By Susanah Jane L. Lapa
Th e director of the Silliman University Band conducted his final concert on his 65th birthday last Jan. 16 at the Luce Auditorium.
Prof. Joseph Basa led the SU Concert Band in “Handumanan: A concert for remembering” – his last performance before he retires as band director after 29 years.
“I will surely miss teaching and watching young people grow from very humble beginnings,” he said.
Under his baton, the SU band transformed into a concert band that continues to tour all over the country.
According to Basa, band members start out as amateurs with many of them having no background at all in playing instrumental music. However, through training, they have become solo performers of instruments such as the saxophone, baritone, trumpet and trombone.
Before the concert, pledge forms were handed out for the Joseph Basa Scholarship Fund, which aims to put through school poor but musically talented students.
Master of ceremonies Moses Atega said during the show that Basa came to Silliman in the 1970s from an orphanage in Guimaras armed with his “humble trombone.”
“The band scholarship made it possible for him to finish college. It is his personal advocacy because he is a product of that scholarship,” Atega added.
In the final part of the program, Basa turned over his baton to his son and band assistant director, Joseph Albert Basa.
“I’m proud and very happy to have my son follow my footsteps,” he said.
The band then closed their performance by playing an Abba medley under his son’s baton. Basa also worked as music teacher, band director and choir director at Foundation University from 1975 to 1984. He returned to SU as a faculty member of the then School of Music and director of the university band in 1985. The concert was composed of medleys and pieces arranged for band performance along with intermission numbers by the SU Band twirlers.
Some classical arrangements showcased include “The Saint’s Hallelujah” and “The Magic of Mozart.” The band also played popular theme songs and selections from hit movies like “Superman,”“Titanic,”“The Phantom of the Opera,”“Mission: Impossible,” and some Disney movies. The last part consisted of a Philippine folksongs medley and a “rock ‘n’ roll explosion” with a special tribute to the band Queen.