By: Paolo M. Bustamante
Music is something that you cannot touch or see. It is something that is perceived through our ears to gratify an audience, a parent, or a loved one. They say the power of music is something that is so powerful it can perform marvels in different ways. It can cure the ill, it can teach a dog new tricks it can even make people fall in love. Yes, the power of music is so powerful; it can even establish a school.
There is a conservatory of music inside St. Scholastica’s College in Leon Guinto St. near Taft Avenue wherein people gather to watch quality shows, production and rendition of music and plays. The conservatory is not that known because it is concealed within the high-rising walls of St. Scholastica’s College. It is like the miniature version of the Metropolitan Theater. The details of the ceilings are well maintained, the pinned statues of St. Benedict and St. Schoalstica’s are still in good condition and the marble staircases are neatly furnished. This conservatory may be out-of-sight to the public but once you see it, your eyes will gleam in awe by the detailed perfection of this Hall.
The conservatory is dated back in 1907 where in it is founded by Sister Baptista M. Battig, It was designed by Andres Luna De San Perdo and was inaugurated on the 8th of March 1932. It is where the school held its recitals, concerts, plays and even graduation. It is also a music hall where in foreign and local musicians perform their pieces. It is at peace wherein the virgin walls are still untouched by war.
When The Japanese occupied the city of Manila during the 1940’s, the buildings of St. Scholastica’s College was destroyed including the St. Cecilia’s Hall. All of the buildings were gone except for the wooden structures. It is a harrowing day for the sisters especially for the students.
The St. Cecilia’s Hall was restored and rebuilt during the 1950’s. The Art –Deco Style was preserved and the hall underwent a major interior and followed the old structure of the hall during the late 1990’s. Now, the Statues of St. Benedict and St. Schoalstica will welcome you in the conservatory. Angels will be gazing as you watch the performance inside the theatre. The red covered seats will keep you relaxed as you listen to the melodious notes of the musicians and as you leave the St. Cecilia’s Hall, there is that feeling that you will want to go back and visit for more.
The Sisters of St. Scholastica’s College has the ability to always look on the brighter side of life. Despite the devastating event that happened to the school and to that historic hall, life must go on for the nuns and for their students. They never failed to embrace their history and the things that have happened to the school they always make sure that they obtain life-learning lessons in every moment that passes their way.