“Meaningful” was what cellist Enrico Tuazon had to say about last January 30, 2017, when alt-classical ensemble Break of Reality, in cooperation with the US Embassy and the UP College of Music graced the college with their presence through a lecture-concert and masterclass. Formed in 2003 at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in the University of Rochester at Rochester, New York, the ensemble has reached out to millions of listeners through renditions of famous songs and pieces, and through making use of social media and other similar platforms. Aside from performance, the ensemble also dedicate their time and effort to teaching and other educational endeavors. Being music ambassadors of the US State Department, they have visited hundreds of public schools in different parts of the world, and have performed alongside many music students, encouraging everyone to think creatively and out of the box with their classical training.

The lecture-concert, a two-hour long event, was divided into two parts. The first part was a masterclass and featured students of the UP College of Music perform contemporary pieces in front of the group, with the members of Break of Reality providing feedback of the performance afterwards. “I learned a lot on the aspects of musicality, from groove to phrasing, and to a little bit of different music styles.” said Joseph Emmanuel Hernandez, who performed the piece Julie-O, a solo bluegrass-flavored Cello piece in front of the ensemble. And in the aspect of ensemble playing, cellist Celyn Ponce, who played the Beatles Medley says she learned a lot in terms of playing with an ensemble and her treatment of the music written for her part.

The second part of the event was the lecture-concert itself, where Break of Reality performed some of their compositions, including their famous rendition of the theme song of the show Game of Thrones, with a discussion of everything under the sun in between pieces, from matters of music such as technicality and musicality, to matters that concern marketing and music business. “The content of the lecture-concert also goes beyond playing and therefore its application not limited to only cellists. Everyone walked out of that room learning something from the ensemble.” said guitarist Johann Mendoza, showing that the event and the content of the ensemble’s discussion also helped not only cellists, but other instrumentalists as well.