February 23, 2015

Sail Around the World with Worldship Orchestra

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  • Good classical music is a rare find here in Manila. Love for this kind of music rarer since it is seen as an acquired taste or exclusively for the elite. Worldship Orchestra on the other hand believes otherwise. A fairly new organization established just last December, Worldship Orchestra and the students and professionals that comprise it travel the world in order to introduce classical music to children who have little or no access to classical music. It turns out that music can contribute greatly in a child’s development by giving them life-skills such as self-esteem and discipline. These are two things they will need in their many years to come.

    This February, they started their Philippine Tour and have already brought music into the lives of hundreds of children and youth in various Philippine schools and institutions. They conducted a workshop with students of the Tondo Chamber Orchestra (TCO) and have held interactive concerts or performances in schools Manila Science High school, Emilio Jacinto Elementary School, and Araullo High school.

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    You would think that their performances only target kids and youth but actually experiencing their interactive and educational concert will greatly change your way of seeing music and instruments. There is definitely still much to be learned.

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    At their concert in TIU Theatre last February 21, early-birds were treated to two musical performances by Worldship Orchestra’s Captain himself and other members of the crew. The first being a clarinet and piano piece and the second a Clarinet Quintet of Clair de Lune. The audience was afterwards given an opportunity to take pictures with members of the orchestra. The said concert was a collaboration between Worldship Orchestra, the Manila Symhony Orchestra and Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra.

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    The interactive nature of the concert started with Mr. Akihide Noguchi (Worldship Orchestra’s President/Captain) introducing the string instruments to be used by the orchestra that afternoon. These specifically being the Violin, Viola, Cello, and Contrabass. He discussed their size, differences and the sounds they make.

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    For the first piece they played, the audience travelled to the Eastern Europe country of Romania. The orchestra performed Rumanian folk dances by Bela Bartok which is a collection of traditional tunes from Romania. Starting with very gentle and sweet tunes to more energetic ones you would definitely want to dance to, Worldship Orchestra’s performance of this piece also surprised the audience as members of the audience even went down the stage and performed amongst the audience.

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    The other “Families” of musical instruments were afterwards introduced by Mr.Noguchi who never failed to add humor as host of the concert. The audience were oriented on the different Wind Instruments, Brass Instruments and Percussion Instruments. A performance of Clarinet Candy composed by American composer Leroy Anderson soon followed and so did performances of Philippine folk songs in “Mga Katutubong Awitin” and well-loved Japanese song “Furusato” which means hometown in English.

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    One of the highlights of the concert was when three members of the audience were given the opportunity to conduct the orchestra. A performance of “He’s a Pirate” from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean followed bringing the audience to a totally different world. The last two performances were Symphony No.2 4th Mov. By Russian composer Alexander Borodin and Worldship Orchestra’s beautiful theme song composed by Ms. Shino Kanamori who was present in the event.

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    Their performances of pieces from all over the world definitely made us “sail around the world” with them. And despite the language barrier and having only a few practices together, the three groups that collaborated on the concert were able to make the event a success and truly entertain and educate the audience. Worldship Orchestra exhibited how music can connect people, form friendships and change one’s life.

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    Text and Photos By: Carol Premacio

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