Bamboo Organ music festival to showcase Spanish music
The Las Piñas Bamboo Organ in St. Joseph Parish Church in Las Piñas City is a 19th-century church organ with unique organ pipes made almost entirely of bamboo.
The world-famous Bamboo Organ of Las Piñas takes centre-stage as concert aficionados from across the Philippines and overseas gathered at the Saint Joseph Parish grounds for the 39th Bamboo Organ Music Festival.
The five nights of musical extravaganza opened yesterday with a gala concert featuring music from the Spanish Golden Age, theme of this year’s concert.
The Las Piñas Bamboo Organ in St. Joseph Parish Church in Las Piñas City is a 19th-century church organ with unique organ pipes made almost entirely of bamboo. It was completed in 1824 by Father Diego Cera, the builder of the town's stone church and its first resident Catholic parish priest.
The Bamboo Organ Foundation (Bofi) started the international music festival in 1975 to celebrate its unique sound and the music of the re-born instrument, following a major restoration work in Germany.
In 1972, the Filipino government shipped the organ to Germany for restoration. The home church of the bamboo organ and the surrounding buildings too were restored to their 19th-century state in 1975.
“Every year, we are reminding everyone that the Bamboo Organ, which is a Philippine national treasure, is in its best condition, and to show what we can get out of this wonderful instrument: a high-level of music-making,” said Bamboo Organ titular organist Dr. Armando Salarza.
Salarza will be accompanying the country’s two “surviving” boys choirs — Tiples de Sto Domingo Boys Choir and the Las Piñas Boys Choir — on the Bamboo Organ.
He is also the Artistic Director of the festival, the longest-running annual international music festival held in the country. Salarza said that he wants a Filipino to be playing the Bamboo Organ, and he is on the lookout for the next generation of passionate musicians to take over from him.
Every year, Bofi invites organists from different countries to showcase not only their expertise but also the magnificence of the Bamboo Organ and the St Joseph’s Academy auditorium organ. Most of these musicians have given workshops on pipe organs to those interested to learn how to play the instrument.
Bofi also engages in the spiritual, educational, and social enrichment of the people of Las Piñas City, and the promotion of home-grown talents like Dr. Armando Salarza, the Las Piñas Boys Choir, other local choirs, classical artists, orchestras, and other instrumentalists.
Source: CBCP News