By Marivir Montebon
New York – They’re too cute for words, wrote Manhattan lawyer Atty. Lara Gregory on her Facebook page. I’ve had a taste of the divine, remarked OSM! Blogger Vanette Colmenares.
They were referring to their momentous experience of the finest musical artistry at the Carnegie Hall with young Filipino artists of the Philippine Montessori Center Instrumental Ensemble and the Children’s Orchestra Society on May 31, 2019.
The “Pinoys to the world” project was a May offering of the Carnegie which highlighted those tiny hands that orchestrated splendid music from the violins and indigenous musical instruments like the angklung (scaled bamboo that originated from Indonesia and later used in the Philippines and Thailand). It also featured sopranos Bianca Camille Lopez and Maria Rhina Paula Palma-Cruz who surely enthralled the audience at the Zanuck Hall with their magnificent voices.
From world classical music to Philippine folklore, the children each playing the violin, xylophone, and angklung stole everyone’s heart that evening. The COS performed through the baton of music director Michael Dadap while the younger children, from Manila, were under the loving direction of music director Lois Espinosa.
The children performers, all under 7 years old, of the PMCIE debuted at the Carnegie. The Montessori Center, currently headed by Lora Woellhaf, had been pioneering in child development through music and the Montessori method. In the past years, it has sent well-developed, disciplined, happy children below 7 years of age to International performances at the Lincoln Center and the Merkin Concert Hall.
The singing duo, known as The Nightingales, is from the world renowned Madrigal Singers. They recently shone in Jerry Sibal’s successful musical Noli Me Tangere in Manila.
People were teary-eyed with the poignant rendition of the classic song Bayan Ko (My country) toward the end of the show. The event was produced by the COS through the leadership of its president and philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis in time for the celebration of Philippine independence that made the Philippines the first republic in Asia 121 years ago. A day prior to their rousing performance at the Carnegie, the PMCIE and the Nightingales serenaded diplomats at the United Nations NY headquarters. (Featured photo: The children with their angklung. Photos by Edwin Josue)