By Jason Andrew Vila

Music connects people and this is what the Antipolo City Band displayed when they performed during the 6th Pistahang Rizalenyo held at the atrium of Robinsons Antipolo when they filled the mall with the sounds of woodwind and brass instruments.

Antipolo City Band performed a set list with 10 songs ranging from nostalgia-filled OPM classics like their opening piece Anak Dalita to timely and relevant tracks like the “kalyeserye” medley conducted by Kennet San Juan and arranged by Allan Simbul in honor of the long time running noon time show in the GMA Network.

Antipolo Star also had the privilege to interview the conductor of the band, Maestro Fernando Cabaron who shared some history about the band which started in 1999 under the former Mayor Angelito Gatlabyan.

“Member na ako ng band simula 1999 pero tumtugtog na ako 1980s pa lang,” said Cabaron recalling his beginnings with the band. The band has been around from then although they stopped for a year and a half because of the pandemic.

Maestro Fernando also listed some struggles the band had to face like being chased by drunkards and running away from street dogs when they have to perform outside. He also talked about the shows they were supposed to play like “The concert at the park” where the band was supposed to go but was sadly cancelled because of the pandemic.

“Mahirap maging isang musikero pero kaakibat nito yung saya” Cabaron said as he recalled how he started as a member of some barrio’s bands and how it was an unsteady path which he described as “minsan meron, minsan wala.”

Cabaron also shared an interesting story on how the band played for the queen of Spain when the queen visited the Philippines.

He also encouraged other people who are into music or people who are interested in learning to play the same instruments they do as the city offers scholarships for people who are willing to join the band.

“Marami kang matutunan. Kami kahit marunong na magbasa ng nota ay nag-aaral pa rin. Dire-diretso ang pag-aaral sa musika. Walang tigil ‘yan.” he said.

The Antipolo City Band that played in the Pistahang Rizalenyo is made up of 25 individuals of varying ages. The pieces they played on their set list are arranged by Arnold Sarreal, Chino Garcia, Randy Zabala, Edmel Tanawa, Emeng Gonzaga and Rodnick Santos while they were mostly all conducted by Cabaron with some pieces being conducted by Kenneth San Juan.