The Plight of UP Arco

As I write this, the University of the Philippines Arco, is struggling to raise funds so they can attend the the 24th Festival International de Musique Universitaire (FIMU).

Photo by Kapao Gupalor

The selection gives UP Arco the distinction of being the sole and  first Filipino group to perform at the FIMU. Regarded as one of the world’s most culturally diverse music festivals, FIMU is slated on May 26, 27 and 28. It will be held at Belfort, France. 

UP Arco is under the musical directorship and guidance of Prof. Edna Marcil “Michi” Martinez. It is currently composed of  27 select student artists, all of whom are majors of the Strings and Chamber Music Department of the UP College of Music.

“By taking part, UP Arco verifies the fact that our instrumental music education at the tertiary level is at par with global standard,” beams Martinez. “ They have reached and set a high bar of honor and excellence in both musical éclat and performance élan.”

Need for funding

The group needs more than 1.7 million pesos for airfare and travel expenses within France. UP Arco recently held a benefit concert at the Bulwagang Dangal in UP Diliman. A limited edition CD containing with the classical music performed by UP Arco has also been released.

“All proceeds go directly to the students’ travel expenses. The support we get goes a long way: not only for our country and the university but more so to the lives of our young musicians—the new generation, the hope and pride of our nation,” states Martinez.

Global scope

FIMU was created 26 years ago by the University of Technology of Belfort-Montbeliard to enhance student life in Belfort. Today, the event is organized jointly by the town of Belfort and local students. FIMU has gathered students from across the globe for 24 years. The three day festival stages 250 concerts and attracts over 80,000 visitors.

Photo by Dolly Aspiras

The event is expected to assemble over a hundred student music groups and covers  a wide berth of music genres: from classical music, new music, jazz, rock music, world music to brass band and opera.

Among those performing at FIMU are mandolin ensemble Orchestra di Mandolini E Chitarre Il Plettro, Orchestre De L’Université de Geneve, Blues Chronicles, and Orchestre Symphonique De L’Université de Budapest.

Each year, one instrument takes center stage at FIMU. In an editorial for the festival’s website, Belfort Mayor Etienne Butzbach, states: “By celebrating one instrument each year we can look at its development and the transformations it has undergone in its passage through time.”

For more information on how you can help UP Arco take flight, email trishabautista@gmail.com or call 09175941020.###

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