The University of Santo Tomas Symphony Orchestra (USTSO), one of the resident companies of the Cultural Center of the Philippines for music, performed before an enthusiastic crowd at the Plaza Mayor in Balanga City recently as part of the two-week long celebration of Bataan.
The event, billed as “Ika-77 Taong Paggunita sa Araw ng Kagitingan” was organized by the Bataan Peninsula Tourism Council Foundation, Inc. (BPTCFI) to commemorate the valor of Filipino veterans in 1942. The concert of the USTSO was part of the flagship program of the CCP President Arsenio J. Lizaso.
The USTSO played a two-part repertoire featuring classical music for the first part under the baton of Renato Lucas, and light classics and popular tunes for the last section was led by Herminigildo G. Ranera. The Orchestra was founded by Dr. Manuel Casas, a medical doctor, in 1927. In 1961, the USTSO was reorganized by National Artist for Music Antonio R. Buenaventura, known for his extensive research on folk songs and dances in collaboration with National Artist for Dance Francisca Reyes-Aquino. Herminigildo G. Ranera is the principal conductor and artistic director of the USTSO. Renato Lucas and Reynato Resurreccion are associate conductors of the orchestra.