Concert Launch of Gitara Ni Juan
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Last May 12, 2016, Gitara ni Juan, a project funded by DOST-PCIEERD and implemented by the UP College of Music and UP Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute launched its 12 guitar prototypes through a concert at the UP College of Music Minihall. The event was notably attended by Dr. Ramon Santos, National Artist for Music, Dr. Carlos Primo David, Executive Director of DOST-PCIEERD, Dr. Fidel Nemenzo, the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development, Dr. John Richard Hizon, director of the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute, Dr. José Buenconsejo, dean of the College of Music, and Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, Undersecretary for Scientific and Technological Services of the DOST.
The concert spanned the guitar repertoire range from beginner's pieces such as those written by Steve Marsh, to advanced chamber pieces such as the guitar duo Jongo by Paulo Bellinati, to "modern" genres such as the Africaine movement from Claude Bolling's Concerto for Classical Guitar and Jazz band, and even touched on popular music such as Harana by Eric Yaptangco, a song popularized by the band Parokya ni Edgar. This was all in an attempt to showcase the Gitara ni Juan-produced prototypes as all-around guitars, suited for many different performance styles. The concert was well received and greatly enjoyed by the audience members who eagerly approached the team afterwards expressing their optimism at the possibilities opened by the success of this project.
Gitara ni Juan is a project that began last December 2014 and will be finishing next month. It aims to establish a standard for the entry-level classical guitar making process in the country, and also to promote the use of locally available woods by incorporating them into guitar prototypes. This project marks the first time for the College of Music to be an implementing agency of a DOST-funded project, and to be included in the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW). It is also the first collaboration of the College of Music with the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), at UP Los Baños, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Most significantly, it marks the first time that a school of music in the Philippines had engaged science in the field of instrument making.