Sunday, February 8, 2015

Bohol Master Singers' Successful Christmas Concert

It is now confirmed.  Boholanos love classical music.
This was proven by the well-received and critically-acclaimed Bohol premier Christmas concert of the Bohol Master Singers (BMS) dubbed “Gloria In Excelsis Deo” on December 22, 2014 at the Bohol Cultural Center. 
 The Bohol Master Singers (BMS) and choir master Joshibiah “Butch” Gaa de Juan
 during the Christmas concert, “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”.
Negating opinions that Boholanos are not musically-inclined, choir master Joshibiah “Butch” Gaa de Juan and the BMS brought more than 500 people together at the Bohol Cultural Center to witness and marvel at the first ever classical music concert in Bohol by Boholanos. 
Gahi man kog u (I am hard-headed)”, Butch insisted when confronted with challenging comments about how he and the BMS, relatively unknown with no reliance on established names and choirs, could fill up the Bohol Cultural Center, with classical music at that.
It was a dream-come-true for Butch to bring George Frideric Handel’s “Hallelujah” and Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” to Bohol, seemingly insurmountable and impossible even for the BMS members who are mostly non-students of music and who relied on pure raw talent.  With the Butch’s patient guidance and training, the BMS flawlessly sang Latin masterpieces created during the renaissance/Baroque period. 

Against the magical backdrop of Greek/Roman pillars and a flying angel blowing a trumpet artistically created by de Juan SMART Music and Arts School resident artist Jhacky Dospueblos Curambao, the BMS slid effortlessly from allegro (fast) to adagio (slow) and back, the pace quickening and slowing and quickening with each turn. 

The BMS likewise sang a jazzy “Silent Night”, the classic “Cantique de Noel” (O Holy Night), Scrooge’s “A Christmas Carol”, Ryan Cayabyab’s “Kumukutikutitap”, Butch’s chorally arranged “Kulang Ang Pasko”, and Vicente Rubi and Mariano Vestil’s “Kasadya”.


Aside from choir master/conductor Joshibiah “Butch” Gaa de Juan, the BMS members who sang during the Christmas concert were: sopranos Claire T. Avergonzado, Marianena Salac, Lyell Mae Cartagenas-Arellano and Reilene Eva M. Maglajos; altos Atty. Esther Gertrude “Gee” D. Biliran, Analie V. Amora and Geraldine G. Pancho; tenors Joeli Jun Arellano, Frances Keith G. Ibale and Ramon Andrew R. Fabio; and basses Jephte Porsuelo and Alvin Jabilles. 

Koro de Padre Pio (KDPP), a choral group of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Parish of Baclayon, Bohol, and soloist Mary Magi Licong likewise sang during the concert.
A DVD of the BMS Christmas concert will be available soon.

In his inspirational message during the concert, Bishop Leonardo Y. Medroso thanked Butch, a music professor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary (IHMS) in Taloto, Tagbilaran, and the BMS for inviting him to the concert. 

You are now singing the Latin language that I learned in the seminary,” he quipped in amazement.

Bishop Medroso likewise encouraged the singing of similar songs in the churches.

No less than music impresario Enriqueta “Equit” Borja-Butalid, the ultimate music critic, gave Butch and the BMS a thumbs up: “

I was so Impressed with Butch's performance of Vivaldi's GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO. He did it with ease and was very professional that gave justice to the piece despite the difficulty of catching up with the minus one orchestral accompaniment in a truly allegro tempo in the opening section.

I also listened to the extra embellishments in accompaniment which BUTCH added that very well complemented the clear and brilliant tones of the MASTER SINGERS. Right from the start upon recognizing BUTCH'S musical talent and ability, I broached the idea of forming a select group of singers which he could handle and helped him in recruiting the would be members of what i called THE MASTER SINGERS patterned after the MADRIGAL SINGERS.

I noticed that only a few of the original members remained maybe could not stand the rigors of rigid training demanded of real artists to attain excellence.  

More inspiring praises were heaped on BMS:

Italian friend, MARIO GIORDANO, who watched with Italian master violinist Tullio Vidmar and friends: “Very nice.  Me and my 8 friends were excited.  Compliment”           

Atty. Myrna Trabajo-Pagsuberon: “I told Butch I look forward to an Easter Sunday concert!”

Atty. Aster A. Piollo: “I was listening to d angels.  I thanked god we hve such talents like yours and for butch to stay hr and harness those talents…”

Atty. Roselima C. Abapo:  “congratulations, gee! Nalingaw pud kog tan-aw sa imo hubby ug anak nga nalingaw nagtutok tan-aw nimo! God bless.”

May V. Blanco: “Congrats, torn! Bravoooo!  Thank u for d music.”

Vida Tirol-de Juan:  “Bravo! BOHOL MASTER SINGERS! I am your worst and best critic. Hihi! So proud of you tonight. Mahal Butch, thank you for making Bohol your home and bringing classical music with you.”

Julie Bee Unlayao:  “The Bohol Master Singers NAILED IT! ! Just had a blast at their concert tonight...None of the songs bored me..I was captured and captivated....They were all great...The voices, the blending, oh---- if saying " PERFECT" is a murder, let me be a murderer just this once.. i even want to cry....goosebumps from start to finish...i can even feel my skin crawl...

Sir Butch (Joshibiah Gaa de Juan), you are the MAN! ikaw najud ang gitagna sir...I'm looking up to you and i'm sooo proud being trained by you at UB Chorale are one of the kind sir! I salute you...I salute BMS, The Baclayon Choir, and the girl with angelic voice...I won't say you did a good job, I'll say, you did a super mega ultra great job! ! ...TALENTS indeed...i fell in love with classical music even more....”

Lalita Klainatorn: "Congratulations! Heard from Estelita 'Telly' Gonzaga Ocampo that it was a superb performance..."

Other people's comments:  “super! 100% approval! they are really masters, love their voices, they sing with the colors of the wind...congrats! looking forward to more of your concerts! thank you for the music...truly a classical evening. classical singing...truly.magical.
.truly the best in bohol. bohols best jud!!!”

The BMS is again thanking its major and minor sponsors for their support.  Major sponsors were Governor Edgardo M. Chatto and the Provincial Government of Bohol, Center for Culture and Arts Development (CCAD) of the provincial government of Bohol, City Government of Tagbilaran and Mayor John Geesnel “Baba” Yap II, DYRD AM/FM and The Bohol Chronicle, Bohol Tropics Resort, Disco Record Center, Ms. Jade Dano Acapulco-Bautista, Isite Solutions, de Juan School of Music and the Arts recreational training (SMART), and Tambahayan CafĂ©.

The BMS likewise sang at the “Pasko sa Plaza” at Rizal Park and at Dumaluan Beach Resort on December 20 and at Amarella Resort last night.

According to lawyer Gee Biliran, BMS Vice President, planned for the year 2015 are an intimate Christmas concert with the Tirol clan in January, a Love Concert in February and an Easter Sunday Concert, among others.

( reprinted from the Bohol Chronicle)

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