(action shots that include The First Voice Choir et al)
The concert was magnificent. Almost everyone who stayed until the Jesus, the Divine Healer Hymn, had a smile on his or her face. Days later, people were still hungover. Some wondered, "How come it's only now that we have something like this?" Others debated that there was something similar ages ago. Hmmm... Whichever is true, the concert was truly a very memorable one.It began at 7:30pm sharp, with the beautiful emcee, Ms. Isolda "Sol" S. Oca(even with her long line of credentials), humbly introducing herself as "Willy Oca's sister" and that her brother has been living here for decades. Immediately after her short introduction, the invocation was led by our dear Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Rio G. Evangelista, then three prayerful songs performed by homegrown talents were showcased:
- Quest for Camelot's THE PRAYER(Carole Bayer-Sager/David Foster; Italian Lyrics by Alberto Testa and Tony Renis), as sung by Mr. Jun Sauler andMs. Angelica Pedro
- YOU RAISE ME UP (The music was written by Secret Garden's Rolf Løvland and the lyrics by Brendan Graham) as sung by Blue Zone's Mr. Jonathan Gozos
- DIVINE HEALER(Arranged by Chet Fernandez Tiongson) as sung by Mr. Philip Del Rosario and Mr. Chet Tiongson
All three songs, in one way or another, led the audience into a prayerful mood, but at the same time, they were also entertained.Everything that followed amazed the audience, but before enumerating and describing all of them, let's take a behind-the-scenes peek:
HOW THE PERFORMERS WERE CHOSEN
The JDHP SILVER ANNIVERSARY FIESTA COMMITTEE delegated the task months before the concert to Ms. Aileen Llamas-Robles and her team, Ms. Cristine Jimenez and Mr. Ferd Farolan. Together they formed the Concert Committee.
There are many professional singers, actors, and other known artists living in the jurisdiction of our Parish, but what the Concert Committee wanted to present are diamonds in the rough...hidden treasures...undiscovered gold mines.
All homegrown choirs were invited to join and almost everyone said yes, with the exception of The Gift Kenaniah(Teoville) Choir and The JDHP Minstrels of the Lord(Parish Prayer Community Music Ministry).
The Gift of Kenaniah was very apprehensive to agree because they already had other commitments and The Minstrels of the Lord had many reasons why they had to back out.
Letters were sent out to all the zones and satellite chapels. Surely, there are a lot of talents yet to be discovered in every zone, but May was a busy month and a lot of people travel with their children during summer.
Thank goodness, the Blue Zone was well represented by Mr. Jonathan Gozos. This young man has a very powerful voice and on the night of the concert, he gave an outstanding performance.
Coming to think of it, even without the individual performers from every zone or satellite chapel, all of the zones, at the very least, were represented(members of different choirs come from different corners of the Parish).
Ms. Robles had to think of contingency measures because there were slots to be filled. Since she was fairly new in actively participating in the Parish Activities, who could she think about, but people she has already performed with before. People that she is confident that would wholeheartedly give their time, talent, and probably even treasure, that she definitely trusts to do outstanding performances.
THE CONCERT PROPER
The Children's Choir made not only their family and friends proud, but the whole Parish as well. They sung a medley of songs from THE SOUND OF MUSIC and they all looked like vivacious little children and they sounded like cherubim. If you were given the privilege to watch at least one practice, you would notice that though they are really cute and they actually sound nice, at least for children's standards, you would see that others were stiff, some were a bit unfocused, others were...well, they're children. What do you expect? They want to have fun!
During the performance, wow! They were not only well behaved, but they looked like they were enjoying every song and every lyric. The smiles on their faces would make you want to hug each and everyone of them. To top it off, they even sang well. Good job kids! Congratulations to your mentors too!
Next, Ms. Angelica Pedro went back to perform Jekyll and Hyde's SOMEONE LIKE YOU(Music by Frank Wildhorn/ Lyrics by Wildhorn, Leslie Bricusse and Steve Cuden). She, though a bit nervous, sang the song beautifully. I'm sure there were young men in the audience that were enthralled to see her perform, because besides having a beautiful voice, she's also nice to look at.
The First Voice Choir followed Ms. Pedro's performance with a medley of musical hits(LION KING's Hakuna Matata, THE SOUND OF MUSIC's Edelweiss, MISS SAIGON's Sun & Moon, THE PROMISE's I'll Never Say Goodbye). They all looked like they were having fun and the crowd seemed to enjoy their little bit of comedy, along with their performance/s. Some people were even singing along with them at the back.
Ms. Carol Lopez, who was personally invited by our dear Parish Priest, Rev. Father Rio G. Evangelista, to have at least one number in the music fest, sang MY FAVORITE THINGS with sound effects of thunder and lightning. This number featured Ballet Philippines' Ms.Isabel Runes Ipapo with six other very talented children in alphabetical order: Joseph Francisco, Bianca Junio, Summer and Zed Roque, Lorenzo Solda and Jane Suarez. Ms. Ipapo, as Liesl, gracefully danced and the children were so cute in acting scared. Ms. Lopez sang with gusto and definitely entertained the crowd.
Some people were about to leave the place, but stayed when they heard the superb performance of Mr. Mito Jimenez Hizon. The ones who were usually bored when listening to this type of music had their mouths agape as the young man plucked and strummed the notes of ASTURIAS(Leyenda), a wonderful musical piece by the Spanish composer, Isaac Albeniz. He played the piece like a pro. Truly, this young man would go places one day.
A wonderful FLOWER DUET from Lakme, a French Opera in three acts by Léo Delibesto a French libretto by Edmond Gondinet and Philippe Gille, was performed by Ms. Cristine Jimenez and Ms. Aileen Robles. The two divas sang harmoniously, lushly and lyrically resonant. Even if most of the people did not understand a word they were saying, the crowd looked very pleased.
Next, Ms. Bettina Bostre and Ms. Aileen Robles awesomely played a piano duet called SABRE DANCE from the final act of Aram Khachaturian of Armenia's ballet Gayane(1942) followed by Ms. Robles' incredible interpretation of the Argentinian composer, Alberto.Ginastera's Sonata No. 1 Op. 22 4th movement. Ms. Bostre joined Ms. Robles again to play another duet with her: WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN, a classical Christian Hymn. A few people from the back were either humming it, whistling or singing softly while they were playing the joyful piece.
After the piano performances, Mr. Luis Pedro played Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto No. 3 Op. 61 3rd movement as accompanied by Ms. Aileen Robles. He played the piece sweetly and with confidence. A few months from now, if he continues to practice, he could be a virtuoso.
A SONG NUMBER
Ms. Elliane Eslawan sang her winning number from the previous contest and those who weren't able to watch her outstanding performance of her interpretation of Adele's "DON'T YOU REMEMBER?" were quite amazed. She displayed confidence and showed why she deserved to be called THE VOICE OF OUR KASAMBAHAYS
The 8am Ladies Choir sweetly sang Mike Velarde Jr.'s DAHIL SA IYO(Lyrics by Dominador Santiago). Their voices were well-balanced and they truly pleased the crowd.
The Tennis Club Choir tickled the fancies of some of the members of the audience they sang a medley of familiar HARANA(Serenade) songs.
Ms. Aileen Robles sang ANG MAYA (Music by José A. Estella; Lyrics by Jose Corazon de Jesus) as interpreted in dance by Ms. Isabel Ipapo. Ms. Robles' gave life to the famous Kundiman's subject, the sparrow, as she sang it melodically. Ms. Ipapo was very graceful as she made the audience try to visualize what Ms. Robles was singing.
The Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion Choral Group sang a medley of pop classics as arranged by their choir master, Mr. Chet Tiongson. (Moon River/Till There Was You/The Way You Look Tonight) Since the songs were very familiar to the young and young at heart alike, the audience enjoyed this number very much, even if our lay ministers were seemingly shy.
ORIGINAL PILIPINO MUSIC(OPM)
The Maidens Choir composed mostly of our kasambahays, didn't only look beautiful(their employers hardly recognized them), but they also sang gloriously. Some of them even have voices that could be considered world class. They sang a medley of Filipino favorites arranged by Mr. Chet Tionjgson: Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin/Kailangan Kita/ Nandito Ako/Pangako/Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang. Some members of the audience were even singing with them.
After their number, The VOICES in PRAISE followed with their interpretation of Ryan Cayayab's Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka. They had colorful parasols as props and they all sounded great. Surely, even Mr. C would be proud of them.
Last, but not the least, The JDHP Adult(and not so adult) Choir sang a medley: Joel P. Navarro's IKAW, AKO, TAYO(Magkakapatid) mashed up with Ryan Cayabyab's NAIS KO as arranged by their choir master, Mr. Joven L. Valeras. According to the audience, it was an awesome and outstanding performance.
The Fiesta Committee Chairman, Mr. Ramon B. De Jesus, gave the closing remarks and gave our first Parish Priest, Rev. Father Pericles "Prex" Fajardo and Father Rio simple tokens of appreciation.
The concert culminated with the Jesus the Divine Healer Hymn, composed and arranged by Mr. Joven L. Valeras as interpreted by The Voices in Praise, Mr. Earl Penabella of The First Voice Choir and The JDHP Adult choir.
Ms. Sol Oca who did a good job hosting that night, thanked everyone then bade them goodnight.
Congratulations to everyone involved in this project and thanks to everyone who watched, most especially to those who stayed until the very end.
God bless us all and happy 25th anniversary!
SOME OF THE "BEHIND THE SCENES"(+ 1 action shot and 1 video) PICTURES OF THE MUSIC FEST(click here to see pictures taken by Bro. Bernie Asperin which include The First Voice Music Ministry, Maidens Choir, Children's Choir, Tennis Club Chorale, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Voices in Praise, 8am Ladies Choir and The Adult Choir...The Gift of Kenaniah of Teoville, Sampaloc 1 & 2 and The Minstrels of the Lord begged off):