Once a Madz, always a Madz.

Ma’am OA and Sir Mark have said it. And I have witnessed this through the Madz Alumni who trooped yesterday’s kick off activities for the Madz’ Golden Anniversary.

So far, so good. So far, so gold.

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As what Prof. Andrea O. Veneracion, founder of the Philippine Madrigal Singers have instilled on us, we should never forget to begin everything with a prayer. Before we begin concerts or engagements, big or small, prepare for a concert tour, or sing for competitions, we pray, pray pray. Most often, we start the repertoire with musica sacra before we sing other genres.

On June 23, we kicked off the 50th anniversary activities with a musical, wonderful, meaningful celebration of the Holy Mass at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium of the UP College of Music (the auditorium is celebrating its 50th year likewise). Madz–young and old, actively singing or not, most of us bringing our own choral groups we dearly call Madz Et Al, filled up the auditorium to the brim with soaring voices, as everyone was instructed to learn the songs beforehand–and rehearse altogether a couple of hours before the Mass started.

To make the Mass even more meaningful, Fr. Arnold Zamora, an alumnus of the Madz, led the celebration, along with four more priests as concelebrants. Fr. Arnold’s music were used for most of the Mass parts. His homily made everyone listen–and laugh, especially his batchmates in attendance. Some of those stories have been told and retold a gazillion times but for the Madz, those still make us laugh many times over. But more importantly, his words made each singer and each et al member understand and know what it takes to be a Madrigal Singer–not just for fame, but moreso, the responsibility to be ambassadors of goodwill and of music in whatever capacity we can be.

Equally striking is the offering of roses to St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Teresa de Avila, led by the family of Ma’am OA’s youngest daughter. Ma’am loves roses and would offer them to church as thanksgiving whenever she is given one after concerts.

Sir Mark’s speech underscored the importance of the Madz Et Al–a 60 (or so)-choir strong network handled by Madz Alumni. This “baby” was indeed Ma’am OA’s greatest achievement. Golden harvest as Sir Mark called it. She dreamed of a Singing Philippines and it’s up to us and the future Madz along with these choral groups to continue living this dream.

Indeed I am privileged to handle a children’s choir of my own, the Shrine of Jesus Children’s Choir. For the past seven years, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to serve the Lord through singing and at the same time, maintaining a good quality of choral singing and creating new arrangements for the group. And for the kids to be given opportunities to meet fellow choristers in festivals or concerts, be invited to sing for weddings and events, even appear on TV and prestigious concert halls, those are all just icing on the cake. The cake itself–their hardwork and dedication, and a solid foundation rooted in the Divine Master–made all of these hapen.

A conductor is like a parent–one who nurtures, inspires, and truly cares for her children. Ma’am OA and Sir Mark exemplified all that and more, thus I am inspired to be a good conductor and parent to my singers, even to my family, too. That is Nurturing, the Madz Way.

~ Touringkitty

Catch the Madz on their Homecoming Concert at the UP Abelardo Hall on Thursday and Friday, June 27-28, 2013, 6:30 PM. Tickets at 929-6963. More information about the 50th Anniversary activities will be posted at their website.

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