by RONALYN BANAKEN
The UB Voices Chorale with the judges and singer-actress Nanette Inventor (standing, 2nd from right), who graced the closing event
In a remarkable display of musical genius, the University of Baguio (UB) snatched the championship title at the MBC National Choral Competition held at the Aliw Theater in Pasay City last Dec. 13.
The UB Voices Chorale landed on the top spot in the open category, beating the biggest names in choral singing. The all-male Koro Ilustrado – dubbed as the Philippines’ best male choir – came in second. Another force to reckon with, the Los Cantantes de Manila (former members of the University of the East Chorale, one of the country’s most accomplished university choirs), a world champion in Europe (considered the seat of choir music), settled third. Meanwhile, the Technological Institute of the Philippines Choral Society, a gold medalist in the choral contest Sing’n’Joy Manila in 2013, finished as fourth.
The UB Voices was also named the Best Show Choir during the event.
Dr. Bienvenido Constantino Jr., the group’s conductor and adviser, mentioned how fierce the competition was, noting, “We went through tough times and difficulties.”
A qualifying sing-off among over a hundred choirs was held last Sept. 28 in Cauayan, Isabela, wherein UB took the first place. At the semi-finals, which followed last Dec. 12, UB still ranked first among the top 28 that competed. Finally, during the grand finals, UB picked up the title.
The participants performed three pieces: the contest piece, a novelty piece, and an elective.
Singer and actress Nanette Inventor graced the awarding ceremonies.
In 2012, UB won second place in the same competition, organized by the media company Manila Broadcasting Company.
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Dr. Bienvenido Constantino Jr., conductor and adviser of the UB Voices, receives the trophy and check during the awarding ceremonies.
The UB Voices – in native Cordilleran attire – perform during the competition.
The group performed three pieces: the contest piece ("Pasko ng Madla"), a novelty, and an elective.
The UB Voices displayed brilliance as they performed during the competition.