An acclaimed Italian conductor, a top Filipino violinist, a chamber ensemble of young Filipino talents, and up-and-coming music and dance talents from Ayala Foundation’s education program came together for a one-night concert that highlighted the importance of an after-hours arts program.
The performers during the MAD4Arts curtain call.
“MAD4Arts,” or “Make a Difference for the Arts,” was a benefit concert held for the benefit of the after-hours arts initiatives of Ayala Foundation’s flagship education program, CENTEX (Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education).
Held at the Ayala Museum on May 9, the benefit concert featured the internationally recognized Maestro Ruggero Barbieri, the former principal conductor and music director of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.
Maestro Ruggero Barbieri conducting the Pundaquit Virtuosi
The concert also featured the prize-winning violinist Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata and the Pundaquit Virtuosi, the in-house chamber ensemble of young musicians of CASA San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales.
A unique feature of the concert was the participation of students and alumni of the CENTEX After Hours Arts Program. Five CENTEX violinists mentored by Bolipata himself, three dance scholars of the STEPS Dance Studio, and a young singer rose to the same level of talent and professionalism as their more seasoned counterparts.
CENTEX student Mico Lorca, performing an extract from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
“We affirm the value of an ‘After Hours’ arts program for our students,” said Ruel T. Maranan, president of Ayala Foundation. “Art in the education of our children is not just ‘nice to have’—it is, in fact, crucial to their growth and development.”
Maestro Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata, performing the love theme from Cinema Paradiso
Maranan added: “We have seen many of our ‘After Hours’ students transform from shy and quiet individuals into confident and talented young men and women. More than harnessing their talents, we also see them growing in discipline, commitment, and resilience to face various challenges.”
CENTEX alumni and STEPS dance scholars perform at MAD4Arts
That transformation was evident throughout the night as the performers wowed the audience that had filled the Ayala Museum lobby. They performed pieces from famous works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (A Little Night of Music), Johann Sebastian Bach (Concerto for Two Violins), Ennio Morricone (Love theme from Cinema Paradiso), Antonio Molina (Hating Gabi), Georges Bizet (Selections from Carmen), Ernani Cuenco (Kalesa), Willy Cruz (Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas), P. I. Tchaikovsky (Serenade for Strings), and Antonio Vivaldi (The Four Seasons).
“MAD4Arts” was presented by Ayala Foundation and the Ayala Multii-Purpose Cooperative in celebration of the 20th anniversary of CENTEX.
The MAD4Arts performers, together with Ayala Foundation officials and patrons
Founded in 1998, CENTEX offers bright children from underprivileged families access to quality public elementary education. It has two campuses—one in Tondo, Manila, and another in Bauan, Batangas. Aside from the violin program with Coke Bolipata, the CENTEX After Hours program offers ballet classes with the STEPS Dance Studio, under the mentorship of Sofia Zobel-Elizalde.
Ayala Foundation President Ruel Maranan and STEPS Dance Studio head Sofia Zobel-Elizalde
The two CENTEX campuses have graduated over 1,500 students in the past 20 years. CENTEX also provides training for public elementary school teachers across the country. To date, the CENTEX Training Institute has reached over 800 teachers from 20 public elementary schools.
Funds raised for “MAD4Arts” will be used to expand the CENTEX After Hours Program.
“MAD4Arts” was also supported by Adarna House, Ayala Land, Taters, and What’s Cooking Catering.