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Cebu now has its own Symphony Orchestra

15 June 2016 - Antonio C. Hila, Philippine Inquirer

Cebu City’s new symphony orchestra is the Classic Youth Orchestra (CYO). It was recently launched with an inagural concert at Centerstage, SM Seaside City, Cebu City.

Composed of young musicians who are students of the Classic Orchestra Studio, it is conducted by its founding music director, Reynaldo Abellana, who runs the studio.

The audience came in droves and filled up the hall that seated 800. The turnout attested to the Cebuanos’ liking for symphonic music, manifested by the institution of Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) in 1995 by the Salvador and Pilar Sala Foundation Inc. (SPSFI)

Ethel Natera said the CYO should sustain the symphonic tradition set by CYSO.

Abellana was a former scholar of the SPSFI. He and his classmates enlivened the musical environment of the city by establishing music schools, and eventually put up the orchestra.

The concert lined up a light classic program for the symphonic rendition. Complementing it were collaborative works for the piano, a singer and a choir.

“I have retired from the concert stage,” said pianist Ingrid Sala Santamaria, who chaired the SPSFI, “but I made Abellana’s plea for me to play with the orchestra an exception, considering that he was an outstanding alumnus of the foundation, who benefited much from the training he got from its program.”

Moreover, it was her desire to see a symphony orchestra become a permanent part of the city’s musical environment that she acceded to Abellana’s request.