UP Singing Ambassadors
The UP Singing Ambassadors showcased Filipino song and culture at the 65th Certamen Internacional de Habaneras y Polifonia in Spain. Photo from send off performance (c) ANIMOR Studios via UPSA.

The University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (UPSA) have returned to the stage of Spain’s premier choir competition as guest champions of the Certamen Internacional de Habaneras y Polifonia.

The UP Singing Ambassadors bagged the first prize in all categories of the 64th edition of Certamen Internacional de Habaneras y Polifonia during their 2018 European tour where they also won top prize at the inaugural Sing Berlin International Choir Festival and Competition in Germany.

In July 22 this year, the state university’s choral group went back to Spain’s international choral competition not as competitors but as guest performers.

The multi-awarded singing group showcased the beauty of Filipino song and musical skills at the 65th edition of the competition as it serenaded the audience with 18 Spanish and Filipino folk pieces.

The UPSA performed “Sambayan” wearing various Filipino traditional costumes of the Igorots of Northen Luzon, Lumads and Muslims from Mindanao, and the Spanish-influenced attire of Luzon and Visayas.

The UPSA also performed a crowd favorite song “Eres tú (You Are You)” under the interpretation and musical arrangement of Robert Delgado. It was written by Juan Carlos Calderon and originally sang by Spanish band Mocedades.

“We hope everyone who watched the opening concert enjoyed our music, and got to know and appreciate Filipino culture a little bit better,” UPSA posted on social media about their performance in Spain.

Prior to their singing engagement in Spain, the UP Singing Ambassadors participated at the London International Music Festival on July 17 through a free 1-hour concert at Conway Hall in the Red Lion Square.

The UP Singing Ambassadors is scheduled to compete as a champion choral group at the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing (EGP) this August.

The University of the Philippines scholars are crowdsourcing for funds to attend the European choral competition. Financial contributions can be sent to this link.

WATCH an excerpt of the UP Singing Ambassadors performing “Sambayan” here and SEND well wishes in the comments below!

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