Ray started playing the flute while at the Ateneo de Manila High School and then furthered his music studies at the extension program of the University of the Philippines College of Music .
At the University of the Philippines, Mr. Sison received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Humanites and then entered the College of Music as a flute major under Professor Eric Barcelo. He was then invited to be the accompanying flutist and business manager of the UP Concert Chorus for their 1988 World Tour of the United States and 11 countries in Europe. Immediately after the tour, he pursued his Masters Degree in Business Administration at The American University during which he was also a flute student of Karen Johnson.
Ray performs and records sacred music such as Vespers which was produced by the Jesuits. After considerable success of Vespers I, Vespers II followed suit. Another meditative recording is SILENCE which accompanies a book of the same title produced by Jaime Zobel and written by Randy David. For 2003 he is preparing a Christmas recording in the style of Vespers.
Abroad, he has performed with international artists as a member of the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra namely, Andrea Bocelli, Maria Luiga Borsi, Cecille Licad and Anastasia Chebotareva. He has also played in the country's premier festival at the 1998 and 2003 Bamboo Organ Festival and the MCO concert series at PCI Bank.
Lionel Zivan S. Valdellon
Lionel is a writer, editor, guitarist, keyboardist, ex-drummer, composer, arranger, producer, pen & ink artist, amateur web designer, photographer, and all-around busybody.
He cut his teeth as musical director for 5 church choirs in his lifetime, as musical director and keyboardist for the defunct cover band ANIMA, and the electronica group CLONE, as freelance musical director for several top-rated TV shows on ABS-CBN, as instrumentalist for Bukas Palad Music Ministry and even as a recording artist on the Vespers albums. Currently he is concentrating his efforts on electronic dance music as ACID42.
It all started in high school when Mr. Onofre Pagsanghan taught him that music can be prayer. He hasn't stopped praying since."
FROM THE "PHILIPPINE INQUIRER" 2004:
A new instrumental recording of our favorite Philippinne Christmas music is now available in the new album entitled "Paskong Pilipino" It includes 11 cuts featuring 12 songs namely "Himig ng Hangin" (Jandi Arboleda), "Paglamig ng Hangin" (Manoling Francisco, SJ); "Gumising" (Manoling Francisco, SJ/Onofre Pagsanghan), "Simbanggabi" (Lucio San Pedro), "Kampana ng Simbahan" (S.Y. Ramos/Juan Silos), "Payapang Daigdig" (Felipe de Leon), "Himig ng Pasko" (S.Y. Ramos), "Noche Buena" (Felipe de Leon/Levi Celerio), "Pasko na Naman" (Felipe de Leon/Levi Celerio), "Ang Pasko ay Sumapit" (V. Rubi/Levi Celerio), "Kumukutikutitap" (Ryan Cayabyab), and "Pasko na Sinta Ko" (Francis Dandan/A. Estanislao).
Flutist Ray Sison and guitarist Lionel Valdellon are featured in this unique Christmas album -- Paskong Pilipino, is the first all-Filipino, all instrumental Christmas album in the country, at least as far as we know.
The two artists are also behind Vespers I and II which feature Jesuit music for meditation purposes.
Paskong Pilipino is in the exact same feel and mood as Vespers I and II. It is very light in nature and works well as background music to our Christmas activities or for keeping our cool while driving these days.
One of the songs that attracts the curiosity of listeners is the rarely performed Simbanggabi which is an orchestral piece reduced to Flute and Guitar.
The album cover was done with the help of Patis Tesoro's Ninay Dolls which appropriately added to the Filipino character of the entrire production . There are also twelve translations on the cover to help people overseas understand the title. Inside are also English translations of the lyrics that will inevitably produce some chuckle as some Filipino ideas may be lost in the translation.