The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Choral Ensemble has made history as the first champion of the Asia Choral Grand Prix (ACGP).
UP Los Baños Choral Ensemble went up against 5 choral champions from the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival (AOVICF), the Bali International Choir Festival (BICF), and the Singapore International Choral Festival (SICF) in the Asian tri-festival competition held on July 21 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Asia Choral Grand Prix announced on social media the historic first ACGP win by the Laguna-based state university choral group which represented the AOVICF as its 2017 champion.
UPLB Choral Ensemble was awarded the ACGP “Kilapsaw (Ripple)” trophy designed by renowned artist Toym Imao “to represent music, songs, and other forms of musical expression that has the ability to create a simultaneous hybrid language that different people from different lands can easily understand.”
The multi-awarded UPLB Choral Ensemble performed for the 1st ACGP the Philippine premiere of the recent work of American Prize-winning Filipino-American composer Nilo Alcala, the “Túntun Balágon/Firefly” with text by Joey Vargas.
In an interview with Good News Pilipinas, Maestro Nilo Alcala praised the UPLB Choral Ensemble, saying, “They sing with such innate musicality and that trademark critical thinking from UP! I’m particularly amazed at how they learned this admittedly challenging work only 2 months before they premiered it at the Cantarode competition in Kerkrade. Them winning ‘Best Interpretation of a Song from the Place of Origin’ is a testament to how they excellently and methodically unraveled this new and complex piece they were handed. Kudos to each of these intrepid singers, and especially to Maestro Roijin Suarez who, I am sure, had some trepidation upon receiving the manuscript for the first time. Now, they have just made history as the FIRST ACGP Champion, and their hard work has paid off!”
The University of the Philippines choral group recently returned from a successful European Tour where they won First Place at the 2019 International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf in Germany and 2nd Place in the Cantarode Competition in the Netherlands.
The group posted on social media about their ACGP win, saying, “Mission accomplished! We are bringing the Asia Choral Grand Prix trophy home to Los Baños!”
“It has always been an honor to represent our country in the international scene; the ACGP, in particular, is very dear to us, as we are representing the festival named in honor of the mother of Philippine choral music, National Artist Andrea O. Veneracion.
“It was an electrifying experience as the roar of the Filipino audience greeted us as we entered the stage. We share this victory to our families, friends and the whole Filipino choral community!”
LISTEN to the UPLB Choral Ensemble perform the world premiere of Maestro Nilo Alcala’s “Túntun Balágon/Firefly” with text by Joey Vargas at the 2019 Cantarode in the Netherlands. SEND congratulations in the comments below for the UPLB Choral Ensemble, the 1st Asia Choral Grand Prix winner!
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