Albay’s high school choir wins in Bali contest
LIGAO CITY—Days after coming home from a choral singing contest in Bali, Indonesia, students from the Ligao National High School (LNHS) Voice Chorale were still on cloud nine for giving pride not only to their school but to the country.
Composed of students aged 14 to 18 years, the 21-member chorale is only two years old and was a first-time competitor in international choir tilts. It was declared the grand winner of the 4th Bali International Choir Festival held at Sanur Paradise Hotel in Denpasar, Bali, from July 29 to Aug. 2.
The Filipino group first performed against 14 choirs from other Asian countries, mostly from Malaysia and Indonesia, in the folklore category, earning 34 points from the judges. It also competed against 22 other choirs in the “teenager” category, garnering 33.60 points.
The LNHS chorale, the only representative of the Philippines in the festival, moved on to the championship rounds, getting 87.5 points in the teenager choir category and 90 points in the folklore category. It rendered two Filipino folk songs: “Ilay Gandangan” (Worship of the Sun), a Maguindanao song by Rodolfo Delarmente; and “Ayug Ti Amianan” (Scenes From the North), a song from Cordillera by Fidel Calalang Jr.
Carmelita A. Sinson, choir manager and principal of LNHS, said the chorale bested nine champions from different categories and was later proclaimed grand prix winner. The group received four trophies, four medals and five certificates.
“They were indeed really amazing on stage that’s why we became champion,” Sinson said.
The chorale members belonged to the school’s special program in the arts, with music as a specialization, Sinson said. For months, they practiced hard, she said, and described the Bali contest as “very tough” as other contenders were “really [very good] performers.”
Celger Villacampa Venzon, the group’s conductor, said the members were required to refrain from eating sweets and salty foods, drinking ice cold water and beverages, and staying up late. Time management coupled with dedication and prayers contributed a lot to the success of the team, he said.
“Our team did their best on stage by singing wholeheartedly and that’s our edge [over] our rival chorale groups … . Thanks to God,” Venzon said.
Last year, the LNHS Voice Chorale won first prize in the National Music Competition for Young Artists’ mixed voices category, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The victory earned the group an invitation to the Bali choir festival.
Ramon Fiel Abcede, regional director of the Department of Education, said the achievement of the LNHS chorale would serve as an inspiration to Filipinos, especially the youth. “We are very happy that they brought home the bacon and, for that, we will give them commendation to compensate for their hard work and success,” he said.
The city government of Ligao, headed by Mayor Patricia Gonzalez-Alsua, said she and the city council also planned to give incentives to the chorale.