MANILA (CORRECTED/UPDATED) – National Artist for Music Andrea Veneracion passed away Tuesday night in her home in Cubao, Quezon City. She was 84 years old.
Veneracion died at 10:50 p.m. on Tuesday after being bedridden for several years following a stroke.
Her remains will be brought to the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral Grottos in Cubao after lunch on Thursday. She will be cremated on July 11.
Veneracion was the founder and former choirmaster of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, and spearheaded the development of Philippine Choral Music.
Veneracion’s death comes two days before her 85th birthday on July 11 and a month before the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) was about to hold the first ever “Andrea Veneracion International Choral Festival.” the festival is the first international choral festival in the country and is being held to mark the 50th year of the Philippine Madrigal Singers.
The CCP said it will pay tribute to Veneracion in a necrological ceremony on July 14 at 9 a.m. at the CCP Main Theater.
Veneracion, who was known as Tita Andy in the arts and cultural community, founded the acclaimed Philippine Madrigal Singers in 1963. Under her wing, the group, formerly known as the UP Madrigal Singers, succeeded in becoming the only Asian choir to win all the biggest prizes in the world of choral competition. Today, the Madrigals are acknowledged as the standard and measure of choral excellence in the country.
Veneracion was named National Artist for Music in 1997. She was cited as an “exemplary choirmaster and vocal pedagogue” who was always at “the forefront of the development of choral music in the Philippines.
She received many awards for her expertise in choral music and performance. She was a long-time professor UP Conservatory of Music and was a mentor to many young singers who have become successful vocal soloists and choral directors.
Veneracion was born July 11, 1928 to Macario Ofilada and Raymunda Carriaga, a voice teacher. – reports from Ginger Conejero, ABS-CBN News, and ANC