Spotted in Manila, 2014

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Show time!

Today the students of Catarman National High School gathered with their families and friends to share everything they've worked on during this 2-week workshop with Project Philippines. The beautiful performance space was generously donated by Governor Ong of Northern Samar, and I think his support inspired everyone in the room. I was so proud that they courageously shared their art with their community. Here was the view of Catarman from the performance hall.

The show began with the students singing Lupang Hinirang, The Philippine National Anthem, with Brian and I providing instrumental accompaniment. To have 75 beautiful Filipino students performing their national anthem with me made it one of my favorite performances I've ever give. Next,  as our welcome gift to the families and students, us 8 teachers performed pieces in our disciplines. The dance teachers performed a brand new trio, the actors did combined monologues, and Kyle shared a piece he had been working on during his stay in Catarman.

Brian and I performed a jazzy duet, Rhythm Changes by Rob Hutchinson, and then all 8 of us (dancers and non-dancers together) performed a Filipino folk dance which we spent the last 2 weeks learning. I did my best to keep up with the rest of the team...

Music class opened the concert with Class 1 singing their song I am, then Class 2 sang Confidence, and Class 3 sang This Act of Love. To close our section, all of the students gathered for a soundpainting symphony lead by Brian and myself. We titled it A Day in the Life of a CNHS Student together illustrated through sound 6 movements:

I. Morning
II. Walk to School
III. Project Philippines 
IV. Evening at Home
V. Fiesta
VI. Sleep

By using elements from all of our music lessons, we were able to create a long list of possible sounds and colors, and in combining them, the students created an exciting masterpiece! (See my previous posts Week 1: Complete! and Week 2 at CNHS to see what we worked on and put into the piece). Before going on stage, almost every student expressed feelings of nerves and fear to me. But they performed the best work I've seen them do and with so much confidence and pride. Too bad I couldn't film it because I was on stage with them!

After music was the drama portion of the performance where the students presented small-group devised pieces where everyone presented a solo sentence about "I believe...", "I dream...), or "I fear....". In these piece they truly opened up and revealed very personal thoughts. It meant so much to be in the same room as this work.

The show finished with dance class, and all the students doing one large piece together, titled I Feel. Here is a video excerpt of the performance. Brian and I used body percussion that they perform here in our soundpainting piece!  

After awarding certificates to all the students and giving them new journals to continue journaling after we leave, we spent 2 more hours taking pictures and saying our goodbyes to them. They are the hardest working and most excited students I have ever worked with. I feel that their commitment to the arts and art education is something specifically Filipino, which has me addicted to this country. I will miss their dedication and smiles so much. 

Their unquenchable thirst for art has me inspired for life. 

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