Kabataang Gitarista (KG), a classical guitar training program for public high school students in Manila, Pasay and Paranaque will celebrate its 5th Anniversary through a concert at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater) on Saturday, August 26 at 3:00 pm.

Performing in the concert are the different batches of the Kabataang Gitarista currently receiving training: the 2016 and 2015 Batches, and the Core Group composed of Batches from 2014 and earlier. Their trainors are Maestro Jose Valdez, and his assistant Daniel Lopez.

The highlight of the concert will be the performance of the KG five-member all-male Performing Ensemble composed of two alumni majoring in classical guitar who are currently enrolled in colleges of music, and selected outstanding members of the 2014 Batch currently in high school.  The group is composed of Christian Mercader, Fernando Sy-Changco III, David Tiongson, Andrei Fernandez and Edel Mark Bitao.

KG was organized by the CCP Artist Training Division in August 2012 to promote appreciation for, and interest in classical guitar performance among public high school students; to provide the highest level of guitar training free of charge; and to develop a performing classical guitar ensemble.

The KG has given performances in selected public and private schools, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines besides many other venues. The group has also given lecture-demonstrations, workshops and outreach concerts to promote classical guitar among the youth.

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The five-member all-male performing ensemble from Kabataang Gitarista represented the Philippines in the “Asian Gems in the Arts” in connection with the 2016 Conference of the FACP (Federation of Asian Cultural Promotions) at the George Town Festival in Penang, Malaysia on August 28, 2016. Its most recent performance was at the Ayala Museum in June in connection with “Guitar Nights”. The group won 2nd Prize in the Guitar Ensemble Category and Edel Mark Bitao won 2nd Prize in the Solo Junior category at the 1st St. Scholastica’s Classical Guitar Competition on June 24.  In addition, the group has been invited to perform in Baao, Camarines Sur on August 22 through the Department of Education in Region V, in connection with its plan to organize its own Kabataang Gitarista branch in the region.

The current high school members continue to create an impact in their respective public high schools by performing as soloists in school activities and winning in solo instrument competitions. Many of them have improved their performance skills, academic standing and self-confidence through their participation in the program.

The programme includes Philippine traditional song Doon Po sa Amin (Valdez, arr.) by Batch 2016; De Leon’s Ilang-Ilang by Batch 2015; and Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5, Lecuona’s Andalucia, Suarez’  Katakataka  with Arevalo’sIkaw ang Mahal Ko, Silos’ Ikaw Lamang, De Falla’s Danza Ritual del Fuego and a medley of movie themes to be performed by the 2014 Batch and earlier. All the ensemble pieces were arranged by Jose Valdez.

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The all-male performing ensemble will play selections from of Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (Handel/Mercader, arr.), Introduction et Fandango (Boccherini/Kannengeiser, arr.), Selections from Bizet’s “Carmen” (Bizet/Kannengeiser, arr.), Bluezilian (Assad), Presto (1st movement) from String Quartet No. 3 (Mozart/Hoger, arr.), Libertango (Piazzolla/Hirakura, arr.), Pacific Coast Highway (York), Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal (Cuenco/Valdez, arr.), El Relicario (Padilla/Valdez, arr.) and  Usher Waltz (Koshkin).

The concert is FREE and open to the public on a first-come-first-served basis.