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…And that, my friends, is how I think December 17 and 18 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater will be!

Ten years ago, I was a freshie at the UP College of Music. Back then, I just hear the Philippine Madrigal Singers on CD, their 1997 European Grand Prix tour recording. No clue at all that I’ll be participating in the same competition ten years after.

I didn’t even know that Ma’am OA, or Prof. Andrea Veneracion, passed her baton already to Mark Anthony Carpio in 2001. And who would have thought he will become my choirmaster, my ever-reliable and super great assisting artist during my recitals, and fast forward to today, a good friend and one of our Principal Sponsors for our wedding!

I definitely owe a lot to this group. The long hours of rehearsals and countless performances made me a better and more sensitive musician. The long trips abroad gave me a new cultural perspective of both our country and of other countries. Plus we gained a lot of pounds, er, I mean, friends! We were taught how to live in a suitcase at very young ages. We missed our families but we come home to them with a sense of accomplishment. The preparations for concerts and competitions gave us loads of patience, strength, perseverance, and trust. Add to that, Filipino pride — something I will always be proud to proclaim. We became friends, sometimes enemies, then friends again.

I know I grew better as a person and as a musician after joining the Madz. And I never regretted the eight years I spent in college — well-spent eight years, I know.

And I am really grateful to Sir Mark. He entrusted me the most nerve-wracking position in the Madz (in my opinion, next to the Assistant Choirmaster) — the pitchgiver.

(Should I be explaining what is a pitchgiver any further? I don’t even know if it’s supposed to be a Madz secret! Sorry, guys!)

Beyond Madz duties, he even accompanied me in the piano for all my four recitals in school (in school, it really pays to have a GOOD pianist, and Sir Mark is absolutely GREAT!). I know it was too much to ask from him but still he gladly did, for most of us singers who were also students in the College of Music. We’d always find time to rehearse despite our busy schedules, and he would always be ready to accompany. He’s such a gifted, kind-hearted, generous man.

Enough of the reminiscing now. May I now invite you to take part in this wonderful night of singing? Make that two nights, this weekend, December 17, 8PM and December 18, 5PM, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater.

I take pride in being a part of Batch Carpio! As our way of thanking the Lord for the gift of music, and thanking Him for the past ten years Sir Mark has successfully took over the helm of the Madz, we will reunite with the current batch and shall sing a few songs on the second part of the concert!

Thank you, Sir Mark, for being a mentor, inspiration, and friend. I’ll never forget what you told me before, that our mission as Madz and even beyond Madz is “to spread the Madz way,” and to create a Singing Philippines, as what Ma’am OA envisioned. It’s now evident in the many choirs and conductors who follow our lead.

Once a Madz, always a Madz!


~ Touringkitty (now back in action!)


Note: I will sing on the 17th so see you on that day!


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