THE Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival, Manila 2013 held its closing ceremonies on August 10 with the announcement of winners in the Chamber Choir, Folk Music and Vocal Ensemble categories. The event was made possible with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the US Embassy Manila and the Department of Tourism.
In the Chamber Choir Category, ONE Chamber Choir from Singapore, conducted by Lim Ai Hooi, won the 1st Prize, followed by Paragita Student Choir of Universitas Indonesia conducted by Agus Yuwono (2nd Prize), and Kammerchor Manila, conducted by Anthony Villanueva (3rd Prize). The obligatory piece performed in the Chamber Choir Category was Three Kalingga Chants, written by Nilo Alcala, a commissioned work for the Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival in which all participants in the said category had to sing in addition to the required pieces.
ONE Chamber Choir is a young adult choir under the baton of Lim Ai Hooi, one of the region’s prominent choral directors. Established in June 2009, ONE currently consists of 30 singers, all of whom are choral enthusiasts with rich choral performing experience. ONE’s mission is to challenge conventional choral delivery to present a uniquely ONE experience. In September 2010, ONE entered a partnership with the Song Lovers Choral Society (SLCS), formerly known as Lee How Chorale Society, to form the “youth wing” of SLCS.
For the Folk Music Category, 1st Prize was won by the World Vision Korea Children’s Choir from Korea conducted by Hee Churl Kim followed by the Technological Institute of the Philippines Choral Society conducted by Jose Emmanuel Aquino (2nd Prize), and University of the Philippines Los Baños Choral Ensemble conducted by Romel Lomarda (3rd Prize).
World Vision Korea Children’s Choir has been bringing messages of hope and love to children round the world since 1960. After winning the highest award at the prestigious “Let the Peoples Sing” competition organized by the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1978, the group has gained international fame. The choir has performed in 27 countries since its formation.
Winners in the Vocal Ensemble Category were Aleron conducted by Christopher Arceo (1st Prize), Koro Ilustrado conducted by Edmund Alan Piquero Jr. (2nd Prize) and University of the Philippines Los Baños Choral Ensemble conducted by Romel Lomarda (3rd Prize).
Aleron first came into existence in 2006 as the alumni ensemble of the Ateneo de Manila High School Glee Club under the musical direction of Christopher Ong Arceo and management of Jesus Joseph Ignacio. The group is composed of male choristers from different backgrounds, most of whom have contributed significantly to the growth of the Ateneo choral community.
The winning groups received cash prizes worth $5,000, $3,500, $2,500 (Chamber Choir Category), $4,000, $2,500, $1,500 (Vocal Ensemble Category), and $3,000, $2,000, $1,000 (Folk Music Category).
Opening and closing ceremonies and the gala concert of the Philippine Madrigal Singers were held to mark its 50 years of unwavering commitment to the highest standards of choral excellence, having won the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing twice, and for its recognition as the most awarded choir in Asia.
The festival was held in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Philippine Madrigal Singers and to honor Veneracion, the country’s beloved late National Artist for Music.
Veneracion is recognized for spearheading the choral movement in the Philippines and for raising the standards of the art of choral music all over the country.
The competition was adjudicated by internationally recognized adjudicators Gary Graden (Sweden), Michael Barrett (South Africa), Eric Banks (United States), Oscar Escalada (Argentina) and Mark Anthony Carpio, the choirmaster of the Philippine Madrigal Singers.
The Cultural Center of the Philippines has been in the forefront of the promotion and development of choral music all over the country.