Two Filipino choirs — one from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and the other from De La Salle University-Dasmariñas — received top prizes in separate Singaporean choral competitions in the past month.
Despite competing in the contest for the first time and being the only Filipino choir, the Minstrels of St. La Salle took home one gold and two silver awards from the 4th Singapore International Choral Festival held from July 12 to 15.
Live from The Esplanade Concert Hall in Marina Bay, the Minstrels took home the gold in the Mixed Voices Open category and a silver award each from the Folklore and Musica Sacra categories.
Choir member Justin Sese told Heraldo Filipino, DLSU-D’s student publication, that winning top prizes in their first international competition outside the country was for the Philippines as much as it was for the Minstrels and the DLSU-D Chorale.
“We (Minstrels of St. La Salle and DLSU-D Chorale) thank all the people who supported us sa journey namin, thank you Lord and para ito sa Korong Pilipino!” he said.
Meanwhile, the UPLB Chorale became the Grand Prix Champion in the 10th Orientale Concentus held from July 7 to 10 at the School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA) Esplanade Concert Hall.
UPLB advanced to the storied competition after a qualifier on June 9 and became the champions on the finale on the 11th.
The choir also won the Mixed Choir A2 and Sacred Music Categories while conductor Roijin Zuarez won the Special Prize for the Most Promising Young Conductor.
UPLB’s achievements were even lauded by the Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Antonio Morales, who held an appreciation dinner for the choir and the supporters of the scholarship program of the UP Alumni Association Singapore (UPAAS). (Rie Takumi, GMA News)