Andrea Veneracion

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Andrea Veneracion
Birth nameAndrea Ofilada Veneracion
Also known asMa'am OA
Born(1928-07-11)July 11, 1928
Manila, Philippine Islands
DiedJuly 9, 2013(2013-07-09) (aged 84)
Quezon City, Philippines
Genres Choral music, classical music, folk music, pop music
Occupation(s) Conductor, composer, arranger, singer
Years active1963–2004
Associated acts Philippine Madrigal Singers

Andrea Ofilada Veneracion (or Ma'am OA; July 11, 1928 – July 9, 2013) [1] was a Filipina choral conductor and a recipient of the 1999 National Artist for Music award. [2] She founded the Philippine Madrigal Singers in 1963. [3] She was also an adjudicator in numerous international choral competitions and was an active force in choral music before her massive stroke in 2005.

Choir Ensemble of singers

A choir is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans from the medieval era to the present, or popular music repertoire. Most choirs are led by a conductor, who leads the performances with arm and face gestures.

National Artist of the Philippines

Order of the National Artists of the Philippines is an order bestowed by the Philippines on Filipinos who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine art. Members of the Order are known as National Artists. Originally instituted as an Award, it was elevated to the status of Order in 2003.


Early life

She was born on July 11, 1928, to Macario Ofilada and Raymunda Carriaga. [4] She was raised in Manila, Philippines.

Manila Capital / Highly Urbanized City in National Capital Region, Philippines

Manila, officially the City of Manila, is the capital of the Philippines. It is the most densely populated city proper in the world. It was the first chartered city by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act 183 on July 31, 1901 and gained autonomy with the passage of Republic Act No. 409 or the "Revised Charter of the City of Manila" on June 18, 1949.

Philippines Republic in Southeast Asia

The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.

She earned her Bachelor of Music degrees in Piano and Voice at the University of the Philippines Diliman, graduating cum laude . She was a lyric soprano soloist in various Oratorio works and in the Opera Stage. She was also a very accomplished pianist and accompanist and was the accompanist of National Artist for Music, Jovita Fuentes for a number of years. Apart from being an extraordinary musician, she was also an exceptional athlete as a competitive swimmer. She was part of the Philippine swimming team who first competed internationally in Hong Kong.

Bachelor of Music is an academic degree awarded by a college, university, or conservatory upon completion of a program of study in music. In the United States, it is a professional degree, and the majority of work consists of prescribed music courses and study in applied music, usually requiring proficiency in an instrument, voice, or conducting. In Canada, the B.M. is often considered an undergraduate degree. Programs typically last from three to four and a half years.

Latin honors are Latin phrases used to indicate the level of distinction with which an academic degree has been earned. This system is primarily used in the United States, many countries of continental Europe, and some Southeastern Asian countries with European colonial history, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, although some institutions use translations of these phrases rather than the Latin originals. The honors distinction should not be confused with the honors degrees offered in some countries.

Philippine Madrigal Singers

Later on, she continued to pursue her master's degree in Voice at Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana, as a Fulbright scholar, where she encountered the Indiana University Madrigal Singers, who rallied the music of the Renaissance period.

A master's degree is an academic degree awarded by universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice. A master's degree normally requires previous study at the bachelor's level, either as a separate degree or as part of an integrated course. Within the area studied, master's graduates are expected to possess advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics; high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation, or professional application; and the ability to solve complex problems and think rigorously and independently.

Bloomington, Indiana City in Indiana, United States

Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the southern region of the U.S. state of Indiana. It is the seventh-largest city in Indiana and the fourth-largest outside the Indianapolis metropolitan area. According to the Monroe County History Center, Bloomington is known as the "Gateway to Scenic Southern Indiana." The city was established in 1818 by a group of settlers from Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Virginia who were so impressed with "a haven of blooms" that they called it Bloomington.

Upon her return to the Philippines in 1963, she established a singing group with the same idea. This group was initially exclusive of U.P. faculty members and students and became officially known as the University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers. She established a tradition for which the Madz, as they are fondly called, are known for: unlike most choirs, the Madz were seated in a semicircular formation without a conductor. The Choirmaster is at the left-most end of the circle, and leads the group by giving their cues, much like how a concertmaster leads in an orchestra.

University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers

The University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers (UPMS), also known as the Philippine Madrigal Singers or simply Madz, is one of the major choral groups based in the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Its current conductor and musical director is Mark Anthony Carpio. They are the first choir in the world to win the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing twice. To date, only four choirs in the world have attained this achievement.

Under her direction, the Philippine Madrigal Singers won major awards in international choral competitions, including those in Spittal an der Drau, Austria; Arezzo and Gorizia, Italy; Neuchâtel, Switzerland; Debrecen, Hungary; Varna, Bulgaria; Tolosa, Spain; and Marktoberdorf, Germany. In 1996, she led the Philippine Madrigal Singers to its victory in the 1996 International Choral Competition in Tolosa, Spain. This made them eligible to compete for the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing the following year and eventually won the title in Tours, France.

Spittal an der Drau Place in Carinthia, Austria

Spittal an der Drau is a town in the western part of the Austrian federal state of Carinthia. It is the administrative centre of Spittal an der Drau District, Austria's second largest district (Bezirk) by area.

Austria Federal republic in Central Europe

Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a country of nearly 9 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi). The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 m (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.

Arezzo Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Arezzo is a city and comune in Italy and the capital of the province of the same name located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 kilometres southeast of Florence at an elevation of 296 metres (971 ft) above sea level. It is also 30 km west of Città di Castello. In 2013 the population was about 99,000.

Veneracion was the founding choirmaster and first conductor of the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music (AILM) Chorale. [5]

Later, some of her choristers established their own careers as well-known music performers and choral composers, conductors and arrangers in the Philippines; they include Ryan Cayabyab, Joel Navarro, Joy Nilo, Victor Asuncion, Montet Acoymo, Robert Delgado, Edgardo Nepomuceno, Jonathan Velasco, Eudenice Palaruan, Fr. Arnold Zamora, Christopher Borela, Anna Tabita Abeleda-Piquero, Fabian Obispo, Ruben Federizon, Eric Robert Santos and the present Madz Choirmaster, Mark Anthony Carpio.

In 1997, she was given 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, she was named National Artist for Music, the highest cultural award bestowed by the Philippine government for an individual.

In 2001, she retired as the Choirmaster of the Philippine Madrigal Singers. Together with an artistic committee, she personally selected Mark Anthony Carpio, her Assistant Choirmaster at that time, to be her successor. The Madz turnover ceremonies were held in a special concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines coinciding with the launch of her biography "A Life Shaped By Music" by Marjorie Evasco.

She continued to guide the Madz under Carpio's baton by joining them in their 2002 North American Tours, 2003 Asian Tours and 2004 European Concert Tours. She was also there to witness Carpio's first international competition as Choirmaster (and the Madz's first competition after 7 years) at the 2004 International Competition of Habaneras and Polyphony in Torrevieja, Spain, where the Madz won First Places for both categories and was also the last choir to do so.


In December 2005, she suffered a massive stroke which led to her paralysis. The Madz performed benefit concerts, the proceeds of which were used to help the Veneracion family with Ma'am OA's medical expenses. [6] [7]

Having been comatose since her 2005 stroke, Veneracion died on July 9, 2013, at her home in Cubao, Quezon City at the age of 84. [8] [9] [10] She was cremated on July 11, 2013; her necrological rites at the Cultural Center of the Philippines was scheduled on Sunday, July 14, 2013. [4]


For a list of awards won by the Philippine Madrigal Singers, see Philippine Madrigal Singers

See also

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  1. Vanzi, Sol (6 September 2007). "The 'Philippine Madrigal Singers': the 'Madz' Takes the World By Song". Philippine Headline News Online. Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  2. "Andrea O. Veneracion, Music (1999)". National Commission for Culture and the Arts . Archived from the original on August 15, 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  3. Quismundo, Tarra (8 August 2007). "Victorious Madrigals sing on arrival from choral Olympics". Philippine Daily Inquirer . Archived from the original on 27 August 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  4. 1 2 Cultural Center of the Philippines (10 July 2013). "CCP HOLDS NECRO RITES FOR NATIONAL ARTIST ANDREA O. VENERACION". Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  5. Filipinas and Dutch discuss together the role of political participation in integration  – Bayanihan March 2006
  6. The Sweet Sound of Victory Archived October 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine  – The Manila Times, June 25, 2006.
  7. For the Love of a Founder Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine  – Yehey! Lifestyle
  8. National artist Andrea Veneracion dies - ABS-CBN News
  9. UP Madrigal Singers' founder Andrea Veneracion passes away  – GMA News Online
  10. Founder of Madrigal Singers dies Archived July 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine  –, July 11, 2013