The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Choral Ensemble returned triumphantly to the country after medal finishes in competitions held in Germany and the Netherlands.
The UPLB Choral Ensemble arrived in the Philippines on July 10 after their European Tour which had the group winning 1st Place in the Marktoberdorf competition in Germany, and 2nd Place in the Cantarode Competition in the Netherlands.
The state university choral group led by Director Roijin G. Suarez competed among 14 contestants from 10 Countries performing 104 Choral pieces and emerged as the First Prize Winner of the 16th International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf 2019.
UPLB Choral Ensemble was also awarded with Best Interpretation of the festival compulsory piece “Die mit Tränen säen” by Johann Hermann Schein.
Filipino choirs Imusicapella led by Director Tristan Caliston Ignacio placed 2nd and Los Cantantes de Manila led by Director Darwin B. Vargas placed 4th in the same competition held on June 11.
Earlier on June 3, the UPLB Choral Ensemble won 2nd Place in the 2019 Cantarode International Choral Festival held in the Netherlands. The Laguna-based university choir also won a special award for the Best Interpretation of a song from the country of origin (“Tuntun Balagon” music by Nilo Alcala and text by Joey Gianan Vargas).
Fellow Philippine choral group, Los Cantantes de Manila, placed 3rd in the same competition.
The state university choral group will again be competing this time against Asia’s champion choral groups at the 1st Asia Choral Grand Prix (ACGP) on July 21 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
UPLB Choral Ensemble will be showcasing American Prize-winning Filipino-American composer Nilo Alcala’s works as the group represents the Philippines as the champion of the 2017 Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival. The Grand Prix showcases 6 choral champions of the 2017 and 2018 Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival, the Bali International Choir Festival (BICF), and the Singapore International Choral Festival (SICF).
Before the Grand Prix, the UPLB Choral Ensemble will be presenting a free concert at the San Sebastian Basilica in Quiapo on Saturday, July 20, at 7:15 PM. The concert is part of the Asia Grand Prix staging of 6 free concerts featuring the different champion contestants in heritage and architectural landmarks of Metro Manila.
The UPLB choral group will be performing at the Minor Basilica of San Sebastian which was completed in 1891 and is an example of the Gothic Revival architecture in the Philippines. It is the only steel building church in the Philippines. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1973 and as a National Cultural Treasure in 2011. San Sebastian Church is under the care of The Order of the Augustinian Recollects, who also operates the San Sebastian College adjacent to the basilica.
See the schedule of the 1st Asia Choral Grand Prix finalists in concert here.
SEND congratulations and cheers to UPLB Choral Ensemble, showcasing Filipino talent in Europe!
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