Piano Teachers’ Guild of the Philippines Inc.
A Historical Sketch
Although piano instruction and study were part of the curricula of music departments that were founded in the early 1900’s (i.e. St. Scholastica’s College, 1906; CentroEscolar University, 1907; University of the Philippines, 1916; Academy of Music, 1930; Manila Conservatory of Music, 1934; St. Paul College of Manila, 1940; University of Santo Tomas, 1946), it took several decades before an organization of piano teachers came to be. Then on 02 November 1972, together with the Philippine Choral Conductor’s Association and the Philippine Society of Organists, the PIANO TEACHERS’ GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES (PTGP) was launched as a corollary to the Philippine Society for Music Education which was organized in 1971.
The founding President of the PTGP was Milagros de Ocampo, with National Artist Lucrecia Kasilag as Honorary President (until her death on 16 August 2008). Other founding officers were: Sr. Scholastica Benitez, OSB; Vice-President: Vilma Santiago Felipe; Secretary: Mrs. Angeles C. Hernandez; Asst. Secretary: Alice Araneta Lim; Treasurer: Sr. Mamie Martell, CIM; PRO: Sr. Cecile Belen, SFIC; Lydia Buñag and Pilar Buencamino Larracas, board members. This leadership nurtured the PTGP in its infant years, through seminars, symposia, competitions and general assemblies. In 1985, Sr. Mary Placid Abejo, OSB, as the second President of PTGP began her term with three-day concerto auditions in cooperation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. The thrusts of PTGP were further expanded to include some seminars, symposia, performances by artists-pedagogues, and organization of chapters outside Metro Manila. It was also during her incumbency that the piano festival was introduced. Because of its success, the piano festival, sometimes identified with particular theme, became an annual event and was a major endeavor during the term of Mauricia D. Borromeo who also spearheaded a competition in the composition of suite for elementary and intermediate piano levels in cooperation with then the League of Filipino composers and a concerto competition in 1995. In 1996, Sr. Mary Placid Abejo, OSB, answered a second call to serve as President. Along with the usual PTGP activities, outreach seminar-workshops were brought to the regions in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Fr. Manuel Maramba, OSB, led PTGP in holding five competitions (the Sonata-Sonatina, Mozart-Haydn Concerti, Bach, Romantic and Filipino, and the solo works of Beethoven) during his time as President. New chapters were also organized. Participation in the annual festivals has greatly increased, necessitating two weekend schedules, as opposed to the usual single weekend. A very supportive partnership forged with Philamlife Insurance Company has presented PTGP with an excellent venue – the Philamlife Auditorium – for its annual festivals and competitions. Now, under the new leadership of Mary Anne Espina, the PTGP continues to be a bastion of the piano pedagogy profession in the country.
The PTGP’s aims are:
- the advancement of the piano teaching profession as a whole;
- fostering of goodwill among piano teachers and uniting their efforts towards solutions of common problems;
- formation of chapter guilds throughout the country, and;
- promotion and propagation of existing and new Filipino compositions for piano.
Today, in keeping with the above objectives, PTGP’s main activities consist of refresher seminars, master classes, workshops in piano performance, pedagogy, and repertoire building which are conducted by local and foreign-based artist-pedagogues, and competitions. As in the past, these competitions are held to challenge both the students (and teachers) in the mastery of particular repertoire or styles, to discover and encourage the potential of promising pianists, and to recognize the dedication of the teachers. Winners are given performance opportunities. The annual festival remains as its centerpiece, serving a wide circle of teachers and students as an avenue for a public affirmation of achievements in piano study.
As it looks forward to more years of dedication and service, it is but fitting for the PTGP to gratefully acknowledge the institutions that have generously supported its goals in the last 39 years, particularly the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Equitable/PCI Bank (now Banco deOro), and MCO Foundation, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), St. Scholastica’s College, St. Paul University Manila, University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines, Philippine Women’s University, Greenhills Music Studio, Philamlife Insurance Company, Concert at the Park, Paco Park Presents, and LYRIC Piano. Now approaching its 42nd year, the PTGPFI has been recently recognized as a Foundation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, granting it more lee
Now approaching its 42nd year, the PTGPFI has been recently recognized as a Foundation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, granting it more leeway to carry out its functions as the premier and only professional organization for piano teachers here in the Philippines.