The 3rd Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival held its closing and awarding ceremonies with the announcement of the winners of the Chamber Choir, Vocal Ensemble and Folk Song categories at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. 

Nine participating choirs – the Brawijaya University Student Choir (Indonesia), the Choir of the University of Silesia “Harmonia” (Poland), Koro Ilustrado, Medan Community Male Choir (Indonesia), Philippine Vocal Ensemble, Technological Institute of the Philippines Choral Society, University of Baguio Voices Chorale, University of the Philippines Los Baños Choral Ensemble, and UST The Accountancy Chamber Singers – battled it out to be named the best choral groups.

As announced by Mark Anthony Carpio, chairman of the jury, the winners of the Chamber Choir Category are: University of the Philippines Los Baños Choral Ensemble, under its conductor Roijin Galauran Suarez (1st Prize); Brawijaya University Student Choir (Indonesia), with its conductor Annas Dwi Satriyo, (2nd Prize); and the Technological Institute of the Philippines Choral Society, with conductor Cyro Bon Cloui Moral (3rd Prize).

The winners for the Vocal Ensemble Category, meanwhile, include: Koro Ilustrado, under conductor Anna Tabita Abeleda-Piquero (1st Prize); Medan Male Community Choir (Indonesia), with its conductor Ken Steven (2nd Prize); and Philippine Vocal Ensemble, with conductors Deniel Gaces, James Conde and Cyro Bon Cloui Moral (3rd Prize).

The Brawijaya University Student Choir (Indonesia), with its conductor Yudha Adhitama (1st place), the Technological Institute of the Philippines Choral Society, with conductor Cyro Bon Cloui Moral (2nd Prize) and Choir of the University of Silesia “Harmonia” (Poland), with conductor Izabella Zielecka-Panek (3rd Prize) brought home the top prizes in the Folk Song Category.

The board of jury, representing different continents, was composed of Dr. Kent Hatteberg from the United States, Maria Guinand from Venezuela, Beng Ollen from Sweden, Dr. Ronald Smart from Australia, and Mark Anthony Carpio from the Philippines.

During the closing and awarding ceremonies, CCP vice-president and artistic director Chris Millado announced that the Cultural Center of the Philippines will host the first Asia Grand Prix for Choral Singing in 2019. At the Asia Grand Prix for Choral Singing, winners of the Singapore International Choral Festival, the Bali International Choral Festival and the Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival will compete for the grand prize.

As part of the festival, Philippine Madrigal Singers performed in a gala concert on July 23, before the awarding rites. This was the last performance of the Madrigal Singers before they embark on their international tour, which will be highlighted by the group’s competition for their third European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in Tolosa, Spain in November.

Singing special numbers during the gala were the 48 singers from Sing Philippines Youth Choir (SPYC) conducted by Mark Anthony Carpio, the choirmaster of the Philippine Madrigal Singers. SPYC was organized by the Philippine Madrigal Singers in 2014 and is composed of singers selected from different regions around the country.

The Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival was first held in August 2013, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Phililppine Madrigal Singers. This biennial choral festival honors the legacy of the late National Artist for Music Andrea O. Veneracion who was recognized for spearheading the choral movement in the Philippines. The festival was held in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, with the support of the Tourism Promotions Board of the Department of Tourism. 

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