National Artist for Music Andrea Veneracion passed away on Tuesday night in her home in Cubao, Quezon City. She was 84. A necrological ceremony in her honor will be held on July 14 at 9 a.m. at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater).
Veneracion was a proponent of a kind of music that is not too appreciated these days. Yet it’s safe to say that choirs and choral singers will still be around centuries from now. Veneracion will forever be remembered for her contributions to this music form.
Her passing occurred two days before her 85th birthday and a month before the first Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Competition and Festival opens on August 7.
It is only fitting that the Cultural Center of the Philippines pays tribute to Veneracion, who turned the Philippine Madrigal Singers into the pride of the country in the global stage, with the Festival. Organized by the CCP, the event is the first international choral festival in the country and is being held to mark the 50th year of the Philippine Madrigal Singers.
Veneracion, who was known as Tita Andy in the arts and cultural community, founded the acclaimed Philippine Madrigal Singers in 1963. Under her wing, the group, formerly known as the UP Madrigal Singers, succeeded in becoming the only Asian choir to win all the biggest prizes in the world of choral competition. Today, the Madrigals are acknowledged as the standard and measure of choral excellence in the country.
No doubt, the Madrigals will forever be the standard by which all local choral groups will be judged.
Veneracion was named National Artist for Music in 1997. She was cited as an “exemplary choirmaster and vocal pedagogue” who was always at “the forefront of the development of choral music in the Philippines.”
Veneracion received many awards for her expertise in choral music and performance. She was a long-time professor at the UP Conservatory of Music and was a mentor to many young singers who have become successful vocal soloists and choral directors.
Veneracion was born July 11, 1928 to Macario Ofilada and Raymunda Carriaga, a voice teacher.