Herminigildo Ranera – a simple man with a heart of excellence
Herminigildo Ranera (far right, bottom row) enjoys sharing his knowledge, thoughts and experiences with his colleagues and students.
Our featured artist today possesses a rare musical combination as a conductor, composer, arranger, performer and educator. Professor Herminigildo Ranera (Herme for short) obtained his Bachelor of Music from the University of Sto. Thomas (UST); his Master of Music in Conducting from the University of Northern Colorado (with Dean’s Citation for Graduate Excellence and National Graduate Award) and a Doctor of Philosophy with specialization in Educational Management from Cagayan State University.
He is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in Musical Arts at St. Paul’s University, Manila, where he is also a professor at the Graduate School.
As a conductor, Herme conducted the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO); California State University Orchestra; Long Beach Symphony Orchestra; San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra; Manila Philharmonic Orchestra; UST Symphony Orchestra as well as the Transylvanian Philharmonic Orchestra in Club, Romania.
Her composition “Philippine Symphonic Folksongs” was performed by the Nipponica Tokyo Orchestra (Japan) in 2013 and by the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra (People’s Republic of China) in 2020. Her orchestrations have been recorded by the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra.
We recently interviewed Herme on our radio show, Culture Carousel – airing on 98.7 DZFE-FM, the Master’s Touch, every Saturday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. – and here is this interview.
Which of your many roles fascinates you the most and challenges you on a daily basis?
I like directing, composing, arranging, performing and teaching, but teaching fascinates me more. To teach is to share your knowledge, thoughts and experiences. It is aimed at everyone: young and old, amateurs and professionals. It is the art and science of helping others to grow. But teaching is not easy. It takes dedication, patience and hard work. Helping students / musicians to hear, grow and develop is very rewarding. Every day we teachers face new challenges that prompt us to be creative and flexible.
What do you think makes you an inspiring artist and educator?
My adaptability and flexibility. I know that each student / musician comes from different backgrounds and with different individual personalities and levels of intelligence. Not all teaching strategies work with them. I have to be flexible. I create a conducive environment where everyone enjoys participating in the process of learning to create music. I try to inspire them and challenge them to perform at their highest level by being supportive and positive, not intimidating, destructive and negative. So, as an artist, I want my artist colleague to feel comfortable and accepted.
By what heritage do you want people to remember you?
My answer is “positively impacting the lives of others”. I want people to remember me as a simple and kind person. I just hope I can share my knowledge, my love, my friendship and return the kindness that good people have shown me by doing good deeds towards my fellow men.
How do you put excitement and a fresh approach into a piece of music you’ve conducted so many times?
Like I said, I’m just a simple person. I have just applied the 3H Principle: Humanize, Humorize and “Herminize”. You know, I use my name ‘Herminization’ to ‘Hermanize’ people, it’s a combination, a hybrid to keep things simple. Some teachers, when they explain, want to do it the hard way. But in my case, I’m simplifying. I ‘hermanize’ it, I make it easy. It is therefore the principle of 3H. Humanize which means I am easy to manage. I am accessible. when we have rehearsals it is important that you communicate with your students, it is not a one way thing, so they can always ask questions, share their thoughts, or even suggest, i accept the suggestions. So I am flexible. And I make my class fun, Humorize. This way, we can accomplish a lot in a fun, easy, and streamlined way.
For more information, PPO and CCP events, see www.culturecenter.gov.ph.