The UP Los Baños Choral Ensemble, beating finalists from five other countries, won the grand prize at the 10th Orientale Concentus International Choral Festival on July 10, 2017 at the Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore.
The 26-member choir earlier won in the mixed choir category and the sacred music category; and conductor Roijin Suarez received the Special Jury Prize for the Most Promising Young Conductor.
Organized by Singapore’s Ace 99 Cultural Company, the festival was open to non-professional choirs and amateurs.
The grand prix competitors were nominated from category winners or groups earning top five scores. The grand prix winner received a trophy and S$20,000.
The five-member international adjudicating team included Mark Anthony Carpio of the UP College of Music and of the Philippine Madrigal Singers.
Edward Vinluan of the UP Alumni Association in Singapore (UPAAS) said, in a heads-up to the UP Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs, that the UPAAS helped arrange the choir’s accommodation, rehearsal venues, and post-victory meeting with the Philippine ambassador to Singapore.
According to its Facebook page, the choral ensemble has conducted concert tours, and participated and won several awards in choral festivals in Germany, Belgium, Amsterdam, Australia, France, Spain, Indonesia, China, Japan, and Switzerland. At home, the ensemble is a National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) grand prix winner.
The UPLB Choral Ensemble was founded in 1991 by former members of the UP Rural High School Glee Club. It is now composed of UPLB students and alumni. On campus, it is recognized as a student cultural organization. (Jo. Lontoc, UP MPRO)