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Hispanic Music of the Philippines Explored

Encuentros/Encounters Conference Explores Music of the Philippines

Loboc Children's Choir will perform Friday, April 25, at conclusion of three-day event.

(April 17, 2008)

Loboc Children's ChoirEnlarge

Loboc Children's Choir

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The annual Encuentros/Encounters conference and concerts will feature Hispanic music of the Philippines in a three-day event that begins April 23. The event is sponsored by the Center for Iberian and Latin American Music, which was established at UCR in 2004 to foster research and performance in the musical heritage of Iberia and Latin America.

For the first time, this year’s conference is conducted in collaboration with another university. After the UCR event, all conference participants will travel to Dartmouth College to repeat the scholarly presentations and performances.

Walter Clark, director of the Center for Iberian and Latin American Music and chair of the Department of Music, said the selection of Hispanic Filipino music resulted from his longtime friendship with William Summers of Dartmouth. Summers has spent more than 20 years researching music of the Philippines during three centuries of Spanish colonial rule.

“He is the leading expert on this subject in the U.S., and my many conversations with him convinced me that we should devote one of our annual Encuentros/Encounters to the Hispanic musical traditions of the Philippines,” Clark said. “There is a vast and rich heritage of Philippine music and dance clearly influenced by Spain, and yet it has not been studied very much. We want to focus attention on this legacy.”

The Philippines is 85 percent Catholic and unique among Asian nations in that respect, Clark said. During the colonial period, it was under the nominal administrative control of the Viceroyalty of Mexico.

“There was continuous contact between the Philippines and Mexico and a great deal of trade,” Clark said. “The musical heritage of the colonial Philippines thus closely resembles that of Latin American countries, and that's why we have labeled this year's Encuentro Filipino as a rediscovery of a Hispanic nation, because from a musical standpoint, that's what this is.”

The April 25 conference, “Rediscovering a Hispanic Nation: The Fine and Performing Arts in the Philippine Islands before the Invasion of 1898,” features research from leading Filipino scholars, Summers and UCR faculty and graduate students. The conference, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will be in Screening Room 1128 of CHASS Interdisciplinary Building-South. It is free and open to the public.

Musical performances include:

• A lecture-recital of Filipino romantic piano music by Sally Pinkas, professor of music at Dartmouth, at 1 p.m. April 23 in ARTS 157, which is free.

• The Loboc Children’s Choir, performing the works of Filipino and European composers at 8 p.m. April 25 in University Theatre. Tickets are $10 general, $8 for students and seniors, and $6 for children. Tickets may be purchased at the Fine Arts Ticket Office, 951-827-4331, or from Ticketmaster.

Encuentros/Encounters is sponsored by UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences; Center for Ideas and Society; Southeast Asia: Text, Ritual and Performance; Department of Music; and the UC Humanities Research Institute.

For information call 951-827-3245 or go to



The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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