By: Neil Jason Andoque (Executive Office)
Led by music director Gerard Salonga, the 40-piece orchestra gave Kapamilya employees a different feel to classical music. In fact, during the show, Maestro Salonga even took the microphone to address the audience. “One of our goals is to bring orchestra music closer to people,” he said. “Feel free to clap or cheer whenever you feel like it.”
ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra filled the Dolphy Theater with beautiful songs and symphonies including the timeless hit “Maalaala Mo Kaya,” which the orchestra dedicated to the Kapamilya drama “MMK” and its host, ABS-CBN president and COO Charo Santos-Concio. Other highlights were principal cellist Eduardo Pasamba's solo performance of the movie theme song “Cinema Paradiso;” concert master Ralph Taylan’s violin solo of John Williams’ “Schindler’s List;” and the impromptu performance of Richard Poon who sang Nonoy Zuniga’s classic hit “I’ll Never Say Goodbye.”
Making the event even more memorable for Kapamilya employees was when a member of the audience, Paul Santiago of ABS-CBN Foundation, accepted Maestro Salonga’s invitation to try orchestral conducting. Santiago got to share the spotlight in the concert as he was given the chance to experience an impromptu conducting. The audience cheered on Santiago as he bravely tried to lead the orchestra in playing the “Star Wars” theme.
In between the performances, Maestro Salonga made an effort to familiarize the employees with the orchestra and even spoke a little about the pieces and also shared the future plans for the orchestra, which is to provide music of the highest caliber to the general audience.
When the orchestra's final bow was met with chants from the audience requesting for an encore, Maestro Salonga and his team gamely remained in their positions and performed “Mambo” from the musical “West Side Story.”
“The show was great,” enthused Natalie Paderes of Finance Division. “I am not really familiar with classical music, but I was still able to appreciate the pieces performed by the orchestra.”
"A Kapamilya Concert" was graced by ABS-CBN chairman and CEO Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III and FPHC chairman and CEO Federico “Piki” Lopez. Both executives gave a short message welcoming the orchestra as the new Kapamilya of the two corporations.
Also present during ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra's concert were Lopez Group of Companies chairman emeritus Oscar Lopez, who is also a member of the orchestra’s board of directors; Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra’s resident conductor Olivier Ochanine; the artistic director of the upcoming “Orchestra of the Filipino Youth” Jovianney Emmanuel Cruz; and Maestro Salonga’s sister, Broadway star Lea Salonga, who came with husband Rob Chien and daughter Nicole.