02 September 2009

UST Singers Win Major Awards

UST Singers
The University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Singers capped their 17th international concert tour by winning major awards in the recent 2nd Californian International Choral Competition last 25-29 June at San Obispo, California.

Besting choirs from United States, Macedonia, Africa and Saudi Arabia, UST’s chorale ensemble bagged two first prize awards for Required Pieces and Folklore categories, respectively, and the People’s Choice Awards, with the audience choosing it as the best choir in the four-day event held at the 1,200 capacity San Luis Performing Arts Center.

The UST Singers performed "Alles was odem hat lobe denn Herrn" from the motette Singet dem Herrn by JS Bach, and "Ave Maria" by Los Angeles-based composer Morten Lauridsen and "Numerations" by Lithuanian composer Jonas Tamoluionis in the Required Pieces category.

In the Folklore category, the Thomasian ensemble sand conducted Fidel Calalang Jr.’s composition "Ayug ti Amianan" (Scenes from the North) in three parts, the last being a series of variations on the Igorot song "Chua-Ay". Also in the repertoire were two choral arrangements of Calalang’s "Waray-waray" and "Tirindingding".

The UST Singers began their 17th international concert tour from 7 May to 12 July covering key cities in the United States like New York, Las Vegas, Portland, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Vancouver, Washington, Honolulu and Seattle.

Founded by Calalang, head of the Conducting Department and a music instructor at the UST Conservatory of Music, in 1993, the 26-person UST Singers are composed of students and alumni from different colleges and faculties in UST and have garnered over 45 top awards in various international choral competitions.

In 1995, it became the only Asian choir to win the Choir of the World Grand Prize held in Wales, UK. It also topped the International Choral Competitions in Gorizi, Italy and Monster, Netherlands in 1998 and 2002, respectively.