National Arts Month, under the auspices of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) headed by Felipe de Leon Jr. as chairman, is celebrated throughout the country every February, showcasing the performances by various organizations on the theme “Highlighting Local Cultural Genius to Promote Pride of Place.”
De Leon stressed the importance of keeping the flames of Filipino imagination burning as it is the key to the nation’s development.
In her opening remarks, National Parks Committee Director Elizabeth Espino pointed up the role of venues like the Rizal Park in promoting the arts, with diverse groups in the visual and performance disciplines participating.
* * *
Way back in 1991, I predicted in a column that the “Bamboo Organ Festival” will continue “forever.” Its executive director Leo Renier, however, now warns that the forthcoming 40th Festival might be the last.
In an urgent appeal, he calls on donors and patrons to send in substantial donations to the Bamboo Organ Foundation, Padre Diego Cera Avenue, Daniel Fajardo, Las Piñas City 1744. Despite the recent generous contribution by a senator of P300,000, the funds will soon be depleted.
Music lovers will be highly gratified to know that the forthcoming performances, declares Leo Renier, will live up to the standards introduced by Miles Morgan between 1982 and 2000. Celebrated international artists will come from Austria and Germany; distinguished Filipinos led by organist Armando Salazar and choirmaster Eudenice Palaruan will be joining them.
All performances start at 8 p.m. On Saturday, the “Concert Under the Trees” was conducted by Olivier Ochanine of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra for the second half of the evening at the inner courtyard.
The programs followed on February 20 and 22 for a rendering of JS Bach’s “Gloria” and “Agnus Dei”. On February 23, there will be an organ recital by Greg Bovet.
He will accompany a silent movie on February 24. On February 26 and 27, the concert entitled “Exodus” consisting of Sacred Rhapsodies by Nicolas Matias Sengson, SVD, will be held at which a mixed choir, a boys choir, bass and percussion instruments will perform soprano, Camille Lopez and baritone Andrew Fernando will be soloists.