The UST Singers capped their 17th international concert tour by winning major awards in the recent 2nd Californian International Choral Competition last June 25-29 at San Obispo, California.
Besting choirs from the United States, Macedonia, Africa, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, UST’s premier choral ensemble bagged two first-prize awards for the Required Pieces and Folklore categories, respectively and the People’s Choice awards, which the audience chose 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 Basedd composer Morten Lauridsen and Numerations"" by Lithuanian composer Jonas Tamoluionis in the Required Pieces category.
In the Folklore category, the Thomasian ensemble sang its conductor 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 are two choral arrangements of Calalang’s "Waray-waray" and "Tirindingding".
The UST Singers began their 17th international concert tour from May 7 to July 12, 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 (the head of the Conducting Department and a music instructor at the UST Conservatory of Music) in 1993, the 26-man 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.
The UST Singers had also been invited to sing in different choral festivals in France, Spain, Taiwan, Scotland, Germany and Mexico. They have graced the presence of several dignitaries like Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain, the Princess of Thailand, Presidents Diosdado Macapagal, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the late tenor Lucianno Pavarotti.