Pipe Organ Festival stards today in Manila Cathedral

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Watch Choral concerts and various artistic performances in the weeklong celebration of 3rd Pipe Organ Festival in Manila Cathedral Basilica.

“With a good pipe organ, majestic melodies become a staple in our liturgical menu, and we envision the Manila Cathedral-Basilica to be the source and symbol of such sounds of wonderful splendor in the local Church,” Cerbo said in an article on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website.

“The 3rd Manila Cathedral-Basilica Pipe Organ Festival is a historical event in the making for this will bring to light the 50th anniversary of the Post-War Manila Cathedral and the Pipe Organ,” he said.

There will also a chorale competition in which different Universities within Intramuros will be competing in the said Choir competition. Competing Chorale Groups are from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Lyceum of the Philippines, Colegio de San Juan de Letran and Mapua Institute of Technology. The choir competition contingents will sing the Marian songs to seranade to Mary, the Immaculate Conception—Patroness of the Cathedral.

Artists in the lineup include internationally acclaimed organist Dr. Johann Trummer from Graz, Austria, dubbed the Pope of Pipe Organ music in Europe; Philippines finest organist, conductor and choirmaster Armando Salarza; multi-awarded composer, conductor and accompanist Alejando Consolacion II; and the highly promising organist from Hawaii, USA Ken Weber.

The Las Piñas Boys’ Choir (LPBC) which got the Silver Medal in the Musica Sacra Category will also perform. The festival will end with a gala concert on December 10. The Manila Cathedral Pipe Organ, idled and almost dead for 15 years due to its state of disrepair, was re-launched in December 2006 after being restored.

The Manila Cathedral-Basilica (MCB), considered home to the biggest pipe organ in Southeast Asia. The Manila Cathedral Pipe Organ, idled and almost dead for 15 years due to its state of disrepair, was re-launched in December 2006 after being restored to its original form and function at the initiative of Msgr. Cerbo.

The rehabilitation works, contracted with the Diego Cera Organbuilders, hit the tidy tune of P4.95 million, the Rector said.

The said pipe organ was originally built in 1958 by the Flemish organ-building company Pels & Sohn, its installation marked by an inaugural concert with world-acclaimed Belgian organist Flor Peters as the performer.

With 70 stops, four manuals, and a pedal, the pipe organ has 5,500 pipes (flutes and trumpets) placed on seven major chests and supplied by 12 bellows and four electric blowers, all of which were either repaired or replaced to make the instrument a total reconstitution of the original.

“Quite a marvel in its magnificence and massiveness, and highly prized for its rich historical value, the MCB Pipe Organ is considered one of the country’s cultural treasures and a telling liturgical trademark of this premier church of the Archdiocese of Manila,” Msgr. Cerbo said.

“In the next 50 years, we envision Manila Cathedral-Basilica as a church which is “Premiere in Faith, Premiere in Music” said Msgr. Cerbo.

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