Did you know that the last week of November of each year is designated as the National Music Week for Young Artists in the Philippines? This was under the Presidential Proclamation 1173 signed in 1973, in response to the imperative need to preserve, develop and promote Philippine music as an art and as a handmaid of cultural development. NAMCYA Competitions (National Music Competitions for Young Artists) takes part as the main highlight of this celebration.
NAMCYA is the Philippines’ most prestigious competition for young musicians. For more than four decades, NAMCYA has played an integral part in cultivating the talent of young Filipino artists and preserving and developing Filipino music with its annual competitions, training, and workshops.
The artists who will present in the finals week of the NAMCYA Competitions are performers everyone ought to witness. These artists have gone through thorough stages of screening from a panel of distinguished artists who have selected the best of the best artists from all 17 regions of the Philippines.
On a personal note, watching NAMCYA performances made me appreciate Filipino music in a deeper level. It is notable that in the music industry, when a person or a group is known to be a NAMCYA Winner or Finalist – that performer is good. And, I’m not talking just good-good. I’m saying brilliantly-talented-insanely-awesome-and-disciplined-artist-kind-of-good.
Becoming a good musician does not take solely talent. It takes a great amount of patience, perseverance and discipline to become one — just like in any other line of mastery. The number of hours that an artist devotes to rehearse and master a piece or a repertoire – that is patience. Going over a piece repeatedly until you haven’t just memorized it, but to have it known by your heart and soul – that is perseverance. Time management for rehearsals and balancing it with other tasks of life – that’s discipline.
Many of us Filipinos may say that we support OPM (Original Pilipino Music), but at the same time, miss out in local activities that showcase how much OPM is alive and rich. There is more to OPM than the generally popularized music advertised by mass media. Filipino music also comprises of genuine and tasteful classical pieces and compositions performed by world-class Filipino artists who deserve to be recognized as much as local and international pop artists.
Let us immerse ourselves in the beautiful art that is of Philippine culture and artistry by watching the finals of this year’s NAMCYA Competition at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City. All events are FREE and open to the public. (See poster below for activity dates.)