It’s a winning moment for Philippine music and culture as 27 Filipina teenagers from the PAREF Woodrose School Chorale in Muntinlupa City mesmerized Europeans and bagged the Grand Prix Award at the 14th International Festival for Advent & Christmas Music held in Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
The champion choral group from the Philippines was the only choir that represented Asia in competitions against top-caliber choirs from South Africa and Europe held over three festival days from December 5-8.
European audiences and judges were enchanted and captivated by the beautiful chorale performances and their unique, refreshing interpretations of exotic folk music from the Philippines.
During the first two non-competition days of the festival, the group performed sacred songs, Christmas songs, and songs from different genres at the Jesuit Church, the Klarisky Music Hall, and the Franciscan Square.
During the competition proper held in Primaciálny palác (Primate’s Palace), the Woodrose Chorale performed four songs including an interpretation of “Anak” and won gold for the Group in the Children’s Choir Under-16 category.
A medley of another four songs from the different regions of the Philippines, including folk songs from the Cordilleras, the Ilonggo song “Dandansoy”, and the Olloño (Bontoc, Mountain Province) arranged by American Prize recipient Nilo Alcala, captured the gold in the Folk Songs with Instrumental Accompaniment category.
Conducted by their music teacher Myrene Carballo, the Philippine delegation proudly took home 2 Gold Awards, a Special Awards, and the Grand Prix Prize for Folklore.
The Woodrose School choral group won the following:
- Grand Prix for Folklore
- Gold Band Award for Children’s Choir up to 16 years old
- Gold Band Award for Folksong with instrumental accompaniment
- Special Awards for Dramaturgy (Drama and Stage Presence)
The Woodrose Chorale members who won the European awards include Mariella Samantha Adzuara, Maria Helena Esguerra, Angela Marithel Aldea, Ma. Alexandra Ines Cuna, Mariane Ambal, Maria Andrea Marquez, Francesca Angela Penson, Maria Andrea Aure, Jennelle Marianne Hilario, Carmela Maria Barrientos, Althea Marie Guadalupe Esteban, Mariya Mikaela Mayang, Janea Alessandra Mancia, Angela Raine Therese Jamandre, Gabrielle Marie Romeo, Gwen Antonette Quin, Faith Danielle Villaluz, Anamaria Katrisse Santos, Feliza Beatrice Zaragoza, Julianna Francesca Leabres, Mary Jelene Francesca Sto. Domingo, Isabella Louise Unarce, Beatrice Cabauatan, Annika Maria Victoria de la Fuente, Sophia Halili, Sophia Dale Matsuo, and Denise Addison Omila.
The Woodrose Chorale delegation was headed by their Junior High School Principal Elinor Dioko; Coordinator for Administrative Affairs Marirose Baseleres; and Conductor Myrene Bagayaua-Carballo.
Consul Pavol Konstiak, representing the Philippines in the Slovak Republic, also came and watched the competition to show and give his support to the Philippine contingent.
Filipino choirs have been bagged several international awards in 2019, including, the Cordillera Regional Science High School Glee Club, Ligao National High School Voice Chorale from Albay, and the Brazil Academy for Music and Arts of Ayala Alabang.
WATCH the winning performance of Woodrose School Chorale here and SEND congratulations in the comments below!
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