The yearend always ushers in the most hectic time in the life of music students and teachers alike in Diliman: recitals, final examinations and deadlines compete with yuletide concerts and gigs as well as school and office parties, capped off with the university lantern parade. One of the highlights of all these is the yearly Handel’s Messiah concert – this time a 2 night extravaganza with Abelardo Hall Auditorium filled to the brim. Allow me to share the message I wrote for this concert:

The UP College of Music is privileged to take part in sharing the warmth and mirth of the season in what has now become a much anticipated event in our community – the annual Handel’s Messiah.

This 300 year old master piece still continues to pose a challenge to our teachers and students, providing opportunities for learning and honing our craft;
More than this, its ancient message remains relevant, even as Jerusalem still occupies the headlines as a center of global conflict. Amidst some of the greatest strife and uncertainty our nation has ever seen,
we pause to share with you the spirit of advent –
    of waiting expectantly for the time when the lion will lay with the lamb,  
    when swords will be hammered into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks;
    a time when our young no longer need to learn about war;
    With fervent hope, and in solidarity with our people,
    we anticipate that the suffering countryside and valleys will be exalted,
    that oppressive dominions, mountains and hills will be made low,
    the crooked straightened and rough places smoothened,
    that lies will be no longer heralded as gospel truth
    and schools no longer bombed,
    nor the weak and the lowly slaughtered in dark alleys,
    nor the righteous persecuted,
    nor evil works celebrated and foolish acts glorified;
    And that we who dwell in darkness now will see a great light.

This is our hope.
Let peace and goodness reign!

LaVerne David C. de la Peña, PhD
College of Music
University of the Philippines

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