UP Symphony Orchestra to celebrate New Year with Taiwan partners

| Written by Celeste Ann Castillo Llaneta

One of the most prominent performing groups from the University of the Philippines (UP) is headed to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for its first international concert.

The UP Symphony Orchestra (UPSO), representing the Philippines’ national university, will hold “Concerts of Good Will” on January 8 and 9. The UPSO, under the baton of Professor Emeritus Josefino “Chino” Toledo, will be performing Western, Taiwanese, and Philippine folk and classical works, including Dvorak’s Symphony 9 or the ‘New World Symphony,’ in celebration of a new era of friendship and cooperation between Taiwan and the Philippines. The UPSO’s musical lineup is a celebration of the sounds of both cultures, featuring ‘Chinese Festival’ by Hsu Tsang-Houei and Professor Emeritus Chino Toledo’s ‘Kantus: Tagabawa,’ which is inspired by the chanting tradition of the Bagobo-Tagabawa people of southern Philippines.

The UPSO’s “Concert of Good Will” on January 8 will be held at the prestigious National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) at 3:00 p.m. Ticket prices are 500, 800, 1000, and 1,500 NT$. Tickets are available at http://opentix.life or via email hanchien@stu.edu.tw.

On January 9, the UPSO will hold a concert at the Conference Hall, Nanzih Campus, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology (NKUST). For this concert, the UPSO will perform ‘Festive Overture’ and ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ to celebrate the hope and joy of the New Year. As a tribute to the overseas Filipino workers in Taiwan, the UPSO will also play ‘Overture to Philippine Folksongs’ and ‘Lahing Kayumanggi,’ written by National Artist for Music Lucio San Pedro to honor the Filipino race. Admission to the concert is free. To reserve tickets, please get in touch with Tzu-Yu Wu at (07)361-7141#22351 or email xcoffice01@nkust.edu.tw.

The UPSO’s guest performer, mezzo-soprano Ms. Michelle Mariel Mariposa.

Guest performer Ms. Michelle Mariel Mariposa will join the UPSO. Mariposa is a Filipino-Chinese mezzo-soprano. She is passionate about communicating truth and beauty through music, poetry, and rhetoric. She is pursuing her Master’s degree in Voice and Opera Performance at the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA, under W. Stephen Smith. At Northwestern, Michelle is a recipient of the Eckstein Merit Scholarship. She has performed as a soloist for the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and the Bienen Contemporary Music Ensemble.

The UPSO serves as the official university orchestra of UP, supported by the UP System Fund and hosted by the UP College of Music. A relatively young orchestra, the UPSO was established by the UP Board of Regents at its 1337th meeting on August 30, 2018.

Its roster of 65 members comprises alumni, students, faculty, and administrative staff from all UP campuses. As such, UPSO functions as a training ground for composers and musicians and is the only orchestra in the country that regularly performs Filipino, Asian, contemporary, and new works in addition to the standard orchestra repertoire.

The UPSO’s conductor and musical director, Professor Emeritus Josefino “Chino” Toledo.

UPSO’s founding musical director Josefino “Chino” Toledo, is an international composer-conductor, a Professor Emeritus of composition, and a University Artist III at UP. Aside from directing the UPSO, he also serves as the chairperson of the Department of Composition and Theory of the UP College of Music.

With its combination of musical virtuosity, commitment to the arts, creative spirit, and love for diverse musical traditions, the audience enjoys UPSO’s music programming. It always contains something new and exciting for them to experience. The orchestra ably represents UP and the Philippines worldwide with this performance in Taiwan.

The UPSO’s two-day “Concert of Good Will” was made possible through the partnership and cooperation of its organizers: the UP System, the National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, Shu-Te University, and Edu-Connect Southeast Asia Association, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. It was co-organized by the Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan Association Incorporated, Association of Filipino Scholars in Taiwan (AFST) Century Voice Choir, and Association of Filipino New Immigrants in Taiwan (AFNIT).

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In the spirit of academic partnership and cultural exchange, the UP Symphony Orchestra will hold its first international concert in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.