The commencement exercise of the UP College of Music at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium on June 26, 2015 honored seventy two students – one of the biggest graduating classes in the history of the college.


A gong (gangsa) ensemble composed of six graduating students led and accompanied the processional march with ginalupak, an instrumental music from the traditions of the kalinga community of the northern Philippines. Succeeding musical performances by graduates from different departments included the instrumental piece Te Deum Prelude (Marc-Antoine Charpentier), a dance interpretation of Imulaan using the music of Kanlungan (Noel Cabangon), a piano solo of Etude – Tableaux Op. 39 No. 8 in D Minor (Sergei Rachmaninoff), the strings and piano arrangement of Andante Festivo (J. Sibellius), the song Art is Calling for Me (Victor Herbert), and the piece La Rejouissance (G.F. Handel) from Fireworks Music. The community singing of the National Anthem (Julian Felipe) and UP Naming Mahal (Nicanor Abelardo) at the beginning and at the end of the program, respectively, made the event more meaningful. Mr. Reynaldo Fonseca, Administrative Officer III, and lecturer (+) Prof. Jose “Joey” Valenciano were also honored for their significant contributions to the college.


Inspiring messages came from the UP College of Music Dean Dr. Jose Buenconsejo, the class valedictorian Mr. Marios Petsas, and the Commencement Speaker Mr. Noel Cabangaon.


Dr. Buenconsejo gave the opening remarks and left the graduates with a challenge as he said, “As music and dance graduates, of course, many of you will continue to be engaged in music and dance, particularly teaching and performing the art, but for what deeper purpose and significance? … I hope you will continue enriching the lives of people in our communities.”


After his solo piano performance of Etude – Tableaux Op. 39 No. 8 in D Minor (Sergei Rachmaninoff), Marios Petsas, BM Piano - magna cum laude, gave his response as representative of the graduating class. In his valedictory address, he told his fellow graduates that “It is our turn to contribute to our society with the knowledge, skills, and most of all the wisdom that we acquired…” Quoting his mentor Raymund Lim, he ended with “In this life, it’s not about becoming better than others, but rather becoming better than what you were yesterday.”


On the other hand, Mr. Noel Cabangon -- multi-awarded singer-songwriter and  musician-activist championing key advocacies such as peace, environment, human rights, and pride in original Filipino music – stressed to the graduates their important role when he said, “Again, make your own music. Your entire UP experience has prepared you not just on the academic front but also in challenging your beliefs, your character, and the very fiber of your being, honing you to be the person you are. Being a music graduate from this prestigious institution means being in the forefront of change, of a revolution not necessarily on the streets, but intellectual, creative revolution.”  With his guitar, he sang his song Ako’y Isang Mabuting Pilipino and made everyone sing and swear at the same time.





Marios Petsas, Batch 2015 Valedictorian



Musician-activist Mr. Noel Cabangon, Batch 2015 Commencement Speaker


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