Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Net 25's Musical Talk Show Celebrates 1st year with free Concert

Sessions on 25th Street set to charm OPM fans
Net 25’s musical talk show to mark 1st year with concert

TV viewers who like to spend their Sunday evenings surfing channels have likely run into this new program from Net 25—and caught an OPM star or two singing their biggest hits. And it looks like more and more viewers are tuning in.
The musical talk show Sessions on 25th Street is steadily gaining recognition among viewers for featuring some of OPM’s biggest names and most promising acts every Sunday night. In its first two seasons, the show has had the likes of Jaya, Jay-R, Yeng Constantino, Jim Paredes, Sponge Cola and Hajji Alejandro as guests, who shared their stories and jammed their hits with host Ernie Magtuto.
The show has likewise gained the attention of the local industry, having been nominated in the Best Musical/Variety Show category in this year’s PMPC Star Awards for TV. To mark its 1st year on-air and kick off its 3rd season, the show will be holding a special free concert on October 28 at Eastwood Mall.

According to host Ernie Magtuto, the show is tailor-made for fans of all kinds of OPM. “At Sessions, we really put the spotlight on the guests. We give them the luxury of time to talk about their projects, their views and their plans, and this is something that both the guests and the viewers appreciate,” he explains.
Ernie adds that unlike other music programs that are geared towards a specific genre, Sessions caters to a wide variety of styles and sounds—its guests have ranged from rock groups (Sponge Cola and Callalily) and reggae acts (Tropical Depression) to balladeers (Marco Sison and Jed Madela), pop divas (Jaya and Geneva Cruz), R n’ B artists (South Border), singer-songwriters (Aiza Seguerra and Noel Cabangon) and even international artists (Marie Digby).
“Each viewer will definitely find something in the show that they will enjoy. Hopefully, the show’s variety will inspire music fans to discover and appreciate more genres,” says Ernie.  
Ernie himself is no stranger to the industry, with two decades of experience as a performer, producer, arranger and composer, and he is most known for having been the musical director for The New Minstrels. Ernie often accompanies Sessions guests on the piano, and he says that being the host and performer—as well as the arranger of many of the performed songs—on Sessions is no easy task.
“Handling the music direction and hosting at the same time is quite a tall order, and I think I still have room to grow as a TV host,” he says with candor. “But I think that improvement will come as long as I keep on enjoying interacting with my guests, and I believe that this feeling will rub off on viewers.”
Ernie stresses that the show aims to feature not just popular artists, but also up-and-coming and unsigned acts. “We want to give exposure to new acts and help them to share their music with OPM fans,” he says. The show has featured the likes of young singer Myrus, who first gained attention on YouTube, and veteran songwriter Toto Sorioso, who has since bagged first prize in the 1st Phil Pop Music Festival.

For the show’s 1st anniversary concert, Ernie will be joined by a special co-host, Apple Chiu of “Singing Bee” and “Philippine Idol” fame, who had also been a guest on the program. “Aside from being such a talented singer, Apple is also a very engaging personality, and she will definitely add excitement to our concert,” remarks Ernie.
Big names have been lined up for the show, including Jay Durias, Juris, Luke Mejares and Lani Misalucha, with Ernie saying that it will be a live version of Sessions on 25th Street. “We want to mark our 1st anniversary and kick off our new season with a bang, and we’re thrilled to have such huge stars joining us on October 28.”
“We’ve had a wonderful year, and we’re thankful and fortunate to have long-time friends in the industry such as Hajji and the New Minstrels who supported us when we started,”
 says Ernie. “This free concert is our way of thanking the viewers who have tuned in this past year, and we want to let them know that we still have many more great things in store for them.”