- In 1906, the first Benedictine Missionary Sisters from Tutzing, Germany arrived in Manila and established St. Scholastica’s College.
- The nuns conducted piano lessons, noting the innate musicality of the Filipinos.
- Sr. Baptista Battig, an established concert pianist before she entered the order, noting the innate musicality of the Filipinos, startedgiving lessons almost immediately on a second-hand piano given to the nuns by a friend.
- The growth of the school was rapid, particularly after the apostolic delegate gave Sr. Baptista Battig permission to give two public recitals.
- These concerts brought fame to Sr. Baptista Battig and, as a result, more studentsenrolled at St. Scholastica’s College.
- St. Scholastica’s College School of Music was founded in 1907 by Sr. Baptista Battig, OSB – the pioneer of music education in the Philippines.
- Her curricula became the pattern for music studies for most, if not all, private studios and music schools in the Philippines.
- The School of Music produced many piano graduates who all took composition classes under Lucio San Pedro (National Artist). The students were required to perform their own compositions during their respective recitals.
- More course offerings were added and the Sr. Baptista Battig Memorial Scholarship was instituted for deserving students.
The 60’s a time of social and political unrest
- A new course, Bachelor of Music, Major in Music Education, was offered in order to cater to the demand for well-trained classroom music teachers.
- The success of this program meant that graduates were immediately employed the moment they left the school.
- The alumnae of the School of Music marshaled themselves into various groups providing scholarships for budding musicians, intent on giving the disadvantaged the benefit of the education that they themselves had.
70’s – The Martial Law years
- Sr. Mary Placid Abejo, OSB assumed the deanship after her doctoral studies in the United States in the 70’s.
- With missionary zeal, Sr. Mary Placid started an outreach program with the street boys and girls near St. Scholastica’s College, first gathering them for Catechism lessons and then starting them on singing and playing the guitar.
- The Rotarians of Bagumbayan discovered what she was doing and the group became a Rondalla that played for the functions of the Rotary Club.
- Soon, Sr. Mary Placid and the Rotarians started projects to help the youth in the area through music training, scholarships, feeding programs and livelihood projects.
- Most attendees went to college in different schools as scholars by playing in the schools’ bands and finding gainful employment.
Now and what lies ahead
- Inspired by the stories of these Benedictine nuns’ efforts to improve the lives of young Filipinos through music, the Sr.Baptista Battig Music Foundation, Inc. was formally established in 1991 to administer music scholarship funds and source outreach programs as well as to establish a legacy and perpetual support for the commitment of the School of Music in spreading excellence in music education and helping deserving Filipino youth to become young musicians.
- In 2006, the Sr. Baptista Battig Music Foundation, Inc. was accredited by the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC), making donations to the foundation fully tax-deductible. PCNC is the mandated accrediting body that recognizes NGO’s (Non- Government Organizations) of “Good Standing” that funding donors may consider in their choice of organizations to support.
Sister Baptista Battig Music Foundation (SBBSF)
Board of Directors:
|President:||Sister Mary Placid Abejo|
|Vice-president:||Ms. Leonor G. Berroya|
|Chief Finance Officer:||Ms. Tita Rose L. Tan|
|Treasurer:||Ms. Leonila Cabrera|
|Corporate Secretary:||Ms. Carina dela Cruz|
|Chief Finance Officer:||Tita Rose L. Tan|
|Auditor:||Sr. Imelda Halili, OSB|
The term of office is one year renewable.