Monday, November 2, 2009

An 'orchestral' brass band concert at Santa Cruz, Marinduque

Lately I have been missing my previous life in Europe - and what I really miss most is the cultural life - concerts, gigs, exhibitions of all sorts are always happening. Here in the Philippines, culture isn't a high priority, and once you're in Marinduque, that feeling is even more pronounced - you can't expect art galleries if there isn't even a cinema or a decent rock club! So, I was really surprised when my significant other told me she was invited to an orchestral concert last Friday, and doubly surprised when the concert turned out to be quite a decent and enjoyable event!

After a long drive we arrived at Santa Cruz - the concert was being held in a 'gym' there - it's probably the largest well lighted hall in the whole of Marinduque, so actually quite a good place. The concert was given by the Mogpog Brass Band (with 30 or more members, i'd say) led by their able conductor, together with a rock-band outfit - guitarist, bassist, keyboardist and drummer. The bass drum guy from the brass band sang vocals on some song, and there was a woman with a really lovely voice .. the names escape me, as I didn't manage to get a copy of the programme .. if you are reading, send an email and i'll update my article!

The first part of the concert was a series of filipino band marches (which to me sounded quite similar to each other ..) followed by a number of american band marches (more of the same, but with the occasional extra flourish). The real performance was the second half of the concert - where a number of popular songs were rendered by the bands, most times with the vocalists - the first one was Evanescence's 'My Immortal', but the style went from samba to 80's (with songs like 'Gold'), all very well rendered!

The ongoing typhoon put a major damper on the proceedings round 9pm, when (in typical Marinduque style) power went out - however the conductor wrapped up the concert by bravely playing one last song in the dark, using only a torch!

So, a very enjoyable evening, and a big bravo to all those involved!