Makati residents enjoyed an extended performance of Christmas carols from six student choirs that competed in the city’s annual choral competition.
Providing an almost magical venue for the competition was the Enchanting Lights and Sounds Show at Ayala Triangle Gardens.
The choirs, representing various high schools in the city, vied for the grand prize of P20,000 in the third Makati Inter-High School Christmas Caroling Competition, better known as Young Voices.
Contestants donned colorful costumes and brought appropriate props as each group sang one Filipino Christmas song and an English carol for their 10-minute performance. Participating schools were Pitogo National High School, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino High School (BNAHS), San Isidro National High School, Don Bosco Technical Institute-Makati (DBTI) and first-timers Colegio San Agustin and St. Paul College of Makati (SPC).
The groups filled the contest venue with joy as they sang with their hearts and souls, and danced to the beat of their music. The crowd enthusiastically applauded and cheered every contestant before and after every song.
The groups carefully chose their costumes and dance moves, which were part of this year’s criteria for judging, with 20 percent given to overall artistic impression and stage impact, and 10 percent to choreography.
The other criteria were voice quality and blending, 40 percent, and arrangement of the song, 30 percent.
For the third year in a row, DBTI won the top prize of P20,000, its playful rendition of “Kampana ng Simbahan” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” winning the judges over. The performance brought the house down and drew boisterous cheers and laughter from the crowd.
The boys were obviously enjoying themselves as they shook their hips and waved their hands while sustaining their proper blending and harmonious melody.
Aside from the money, the winner also performed at the Second Avenue Christmas Concerto. They will also sing at Masses during the entire Christmas season at Ayala Triangle Gardens.
DBTI’s choir coach and music teacher Alvin Paulin said Boscorale, as the group is officially known, practiced for a month for the competition.
He said having fun during their performance was the secret to their success. “We just enjoy ourselves while singing… When the people see that the singers are having fun, they imbibe the same feeling.”
Hard work, perseverance and a lot of prayers were also part of their success, said DBTI graduating student Antonio J. Rodriguez, speaking for the choir members.
“Every time that we compete, we pray the rosary. We dedicate every performance to Mama Mary,” Paulin added.
Of course, after they won, Boscorale immediately prayed to give thanks. Members of the choral group, with family and friends, formed a circle backstage and thanked God after receiving their award.
With its third consecutive win, DBTI has been elevated to the Hall of Fame. Contest rules state that after three wins, a group can no longer compete in Young Voices. But it can be invited as a guest performer.
“I’m both sad and happy,” Rodriguez said. “Well, as the saying goes, ‘Give a chance to others.’ This is a competition not just for us.”
As for the prize money, Paulin said they were saving their winnings to be used for other competitions. “Hopefully, we can go abroad, as well,” he said.
Second placer SPC won P15,000 while third placer BNAHS received P10,000. The other participants got P5,000 each as consolation prize. All choirs from the six high schools also received certificates of participation.