Songs of the People

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Songs of the People

by: Takahiro Takiguchi | .
Stripes Guam | .
published: May 12, 2015

You can enjoy Chamorro music in symphonic form during the May 23 “Kantan i Lina’la i Taotao-tano” (Songs of the People) concert at the Hyatt Regency.

“This concert is a celebration of Guam, the Chamorro culture and history, as well as the diverse and unique forms of art found on our beautiful island,” said Catherine Bungabong of the Guam Symphony Society. “It is an event to bring a diverse community together … for one common interest - the love of the arts.”

The concert is a cocktail-style event that will feature Chamorro-inspired hors d’oeuvres. The concert will start at 7 p.m. on stage, however, drinks and food will be served in the foyer beginning when he doors open at 6 p.m.

Members of Guam Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, under the direction of Stephen Bednarzyk, will collaborate with the cultural dance group Inetnon Gef Pago to tie in the Chamorro theme during the concert.

“It is a show that integrates classical music, cultural and historical music with the present,” Bungabong said.

Bungabong said the song “The Story of the Two Lovers” tells a historic tale that continues to be a part of the present. During the Spanish rule on Guam, a Spanish woman and Chamorro man fell in love, but both sides opposed of their courtship. In heavy despair, they tied their hair together and jumped off what we now call “Two Lovers Point.”  It is a beautiful cliff side overlooking the ocean and is a very popular tourist and wedding spot.

Through the concert, Bungabong said the Guam Symphony Society wishes to build stronger community ties and partnerships in the arts. “The event will fulfill our founders’ dream of keeping classical music alive and to inspire musicians to continue to pursue and cultivate their talent and passion to share it with the community,” she said.

takiguchi.takahiro@stripes.com

“Kantan i Lina’la i Taotao-tano”

  • Date: May 23.
  • Time: Cocktails and food will be served at 6 p.m. Concert kicks off at 7 p.m.
  • Location: Hyatt Regency Guam 
  • Tickets: $75 (available at Faith Bookstore and at the event site)
  • Orchestra and Chorale: Guam Symphony Society
  • Direction: Stephen Bednarzyk
  • Program:  Nihi Tafanhanao Tafanpiknik, Nobia Kahulo, The Story of the Latte Stones, On The Island, The Story of the Two Lovers, The Story and Dance of the Duendes, Guam March, Popblen Lancheru, Rhapsody of Tumon Bay, Medley: Tomba Na Palangpang, Torroro Meresa, Pues Addios, Atan Jesu Kristo and Guam Hymn

A look at the Guam Symphony Society

The Guam Symphony Society is the oldest group playing symphonic music on the island. A non-profit organization since it was formed in 1967, it has promoted classical and classic pops music to the islanders through its orchestra and chorale, as well as its soloists or guest musicians from all around the world.

Today, the society is comprised of 37 musicians and 25 singers.

“As the only organization of its kind in Micronesia, it is dedicated to providing opportunities for musicians and listeners to experience quality symphonic music,” says Dondi Quintans of the Guam Symphony Society, explaining that performances vary from small chamber concerts at Agana Shopping Center to full-scale musicals at the U.S. Naval Station Orote Point Theater.

Quintans describes the society as “a body of individuals who have dedicated their time and talent for a passion they want to share with those who enjoy music on Guam.”

This all-volunteer society also reaches out to the Guam youth, hosting concerts and competitions for local young artists.

“One desire of the founders was to provide a means to develop local musical talent,” said Quintans, adding that several students are part of the symphony.

The group has also been contributing to the greater appreciation of the island’s rich native culture and different genres of music through concerts featuring Chamorro music. In 1970, the society performed the first and only original Chamorro opera “Likeweake.” In 1994, the Society performed the Chamorro version of Handel’s “Messiah.”

Guam Symphony Society

Location: Hagatna, Guam

Website: www.guamsymphony.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Guam-Symphony-Society/440389875996408

For more information, call (671) 477-1959 or email guamsymphonysociety@gmail.com.

If you are interested in joining the group, contact Bednarzyk at: sbednarzyk@yahoo.com.

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