Greatly associated with music, the name Minervina Dario Singson is a famous one in Ilocos Sur. The fact that she can still play the piano with bent fingers due to arthritis, sends everyone in awe, especially as she is turning a century old on Dec. 14, 2019.
One who admires do much, this musical giant is National Artist Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, who paid her a visit last May during the first Candon Music Festival of which he was the festival director. Mr. C was greatly in awe for her music memory and piano-playing skills remain sharp and on point.
At a young age, Ambin (as she is fondly called) already showed an aptitude for music. She started singing at age 6, having inherited her talent from her mother, a pianist who was her first teacher.
She studied at the UP Conservatory of Music Major in Piano. She was mentored by Prof. Julio Esteban Anquita from Spain and Prof. Pacita Nolasco-Torralba, among others. A friend, Abbot Rabang, encouraged her to compose songs.
In 2008, the Minervina Dario Singson Heritage Music Foundation was established. It aims to send and support talented musicians of Candon to study music at the St. Paul Conservatory of Music in Manila. So far, the foundation has seven graduates and one about to graduate. The foundation also gives free violin, wind, percussion and voice lessons. They have 50 violin beginners, 40 chamber orchestra members, 40 chorale members, 45 in the children’s choir and 30 winds and percussion members
Ambin has been acknowledged by the UP Conservatory of Music as the oldest living alumnae of the institution.