ArchivesNovember 2010Stars descend on Dgte to teach music

Stars descend on Dgte to teach music


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The dark, moonless night failed to keep the stars from shining last Wednesday at the Bahura beach resort in Dauin town, some 14 kilometers south of here.

Ryan Cayabyab, Gary Valenciano, Jim Paredes, Joey Ayala, Noel Cabangon, Gary Granada and 19 other big names in the music industry had been there since Sunday to impart their skills to some 60 campers representing various genres and generations in the 1st Elements National Song-Writing camp. {{more}}

That night was the culmination of their workshop and a private presentation of the “best of the best” was scheduled with Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel “Chiquiting” Sagarbarria and some guests in attendance.

“This,” Sagarbarria enthused, “is a project that will make Dumaguete and Negros Oriental the center of music in the Philippines, like we have our Summer Writer’s Workshop at Silliman University every summer.”

The camp will be conducted annually in Dumaguete City, under the auspices of the 7101 Music Nation Foundation, an organization dedicated to the development of programs and platforms that will serve to discover and enhance local artistry in music.

Julio D. Sy Jr., a Dumagueteno, is 7101 Music Nation’s CEO and benefactor, through the Taos Puso Foundation.

“We are committed to this undertaking for the next five years,” Sy, who describes himself as a “wannabe music honcho,” told the Dumaguete MetroPost.

Sy said the 7101 Music Nation didn’t want to get sponsors to avoid commercializing the event.

“This is not a contest. It’s like the Montreux Jazz Festival of Switzerland or the Glastonbury Festival in the United Kingdom,” Sy said.

With 20 participants each from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the campers trained and learned from their peers in the music industry.
After the four-day all-expense-paid workshop, the musicians gathered by the sea to present their talents. Seven were called in the individual category and three groups performed in the group category.

The campers performed beyond everyone’s expectations. “The president of a recording company who listened to the songs was stunned. He said half of these songs will surely become hits,” Sy said.

Seated all by himself in a chair by the grassy lawn was Gary Valenciano, who tried his best to listen to the songs (in between requests for photographs by adoring fans and hotel staff). “We’re looking at raw talent in its wildest form,” Valenciano said, adding that he is excited about the journey that these campers will have in the music industry.

Valenciano also expressed hope that a workshop like this could be formed for dance.

For Ryan Cayabyab, the camp’s executive director, the last four days was nothing short of amazing. “This camp has exceeded all expectations and recording companies are just waiting to sign these artists up,” he said.

The campers also said some words of thanks before starting their performance. Everyone raved about the awesome time that they shared and the knowledge they had gained.

But for Cebuano fashion designer Kate Torralba, joining the camp was a realization of a 20-year-old dream. “Now,” she said, “I know what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Campers watch their peers perform during the last night of the workshop in Bahura, Dauin. (Photo by Alex Pal)

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