Title/Position: Lecturer, Vocal PerformanceProfile:
What would you say are the outstanding highlights of your professional life?
1. After playing the Schumann Piano Concerto in a concert I felt for the first time that I had transcended fear and technical concerns to revel in the sheer joy of a creative collaboration with the composer.
2. When an opera company was looking for singers to cast in La Boheme, I auditioned for the role of Mimi. I was totally floored and delightfully surprised when the company gave me a contract and I had the incredible musical experience of being Mimi.
3. In all the years of teaching, I find joy and a special reward when a student discovers a love for the beautiful tone and realizes that he/she has achieved it.
4. Hearing the Metropolitan debut of one of my students, Chrstiopher Schaldenbrand in La Boheme, and the Salzburg operatic performance of Denise Vidal as Violetta in La Traviata.
5. Upon returning to Manila after studies abroad, my alma mater and the Mu Phi Epsilon International Chapter presented me in a concert at the new Cultural Center of the Philippines.
What advice would you give an aspiring young musician?
Love music lavishly; be open to all opportunities that life has to offer; to learn, to absorb and grow and to strive for artistic excellence always. Also, be honest and realize the worst possible moment in one’s career. If that frightens you to the point of second guessing your intentions with music, find another path that will bring you satisfaction.
What is your teaching philosophy? What do you expect of your students?
My teaching philosophy is that the student travel with me down a two-way exchange. To give my all, I expect no less from a student. The teacher is there to share, listen, advice and guide, to challenge and encourage. The student is there to hear, absorb and grow with the will to expect change and in turn, give back to others.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Nobleza G. Pilar had an active career as a singer, performing regularly at solo recitals for oratorios and concerts with local orchestra and full opera productions in the U.S., Canada and Asia. Dr. Pilar was invited by the Bahamas Arts Society to appear in the Oratorio Choral Concert.
Nobleza Pilar holds two B.M. degrees from Philippine Women’s University, and M.M. and D.M. degrees from Indiana University. She studied with Martha Lipton, and was coached by Eileen Farrell and Zinka Milanov. She has taught at colleges and universities in Singapore and Mexico, as well as the United States. A recipient of scholarships from Fulbright Hays and the London Opera Centre, Pilar has performed in solo recitals in Los Angeles, Chicago, Kalamazoo (Michigan), Hickory (North Carolina), the Hawaiian Islands, the Philippines, Singapore, the Bahamas, and Mexico. She is a long standing member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and Pi Kappa Lambda. In past years Dr. Pilar directed opera scenes and conducted workshops at Miami-Dade schools and also taught Diction, Vocal Pedagogy and Music Fundamentals. She is currently an active judge for District and State Competitions for NATS and Florida Vocal Association, and has served as Preliminary Judge for the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts (YoungArts) for the past 15 years.