A Memorandum of Understanding was recently signed between the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music and the Jakarta-based Big Ben International Academy of Music and Performing Arts (BBIAPAM) will allow deserving Music graduates from UST to have their on-the-job training in Jakarta and thereafter qualify for the London College of Music Teaching Diploma. On July 18, 2023 (Tuesday), Music Dean Antonio P. Africa, PhD signed the agreement on behalf of UST in the Philippine Embassy in Jakarta.
In an interview with the Communications Bureau, the new program is an exciting opportunity for Music interns and fresh graduates, whose skills in “performance, theory, and composition, among others, will be tested.” According to Africa, the implementation guidelines will be formulated now that the agreement has been formalized. Qualified interns will be in Big Ben International Academy of Music and Performing Arts for six months on an all-expenses-paid program that will see them performing teaching tasks. Furthermore, the “partnership officially brings the London College of Music Examinations of the University of West London to the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music. With this, the London College of Music annual face-to-face Examinations in the Philippines may now be held inside the UST Conservatory of Music, a first for any university in the country,” according to the Music Dean.
Representing BBIAPAM were its Managing Director, Mr. Hidajat Firdaus, and Academic Director, Mr. David Saraza. Meanwhile, the signing was witnessed and hosted by Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia H.E. Gina A. Jamoralin and Vice-Consul Glenn Teh.
UST’s Conservatory of Music programs and specializations are named a Center of Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education. In recent years, programs like Music Technology have been added to the roster of programs, which include Music Performance (with specializations for various instruments and for voice) and Music Education.