Onward march!

The best marching bands in the country will get their share of the spotlight when the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and UP Vanguard Makati holds Ihudyat 2017.

CCP Vice President and Artistic Director Chris Millado told the press in a recent conference: “It’s about time.”

(From left): Leonardo Quinitio, Menchi Mantaring, Chris Millado, Philip Sigfrid Fortun, and Arnel Felisciano (Photos by Manny Llanes)

“We have long wanted to spearhead a program that would serve to uplift marching bands and this event is more than timely it is apt,” he added.

Atty. Philip Sigfrid Fortun, Chapter Commander of UP Vanguard Makati, believes marching band music will help enliven the music scene.

“Music enriches the society and our lives. We do believe this festival will help re-awaken nationalism and love of country,” he said.

Fortun is determined to make Ihudyat a nationwide festival.

“Maybe we could go international someday,” he added.

“Ang gusto namin dito ma-i-angat ang ganitong klase ng musika,” said Leo Quinitio, member of UP Vanguard Makati who hosted the launch. “Ang kagandahan ng banda hindi lang kasiyahan ang dala niya bagkus na-i-lalayo niya rin ’yung ating mga kabataan sa masasamang gawi. At ang banda ay magandang simbolo din ng pagkaka-isa ng isang komunidad.”

Cadence and cadets

Participating bands include those from the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Army, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine Marines (Navy Fleet), the Citizens’ Brigade Band of Dasmariñas, Cavite, and the Imus Youth Symphonic Band.

“We sent invites to a lot of other bands from different parts of the country like those from Angono, Rizal and General Trias but they weren’t ready,” shared Fortun. “They actually wanted to participate but there were logistical problems and stuff. In short, hindi sila nakasali at umatras.”

But they’re not closing their doors for these bands in the future.

Philippine Coast Guard representative Seaman First Class Eduardo C. Dizon

“Of course, we will continue to encourage them,” Fortun maintained.

Sticking to the rules

There are no limit on what bands can play come competition time.

Fortun said, “They could play pop, standard, jazz or kung ano pa basta they should stick to the eight-minute performance time.”

“Ang hindi pwede ’yung may malalaking fireworks, kasi bawal sa UP baka magkasunog,” added Quinitio. “Hindi din muna pwede ’yung sobrang malalaki at magarbong props para naman affordable sa lahat ’yung production.”

Supervising Judge, Professor Arnel Feliciano, who is also president of the Pambansang Samahan ng mga Banda sa Pilipinas (PASAMBAP) made clear, however, “Hindi naman namin sila i-ba-box. Open kami sa kung ano kailangan nila gawin to execute a great performance siyempre part ng creativity ’yan eh, huwag lang sobra-sobra.”

Feliciano maintained judging will be based on international standards.

“Ang gagamitin po namin judging dito ay ang tinatawag namin na ‘caption judging,’ ibig sabihin per criteria merong specialized judge na naka-assign,” he explained.

Judges will focus on band visual, music, overall impact and as well as the color guard and majorettes.

Twice the fun

There will be two performances: Marching and Concert.

“Marching is self-explanatory,” said Quinitio. “Ito ’yung magmamartsa sila habang tumutugtog.”

For Concert, the bands are required to perform in a theater.

“Ito po para masubok ’yung galing nila, ’yung tunay na husay sa pagtugtog,” Quinitio related. “Ang focus ng marching band ay sa showmanship, while ang concert ay sa musicianship.”

The Marching Band Competition will be held at UP Diliman Amphitheater on March 25 while the Concert Band Competition is yet to be scheduled.

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