Andrea Veneracion

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Andrea Ofilada Veneracion (11 July 1928 – 9 July 2013) is a Filipino pianist, choral conductor, and National Artist for Music. She founded the Philippine Madrigal Singers in 1963.

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Education

Veneracion graduated from the University of the Philippines (UP) with two bachelor's degree in music. While pursuing her master's degree in Vocal Pedagogy at Indiana University, Veneracion was acquainted with madrigals, a Renaissance-style musical form performed by an ensemble of singers seated around a table.

Career

She returned to the Philippines to teach at the UP College of Music where she organized an ensemble of faculty members and students. The group performed madrigals while seated in a semi-circle formation, which became their trademark stage arrangement. In 1963, the chorale, specializing in a capella music, was officially known as the Philippine Madrigal Singers. Soon enough, the university-based ensemble rose to become the resident chorale group of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Through the Madrigal Singers, Veneracion restored vibrancy in Philippine folksongs. Under her helm, the collection of original Filipino choral works expanded, most of which were composed and arranged by the Madrigal members.

Veneracion also attended the Managing the Arts Program of the Asian Institute Management. She also became Professor of Voice at the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music and Professor of Procedures at the Philippine Women's University, and honorary chair of the Philippine Federation of Choral Music also. Veneracion is also an esteemed figure in the international music scene, often invited to judge for prestigious music competitions.

In 1997, she was awarded the TOFIL (The Outstanding Filipino) Award for Culture and the Arts for her contributions to the development of choral singing in the Philippines.

In 1999, Veneracion was proclaimed National Artist for Music. In 2001, she entrusted the helm of the Madrigal Singers to her assistant conductor Mark Anthony Carpio. Within the same year, Veneracion was given the Distinguished Alumni Service Award by the Indiana University and her biography entitled A Life Shaped by Music: Andrea Ofilada Veneracion and the Philippine Madrigal Singers written by Marjorie Evasco was also published.


Death

Early morning of 31 December 2005, Veneracion was rushed to the hospital after suffering from a ruptured aneurysm. In 2009, the Madrigal Singers held a benefit concert, entitled Madrigaliana II: La Madrigaliana per Andrea, for its founder.

Having been in coma since her stroke in 2005, she died at her home in Cubao, Quezon City on 9 July 2013 at the age of 84. She was cremated two days after and the necrological rites were held at CCP on 14 July 2013.

Her death came just a month before CCP was about to hold the first Andrea Veneracion International Choral Festival to bring choral groups from the Philippines and all over the world to compete in folk music, vocal ensemble, and chamber choir. The said competition, which was held on 8 to 11 August 2013 in all venues of the CCP, was also meant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Madz.

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Citation

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