UP Concert Chorus is big winner at international choir festival in Poland

The University of the Philippines Concert Chorus (UPCC), led by its artistic director/conductor Prof. Janet Sabas-Aracama, copped the plum award—the Grand Prix —in the recently concluded 6th International Krakow Choir Festival Cracovia Cantans held from 11-14 June 2015 in Poland. UPCC received a statuette of Golden Polyhymnia (Muse of Choral Art) and a cash prize.

The jury was composed by no less than the most respected authorities in choral music, with Prof. Romuald Twardowski (Poland) as head and  Ko Matsushita (Japan), Irina Roganova (Russia), Javier Busto (Spain/Sweden) and Rihard Dubra (Latvia) members.

The Krakow Choir Festival awards the Grand Prix to the group that receives the highest overall score.

UPCC was the only Asian choir that participated in the festival which had 34 entrants from 10 countries.

On its way to the Grand Prix, the UPCC was accorded the first place in Category A (Mixed Choirs Adults) besting nine other choirs from Norway, Hungary, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Estonia. The UPCC sang “Esto Les Digo” (Kinley Lange), “Abendlied” (Josef Rheinberger), “Ummah, Sallih” (John August M. Pamintuan) and “Elijah Rock” (Moses G. Hogan).

The UP Concert Chorus, UP’s official choir, performs at the International Krakow Choir Festival where it bags the top prize. Photo by the UPCC

With the limitation that choirs may enter only two of seven categories in the festival, the UPCC also competed in category F (Folk, Popular and Gospel Music) where the group won second place over other choirs from Norway, Poland, Estonia and Sweden. With its signature choreographed choral performance, the UPCC rendered “Kruhay” (Beny Fruto Castillon), “Bagong Umaga” (Bayang Barrios – Mike Villegas, Joel Cruz arr.), “Hataw Na!” (Gary Valenciano, Teresa Barrozo arr.) and “Let It Be” (John Lennon – Paul McCartney, Ryan Cayabyab arr.).

The UPCC joined the festival-competition as part of the European leg of its current 22nd International Goodwill Concert Tour.  Dubbed S’Aliw Himig, Isang Paglakbay: Internasyunal Konsert Tur, the three-month-long tour features participation in choral competitions, festivals and performances in Europe and the USA.

The UPCC has already garnered many awards including the Aliw Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Videos of the UPCC’s performance may be viewed from the following links:

Category F, Bagong Umaga (Bayang Barrios – Mike Villegas, Joel Cruz arr.)
Category A, Esto Les Digo (Kinley Lange)

(Article contributed by Fortune Balasbas)