(Repost from Manila Broadcasting Corp’s Blog)
Dec 19, ’09 7:15 PM
UV Chorale and Hiyas ng Pilipinas top MBC National Choral Competition
The University of the Visayas Chorale and Hiyas ng Pilipinas Children’s Choir scored stunning victories at last night’s grand finals of the MBC National Choral Competition, held at the Aliw Theater in Pasay.
Audience favorite UV, conducted by Anna Abeleda Piquero edged out a powerful St Louis University Glee Club by a hairline, with De La Salle’s Coro Animo and Makati City’s Koro Ilustrado rounding up the top four finishers.
It was the third-straight victory for Hiyas ng Pilipinas, who reprised their debut win at Paskong Pinoy in 2007 by topping Vox Angeli anew. AUP Young Voices and Calasiao Children’s Chorus, both title-holders at the World Choir Games, came in third and fourth respectively.
Arriving by boat just the day before — with three of its members sadly falling prey to holduppers at the pier — the ensemble from Cebu showed Visayan spunk, rolling out humorous and vocally flawless performances that earned the admiration of audiences two nights in a row. It was also an amazing double-win by the flashy and talented conductor-arranger Anna Piquero, who likewise steered erstwhile top-seed Koro Ilustrado to fourth place, as she delivered the finest conducting chops seen on this side of the musical world.
Bittersweet would best describe Hiyas ng Pilipinas’ victory, whose title defense was wracked with a lot of indecision on the part of its handlers Manila Dance Foundation. Delivering what jury chair Jonathan Velasco termed as a “perfect moment” on the competition piece Payapang Daigdig, Hiyas conductor Nick Infante remained speechless backstage, as he struggled to comprehend all that happened. With a number of their choristers soon turning fifteen, Hiyas is going into a brief hiatus as a children’s choir to train new members, but is expected to become a regular fixture in special events of the corporate world, where they proudly proclaim their MBC Paskong Pinoy titles. Already, they are favorite performers within diplomatic circles and even scored a bronze against adult choirs in the sacred music category of the recent CCP International Choral Competition.
According to Velasco, president of the Philippine Choral Directors Association, the MBC event is now “the choral competition to aspire to in the Philippines” as manifested by the participation of the best choral conductors and arrangers in the country, most of whom come from the ranks of the Philippine Madrigal Singers. He foresees increased interest and participation of PCDA members in next year’s contest.
Velasco and his fellow jurors Fidel Calalang Jr of the UST Conservatory of Music, Arnel De Pano of the San Miguel Master Chorale, Sebastian Trinidad of the Mandaluyong Children’s Choir, and Moy Ortiz of The Company unanimously agreed that MBC’s programme delivery gives choirs a lot of self-worth, while helping to condition the minds of mass audiences that choral music makes for public entertainment.
So proud of our (Koro Ilustrado) little bros and sis from UV Chorale!