Makati.

In February 2007, the Chorale engaged the services of Prof. Elsie Z. Eranista, a BS-Music graduate, magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines, and an alumna of the Philippine Madrigal Singers (PMS) and a member of the PMS batch who won the Grand Prix in Europe chorale competition (1998), as choir conductor/trainer. As such, they have been undergoing rigorous training supervised by this world-famous singing group. In October 2007, the University of Makati Chorale was formally introduced as the newest member of Madz Et Al, a family of choir organization handled by the Philippine Madrigal Singers and now ready to embark in international choral competitions.

Some of the group’s outstanding achievements:


Grand Finalist - 1st Runner-Up- Magandang Tanghali Bayan’s “Minus-All, an acapella competition at ABS-CBN and
The Filipino Channel (TFC) (December 2003)

Winner - “Sama-samang Boses” – a Christmas Carol Chorale competition (December 2003) sponsored by
Mayor Sonny Belmonte of Quezon City

Regular Choir - Intercontinental Manila, Philippine Senate , and Intl. Relations Dept., Office of the Mayor


First & Third Runner-Up – “Paskong Himig 2007 sa Lungsod ng Pasig/”Paskong-Pasko sa Metro Manila 2007” - Department of Tourism-NCR (Dec. 12 and 13, 2007).
First Grand Champion – “Himig Pasko 2007” Acapella Challenge – Sunshine Media Network-DZAR (December 22, 2007)

Major Concerts

The “Colors of Worship 1 & 2” - a liturgical concert together with eight (8) best choral groups in Metro Manila held in April 2004 at the Philamlife Auditorium, UN Avenue, Manila.

The Rainbow Concert – with the country’s musical icons Jose Mari Chan and Rico J. Puno - May 2004.

Hands-On Choral Concert 2004, 2005 & 2006 – 200-voices choral concert (International Song Festival) under Choirmaster Mark Anthony Carpio of the Philippine Madrigal Singers at the Cultural Center of the Philippines with 11 choral groups.

Sing Philippines (Madz Et Al 2007) – A Celebration of Filipino Choral Artistry – Philamlife Auditorium, May 4, 2007.

Goodwill Choral Concert & Recital with University of the East Chorale and Novo Concertante Manila - Main Theatre, University of Makati, Sept. 27, 2007.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Repenting

Last night, a great lute-player
as full of enthusiasm for the power of music
and its history of the human heart
as far as history recedes, as I remember him
forty years ago before his fame had spread,

handed his lute around the dinner-table
as if we were at some christening party
for the eternal birth of eternal music
in the eternal present moment…

the lute shining like a promise
of things greater and unknown..
yet… not unknown to the eager heart...
made of several woods, matured

for around eight years; like pearwood,
the driest wood known; all nature
had conspired (as poets put it) ,
the trees had conferred together

in praise of the music which they hear
hints of through their winter branches,
in their rustling young spring leaves,
in the wind’s dry whisper in red and brown late curling leaves…

and a man had put all this together
with its invisible fierce tensions held
by cunning of design, to permit
the gentlest sounds of laughter, tears…

a man who after years of skill
built into priceless treasures such as this
now works in La Jolla as a restorer
of heritage houses from the nineteen-hundreds…

and the lute itself! when holding it, it seemed
to have a ‘negative weight’ – as if
its very balance, laws of immaterial sound
made material in our human world

had made a thing of spirit, which begged
return to its very elements of ether,
sound, air, touch, and music’s fire,
the flow of love in laughter and in tears,

so that I swear, it had no weight
but rather, was its opposite…
he played an ancient song
composed before songs were written down,

recorded for us – its sole record, this –
by the first inventor, from the Italian courts,
of moveable musical type; a song
which transcended its Christian story

of sin and sorrow and repenting grief;
its music, roaming in its memory,
over Africa, Asia, all the length
and breadth of the human heart

recorded in the sound of music…
this the magic that rose in the air
around a dinner-table in a suburban house
touched by a boundless, weightless eternity of grace.

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