Baguio to host PH’s first rondalla music camp

BAGUIO CITY — A two-week rondalla music camp will be held here from July 8 to 23, aiming to strengthening the love and appreciation of music and the arts in the country and be able to organize a national rondalla orchestra,.

“The First Rondalla Music Camp 2017 is a two-week intensive training on rondalla music that will be attended by 100 musicians, arrangers and conductors,” said Riya Lopez, program head of the event, on Thursday.

Participants were pre-selected from hundreds of applicants to the scholarship grant of the government through the NCAA’s National Music Committee.

The camp will provide lectures on music methodologies. There will also be guided learning sessions, supervised rehearsals and cliniquing and listening sessions to be led by resource persons to enhance the musicality of the participants. Special sessions to understand the physical aspect and sound quality of the instruments will also be part of the two-week camp.

Learning the playing techniques for banduria, octavina and laud, guitar, base, percussion, writing for rondalla, conducting, listening and ensemble playing will also be among the activities of the participants.

A project of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA) through the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and the Musicological Society of the Philippines (MSP) in partnership with the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, the camp is regarded as an important undertaking to enhance the proficiency of the rondalla practitioners.

“It will be a two-week intensive music camp,” Lopez said.

She also said that the activity is in response to the many years of clamor by practitioners to provide an intensive training on the different aspects of rondalla performance and its practice in general.

Being an NCAA project which was conceived by National Artist for Music Dr. Ramon Santos, the training aims to expand the Filipinos’ appreciation and knowledge and to continue to engage in the mission to bring cultural understanding among peoples through the magical effects of music as well as to seek unity and harmony of aspirations and ideals in humanism.

Lopez explained that the impetus to hold an international rondalla festival was brought about by the Many Musics Action Programme of the International Music Council on the promotion of musical diversity.

She further said that the project was conceived by National Artist for Music Dr. Ramon Santos in 2003 for the NCAA. “Rondalla itself has proven its own mettle as a diverse medium of musical communication from the folk to the classical and to the modern repertoires even as it shares the diversity in the plucked string music from all over the world with their own distinctive and unique repertoires that express different yet familiar aesthetic messages.”

Lopez added, “we continue to engage in this mission of bringing about cultural understanding among peoples through the magical effects of music.”

The two-week training camp will be capped with a free concert where all the musicians will perform 10 the rondalla pieces that they learned, and allow the public to be brought to the magical world of music from different stringed instruments. Liza Agoot/