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UP Concert Chorus Makes History: Wins Gold at Musica Orbis Prague, First Filipino Choir to Triumph

The UP Concert Chorus of the University of the Philippines has brought pride to the country after emerging victorious at the Music Orbis Prague Festivals held in the Czech Republic. Photo from UP Concert Chorus on Facebook.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Concert Chorus has successfully raised the Philippines’ flag in the Czech Republic after winning gold prizes at the Musica Orbis Prague Festival, the first Filipino choir to join and triumph in the competition.

The Filipino performing arts group from the University of the Philippines Diliman competed among 18 contingents from different countries including Belgium, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Macau, Norway, Poland, Romania, Taiwan, Ukraine, U.S.A., and the host country Czech Republic during the festival held from June 27 to July 1, 2024.

The UP Concert Chorus, or simply Korus, emerged victorious during the competition held last June 29 at the Church of Sts. Simon and Jude in Prague.

Korus announced the good news on social media on Sunday, June 30 (Philippine Time). The group won the following accolades:

  • Overall Winner in the Unrestricted Repertoire Category (Mixed Adult Choir)
  • Gold Prize in the Unrestricted Repertoire Category (Mixed Adult Choir)
  • Gold Prize in the Folklore Category (Mixed Adult Choir)
  • Special Award for Best Stage Performance

“Thank you for all of your support! [Philippine flag and red heart emojis],” they said in their Facebook post. “It has been an honor for Korus to not only be the first Filipino Choir but also to achieve these feats!”

With their conductor, Prof. Janet Sabas-Aracama, the UP Concert Chorus aced the competitions with their choral music pieces such as Ilay Gandangan, Malinac Lay Labi, Tuksuhan, Manga Wata sa Ripag for the Folklore Category, and Laudate Dominum, Bagong Umaga, at Wade in the Water for the Unrestricted Repertoire Category.

This victory marks the UP Concert Chorus’ return to international tour competition since 2015 when they won the Grand Prix at the 6th International Krakow Choir Festival in Poland. The competition is part of the choral group’s 25th international tour, MusiKADASIG: An International Goodwill and Cultural Concert, which brings the Korus to perform at concerts in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

The UP Concert Chorus’ feat in Prague further solidifies the country’s claim as home to the best singers and choral groups in the world.

In July 2023, the Concourse Singers of Taytay, Rizal won gold in the Video Presentation Category of the Tokyo International Choir Competition in Japan.

The Archangel’s Journey Chorale, a church-based choir with members from Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela, took home the Grand Prix title at the 6th Cantata Macau International Choir Festival and Competition in December last year.

The Philippine Male Singers, a choir composed of former San Beda College Chorale members, also bagged top prizes at the 2023 Hainan Prize Choir Competition in China.

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Atom L. Pornel
Atom L. Pornel
Atom L. Pornel is a social media manager and producer-writer who returned to GoodNewsPilipinas.com after working as a writer in Viva Communications Inc. for more than four years. He is a broadcast journalism graduate of DLSU-D, and a heritage and local culture advocate.

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