KANTA BINISAYA. Professor Stephen Lagarde of the University of the Philippines Tacloban Campus has brought his Kanta Binisay’a to Leyte Normal University. (TCIO)

TACLOBAN CITY-Following its successful national exposure in October 2023, ‘Kanta Binisay’a, curated by Tacloban’s esteemed musical arranger Dr. Stephen Q. Lagarde, takes a significant step by partnering with one of the city’s premiere educational institutions.

On February 14, 2024, the Leyte Normal University inaugurated “Kanta Areglo: Learning the Rudiments of Choral Arranging,” a three-day workshop designed to enhance the skills of Bachelor of Music Education faculty and students in musical arrangement.

A pioneering initiative in the region, Lagarde, the workshop’s resource person, uses the pieces he arranged for Kanta Binisaya, a musical collection featuring iconic ‘binisaya’ songs that highlight the rich musical heritage of Eastern Visayas

“I am primarily using our heritage music as tools in enhancing and enriching the musical arrangement skills of the faculty and students of the music program of LNU. We hope to offer this same workshop to others to keep the music scene in Tacloban vibrant,” expressed Prof. Lagarde amidst efforts to place Kanta Binisaya in an appropriate venue for cultural enrichment and education.

With the enthusiastic support of University President Evelyn Aguirre and the collaboration between the LNU Center for Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning headed by Jacqueline Espina, alongside the Music Education Department coordinated by Jay Mabini, the Kanta Areglo project aspires to position LNU’s music education program as a front-runner in the region.

“We envision this academic program to take a leading role in the promotion of our musical heritage as well as in honing our homegrown musical talents in the area of music composition and arranging,” Lagarde remarked optimistically, anticipating that Kanta Areglo will soon be accessible to the public, contributing to the promotion of Eastern Visayas’ musical heritage, culture and identity.