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CEU Music Student is NCCA 2020 Composition Prize Winner for Solo and Chamber Music Categories

15 December 2020

Centro Escolar University Conservatory of Music student Okir De Leon won first in the 2020 Composition Prize Competition by the National Commission for Cuture and the Arts (NCCA) for his composition entries for two different music categories.


Okir’s Piano Sonata No.1 for Solo Music Category and Magindara for Chamber Music Category were both declared as top pieces and were performed by artists during the virtual awarding ceremony of the competition. All entries were judged without the identity of the composer and were only revealed after the decision has been made.


“This Piano Sonata No. 1, from the name itself is my first piano sonata. This piece although called sonata, it doesn’t necessarily strictly follow the standard format of a sonata, yet you would still hear the exposition of different themes, the development as well as their return, for it is done so in the manner that makes the form its own,” said Okir when he presented one of his winning pieces in the awarding ceremony.


Okir also introduced Magindara which was inspired by a beautiful yet menacing mythological sea creature known as Magindara. This mermaid possesses not only beauty but also an enchanting voice used to sing spell binding songs attracting and hypnotizing sailors and luring them into the waters.


“I have joined a few competitions in the past but I never won. But for me, joining competitions is not really about winning, but I’ll be lying if I say I don’t want to win at all. But my point is, winning is not the main goal. It is not about the glory or proving anything to anyone. Competitions give me the push that I need, urge me to try new things, inspire my creativity, and help me gain new levels of insight,” Okir added.  


Okir started playing violin, his first instrument when he was five years old, and took lessons until he was 15. Along the way he was able to learn playing other instruments as well. He is presently in his third year taking Bachelor of Music in Music Composition under the tutelage of Mr. Joed Balsamo, CEU Conservatory of Music professor who also told him about the NCCA competition. His father, Bayani De Leon is also an alumnus of the CEU Conservatory of Music while his grandfather, Felipe De Leon, Sr. became one of its faculty. His uncle, Felipe De Leon, Jr. is the current Chairman of the Committee on Music of NCCA.


For more information about the CE Conservatory of Music under the School of Education, Liberal Arts, Music and Social Work  with Dr. Maria Rita Lucas as dean, please visit the official website of the University at www.ceu.edu.ph. You may also follow CEU on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theCEUofficial and on Twitter at @CEUmanila, @CEU_makati05, and @CEUMalolos.


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