The Philippines' Malabon Concert Singers won the Championship at the 2nd Ken Steven International Choral Festival held in North Sumatra, Indonesia on September 23–25.
The Malabon City-based choir group won in the Open Choir Category against nine other choir groups from Asia at the festival. They performed their best classic pieces and gospel music.
The singers were the first to perform in the competition and also opened the gala presentations.
During the qualifying round on the second day, the Malabon Concert Singers performed O Lux Beata Trinitas by arranger Ko Matsushita and Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel by Moses Hogan.
During its grand final bid on the last day, the Filipino group competed with Ayug-ti-Amianan (Scenes from the North), a Filipino folk song from Northern Luzon arranged by Prof. Fidel Calalang Jr.
Their conductor, Anthony Go Villanueva, was also awarded as the best conductor in this, the 2nd Ken Steven International Choral Competition.
Villanueva formed the Malabon City-based concert singers’ group only 19 months ago. They won the championship in Indonesia on their first Southeast Asian tour.
In an interview with Philstar.com, Villanueva said, "When we decided to join this 2nd Ken Steven International Choral Competition, I had no other words to say but ‘bring it on.' Bring it on because, for such a young group, it will be very good exposure and learning experience for all the members; bring it on because it will bring the group to the international stage and eventually start to leave an indelible imprint on the choral scene."
He added that the best is yet to come, as they have titled this tour, ‘We Arise.’
The Malabon Concert Singers won the 5th Bian National Choral Competition and the Soul Sounds Academy's Virtual Christmas Choral Competition in Sri Lanka.
The group’s creative director, Briliant Juan, said, "I am really proud of the choir's achievements. The group made many adjustments and sacrifices to achieve this win."
The Ken Steven International Choral Festival is named after global composer Ken Steven from Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, and is famous for his fusion of Indonesian music with modern techniques and harmonies.
He received an undergraduate degree from the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music, Philippines, and completed his Master of Music degree from California Baptist University, USA.
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Caloocan, Philippines, congratulated the Malabon Concert Singers.
In a Facebook post, he said, "Congratulations, Malabon choir."
The Catholic Caloocan diocese comprises three cities: north of Caloocan, Malabon, and Navotas. - With inputs from Philstar.com, Malaya.com, and goodnewspilipinas.com
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