Adventist singers top int’l music tilt
SILANG TOWN, Cavite – THERE is big reason, indeed, for students, faculty members and administrators of Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) in Silang town in Cavite to be proud and excited.
Its 29-member chorale, composed mostly of nursing students and fresh graduates, was declared champion of the Llangollen Eisteddfod International Music Competition held in Wales on July 4-10 and received the “Choir of the World: Pavarotti Trophy” title named after the late Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
“No one here (right now) really knows how much the prize is, or if there is any at all. We are not after the popularity,” said Lowie de Ocampo, 49, a parent of one of the members of the AUP Ambassadors.
The chorale was expected to return on July 19 from Europe.
Wounds of war
The Llangollen Eisteddfod International Music Competition was founded in 1946 with the idea of healing the wounds of World War II through music.
The only Philippine team among 30 participants this year, the AUP Ambassadors performed the Polish requiem “Agnus Dei” by Krzysztof Penderecki and “Itako,” an original composition of the choir’s conductor and AUP professor, Ramon Lijauco, for the mixed choir category.
For the chamber choir category, the group sang the Spanish “Amor de mi Alma” by Z. Randall Stroope and Filipino folk song “Bagbagto” by Nilo Alcala. It topped both categories, making it overall champion.
The AUP Ambassadors regularly sings at the school’s Christian services in Cavite and is often invited to perform in the Adventist Church communities in the United States.
In 2006, the group won the Choral Olympics held in Xiamen, China.
Speaking for her daughter Janelle Lou, 21, De Ocampo said the choir usually rendered Bible songs. “Singing is (their) ministry. It’s a service to the Lord,” such as when the choir would sing at hospitals to “give comfort to the sick,” she said.
“Watching their performance (through the videos of the competition uploaded on the Internet), you could see their faces very calm and confident,” said Lilibeth Casel, director of the University Advancement Office.
In celebration of the AUP’s founding anniversary in August 1, Casel said the AUP Ambassadors would perform for a homecoming concert in Manila in July 31. “These are God-given talents (they) maximize to give glory to the Lord,” she said.
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