Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Press release


Ateneo Blue Repertory presents “Real Life Fairytales”, a blueREP original play,  forit’s 25th Season Premiere.  Real-Life Fairytales is a series of six unique vignettes about how fantastical real life can be, or alternately, how fantasy isn’t so different from real life. Contemporary issues such as mental health, body image, and drug use are examined through the lens of the magical and unusual.

This musical scene-cycle is written and musically directed by a homegrown blueREP talent, EjayYatco; who is a composer, musical director and pianist. In 2013, he represented the Philippines in the World Championship of the Performing Arts where he made it to the top 3 and took home a gold and three silver medals. He was also nominated twice for Best Musical Direction and once for Best Music at the Awards. Lastly, he composed and arranged music for well-known companies such as City of Dreams, PNB, Resort's World, Bonanza Foods, Pepsodent, Pepsi, SM, Arlington and IBPAP.

Alongside EjayYatco, Real-Life Fairytales is directed by Missy Maramara who is a renowned instructor in the Theater Arts Program of the Ateneo's Department of Fine Arts. She holds an MFA in Drama (Performance) from the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville), through the International Fulbright Scholarship program. Since her return to the Ateneo in 2014, she has directed several plays: blueREP's "Urinetown", Upstart Productions' "Gruesome Playground Injuries", Ateneo Fine Arts' "Iphigenia and Other Daughters", "Authorial Intent" and "The Sound of a Voice". Aside from drecting, she has also served the theater community through performing in several productions. The most recent are Ateneo Fine Arts' "Purgatorio", Dulaang UP's "The Dressing Room", Ikarus' "It's April What Are We Doing Here", and New York United Solo Festival's "Clytemnestra".

Real-Life Fairytales is choreographed by Franco Ramos who recently graduated on full academic scholarship (ENTRACA) from De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde under the school’s AB - Technical Theater Program. He is entering one of his first solo ventures into musical theater choreography with Real Life Fairytales. He previously choreographed for Here & Thereafter, a Party Worth Crashing production featuring the songs of Kerrigan and Lowdermilk. He also previously co-choreographed for Ateneo Blue Repertory's Shared Spaces alongside Mica Fajardo.

Experience the extraordinary world that these talented individuals have envisioned. Join them and the Ateneo Blue Repertory this September for their Silver Anniversary’s Season premiere, which seeks to bring urgency, honesty, and even just a little bit of magic to our own reality.

Real-Life Fairytales will run from September 20, 2016 to October 1, 2016 at the Fine Arts theater, Gonzaga Hall, Ateneo de Manila University  and tickets will cost Php 250 each. You may also contact Mine Sandoval at 09358768970 for inquiries and reservation.

 For more inquiries, you may check our facebook page Ateneo Blue Repertory, and our twitter and Instagram at @_blueREPERTORY.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Pioneer Insurance Campus Caravan Songwriting Contest

Last year, Pioneer Insurance sponsored another Campus Tour with The Virgin Labfest in collaboration with Tanghalang Pilipino. This time, the craft is song writing. The collaborators for this year are with FILSCAP, the biggest name in the song writing industry in the country.
Signing of MOU

In the launch, we are not only witnessing the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the collaborating parties but also performances and testimony of the artists present of how they started their career as songwriters.

FILSCAP is a governing body of songwriters that protects their rights especially copyrights if there are concerns infringement. It also involves protection against piracy. Just so happens, that my high school classmate was also part of FILSCAP.

The purpose why Pioneer is doing projects like these because of the negative image of insurance in the country. But if you use a medium like music, video and theatre arts, etc., you get the people interested and orient them.

The theme of the song needs to be relevant to today's theme which is "#MoveOnLang". Present during the signing of the MOU are Pioneer Insurance's Mr. Lorenzo Chan, Jr. and FILSCAP's Rico Blanco(see photo). We were also entertained by the music of the band, Sandwich and Raimond Marasigan also shared his insights of songwriting.

Watch out for more updates by following this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.


Press release

One way that Columbia Pictures' acclaimed comedy “Sausage Party (see my review here)” pays homage to the animated movies that came before it was in the hiring of legendary composer Alan Menken to co-score (with Christopher Lennertz) the film and write the music for a song.

Rated R-18 With No Cuts by the MTRCB, “Sausage Party” is about one sausage leading a group of supermarket products on a quest to discover the truth about their existence and what really happens when they become chosen to leave the grocery store.

An eight-time Oscar® winner and 19-time nominee, Menken has brought memorable music to such family classics as “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Hercules,” “Enchanted,” and “Tangled.”

And now “Sausage Party?” Maybe it’s not as offbeat a choice as it seems – after all, Menken (along with his late partner, Howard Ashman) was also behind the subversive classic “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Tells Menken, “I remember telling my daughters that I was doing a project, `Sausage Party,' and they looked at me and went ‘Dad? Sausage party?’ In real life, I’m actually a very R-rated person.”

As Menken and Lennertz viewed footage, they realized that “to try to make [the movie] more funny is the wrong thing to do. We should go super serious, and that’s how we ended up at Abbey Road” with a full orchestra, Lennertz says.

“He actually came to us with several different songs,” says director Conrad Vernon. “It was incredible, the number of songs he gave us – all of them great songs, by the way. And then, we were listening to `The Great Beyond,' and we just went, ‘That’s the one.’ Because of one word: longing. It felt like the supermarket products were singing about something they were longing for – you can feel it in their hearts that they were so happy that someday they were going to go out those doors.”

To Menken’s melody, the lyrics were written by Oscar® and Tony Award nominee Glenn Slater, along with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

“The song is kind of like a prayer that outlines their belief system,” says Rogen. “The food sings this song every morning to reaffirm the thought that it’s good to get chosen. As it turns out, the firewater and the other non-perishables wrote the song, because they were so bummed out about the truth and didn’t think there was anything they could do about it.”

A recent smash, box-office hit in the US with cumulative gross of a whopping $95-million, “Sausage Party” features the vocal talents of a who’s who of today’s comedy stars: Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Michael Cera play sausages (Frank, Carl, and Barry, respectively); Kristen Wiig plays Brenda, a bun; Salma Hayek plays Teresa, a taco; Danny McBride plays Honey Mustard; Edward Norton plays Sammy, a bagel; David Krumholtz plays Lavash; Bill Hader takes on Firewater; Craig Robinson plays grits; and Nick Kroll plays a douche. James Franco and Paul Rudd play human beings: Franco as Druggie and Rudd as Darren, a store clerk.

Opening across the Philippines on Sept. 28, “Sausage Party” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Friday, September 16, 2016


Press release

The Guitar Friends and St. Scholastica's College present classical guitar artist JACOB CORDOVER with the special participation of THE KABATAANG GITARISTA and EDEL MARK BITAO in a free concert set on Oct. 6, 2016 - Thursday 7:00 pm, St.Cecilia's Hall, St. Scholastica's College Manila.

Jacob Cordover will also be conducting a guitar masterclass on Oct. 3 Monday, 3pm at the Mini Hall, UP College of Music and on Oct. 7, Friday, 1 PM, at the Rehearsal Hall, St.Cecilia Bldg., St. Scholastica's College Manila.

Currently residing in Barcelona, Spain and enjoying a truly international career as both a concert and recording artist, Jacob Cordover “impresses with his intuitive musicianship and impeccable technique” (Leicester Mercury, UK). His “consummate artistry” (Adelaide Advertiser, Australia) has enticed audiences in over a dozen countries across four continents.  

Mr. Cordover has appeared as soloist with the Las Colinas Symphony, the Arlington Symphony, the Garland Symphony, the Orquestra Simfònica de Balears “Ciutat de Palma” and the Orchestra dell’Accademia “l’Ottocento”, and his performances have “demonstrated how much poetry and feeling can be obtained from the guitar in the hands of master musicians such as Jacob Cordover.” (The Mercury, Australia).  

As a recording artist, Mr. Cordover has released three solo CDs to much critical acclaim; Stélé (independent release, 2004) was hailed by Classical Guitar Magazine (UK) as “wonderfully sympathetic and highly accomplished... Cordover managing to get to the very soul of this striking and brilliant music.” His second solo release Blackwattle Caprices (Cala Records, 2013) received the following review in the American Record Guide: “His technique is flawless. His expression tasteful and always interesting and moving.”  Mr Cordover's third solo CD Expresivo was released through Cala Records on July 1st, 2016. This latest album contains all the Spanish and Latin American favourites alongside arrangements of popular songs and works from the world of jazz. The pieces Jacob recorded for GSI recently are all included in this new release. 

Critics have equally praised his performances of J.S. Bach and William Walton, saying “His interpretation of the Bach suite is one of the finest I have heard to date with superb phrasing and total mastery of the technicalities involved in playing this difficult composition” (Classical Guitar Magazine) and “This is simply the finest performance of Walton’s Bagatelles I’ve encountered. I and V crackle with energy, and he realizes perfectly the range of moods and colours in this modern masterpiece.” (American Record Guide).  

Mr. Cordover has also released two CDs with his long standing chamber ensembles; Songs from the Forest, (independent release, 2012) the debut CD from the Australian Guitar Duo (with Rupert Boyd) and Historias (Cala Records, 2014) the debut CD from Zoco Duo (with Laura Karney, oboe/cor anglais). As well as receiving rave reviews, all of his CDs have been broadcast on radio stations in Asia, North America and Australia.   

Aside from his formative studies at the Australian National University School of Music with renowned performer and pedagogue Timothy Kain, he completed post-graduate studies at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya with Laura Young and at the Escola Luthier with Arnaldur Arnarson in Barcelona, Spain. He also studied 19th-century performance practice with Carlo Barone at the Academia l’Ottocento in Paris as well as taking several long-term residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. Masterclasses with Sérgio Assad, Manuel Barrueco, Ricardo Gallén, Paul O’Dette, Pavel Steidl, Geoffrey Simon, Geoffrey Lancaster, Nicholas Daniel, Edgar Meyer, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi amongst others, have also been influential in the development of his playing.  
His music has been used in television, he has been broadcast on radio stations and he has been a prize winner at major national and international music competitions including the Concurso Internacional de Guitarra Festival de Córdoba (Spain), the Sydney Performing Arts Challenge (Australia), the Australian Guitar Competition (Chamber Music Section), the Certamen Internacional de Guitarra de Barcelona (Spain) and the Performing Australian Music Competition (London, UK).  

Mr. Cordover plays a guitar by Greg Smallman and Sons (2006) and exclusively uses Knobloch Strings.

The Kabataang Gitarista (KG) is a group of young classical guitarists who perform a varied repertoire of classical, Filipino, Spanish and popular pieces. The Kabataang Gitarista was organized by the Artist Training Division of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in August 2012 to promote appreciation for, and interest in, classical guitar performance among public high school students. The project also aims to provide the highest level of guitar training free of charge through a scholarship programme and the to develop a performing classical guitar ensemble. More than 30 guitarists are currently in the programme. 

The five members performing for the “Asian Gems in the Arts” are Christian John Mercader , Fernando Sy-Changco III, David Tiongson, Adrei Fernandez and Edel Mark Bitao. Christian, 19, and Fernando, 16, are both alumni of the programme and are currently pursuing degrees in classical guitar at different music colleges in Manila. David and Andrei, both 17, are in senior high school. Edel Mark, 14 is currently in Grade 9. 

The Guitar Friends is a group composed of businessmen, doctors, professionals, guitar teachers and students, all united by their love for the classical guitar. It supports various classical guitar activities in the Philippines, like recitals, concerts, classes and provides financial support for students on a case to case basis. 

For further inquiries, please call 09393785908 or leave a message on the Guitar Friend’s Facebook page,

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Press release

After bagging the 2016 Overall Champion of the A Cappella Championships held last July in Singapore, The Philippine Contemporary A cappella Society proudly announces that AKAPELA, a one-of-its-kind, contemporary a capella concert will have a special repeat show featuring the award-winning PINOPELA together with BAIHANA on Sept. 23 - 6:30 pm and Sept. 24 - 1:30 and 6:30 pm at the Center for Culture and the Arts Theater, St. Louis University, Baguio City.

The A Cappella Championships encompasses participation of A Cappella groups and choirs from Singapore and also internationally with the following categories:

1. Ensemble Categories: High School, College, Open, International
 2. Choir Category
 3. Beatbox Battle
 4. Loop Station Competition

PINOPELA won four awards namely:
 1) International Category Champion
 2) Judges' Choice Awardee/Overall Champion,
 3) Most Impressive Vocalist (Anthony Castillo)
 4) Gold in Looping Category (Pinopela’s former beatboxer ZsarisMendioro)

PINOPELA is an alumni group of the internationally acclaimed choral group, Saint Louis University Glee Club and was originally formed for the singular purpose of competing in the Akapela Open, but since placing second in 2013 and further after winning the championship in 2014, the group has evolved into a true professional. Pinopela began accepting invitations to perform at various functions after their warm reception at the Akapela Open 2013, and has since then wowed innumerable audiences previously unacquainted to contemporary a capella. The group opened the Myx Mo 2015 anniversary concert at the MOA concert grounds, that became one of the concert highlights, with an all a cappella opm number with some of the country’s biggest stars !

BAIHANA is an all-female vocal trio that creates, arranges and performs music that is uniquely refreshing to young and old alike. Let Krina Cayabyab, Anna Graham and Mel Torre take you back in time with their doo-wop take on standards and current radio hits. Whether you’re a devout jazz lover or someone searching for entertainment after a hard day’s work, Baihana has something for you and much, much more.

Before conquering Singapore, these two groups held a sell-out fund-raising concert at the Carlos P.Romulo auditorium at RCBC Plaza, Makati City last April 23.

The Philippine Contemporary A capella Society is a young and dynamic group spearheaded by Krina Cayabyab and JJ ValientePimpinio that aims to demonstrate leadership in the development, awareness, innovation, and education of the contemporary a cappella community so that every Filipino music creator, singer, educator and fan of this genre may further extend the love for vocal music.

Their mission is to promote and cultivate contemporary a cappella music in the Philippines through performance opportunities, recognition and education; to foster local artists that they be recognized around the world; and to enrich Original Pilipino Music through vocal music.

The artistic team of AKAPELA is composed of Anthony Falcon - Creative Consultant; Krina Cayabyab & JJ Pimpinio – Musical Directors; Stephen Vinas – Choreographer; Lei Lu - Lights Designer; JoeeMejias and Tonibelle Chan - Video Projections Designer; Monoxide Works - Video Clips Editor; Jasvir Basra - Technical Director.

For tickets, visit Normita Ria-Pablico Music Studio at Room 409 GP Bldg., Mabini Street, Baguio City. You can call the ff: numbers -0915 3833978, 0926 8115853, and 0975 1598344.