A duo between chorale groups of the Philippines and USA institutions was lauded with the Silver Award in the A Capella Category at the recently concluded Second Edition of the online international choir competition entitled INTERKULTUR Video Award 2020.
This recognition was clinched by the collaborative performance of the Manila-based Coro San Benildo, the internationally acclaimed resident chorale of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde and the award-winning chorale ensemble Azusa Pacific University Chamber Singers of the Azusa Pacific University in California.
The Gold Award for the A Capella Category for choirs was granted to Capriccioso from Germany and Gemas Cariocas from Brazil in their heartfelt performance of Ju Parana.
Hosted by INTERKULTUR, an organization that gathers peoples of all countries, cultures, and world views in peaceful competitions, with the statement that “singing together brings nations together,” and was initially held in June 2020 at the height of the pandemic. They once again challenged the choirs from all over the globe in an online battle, this time, in partnership with a fellow chorale.
Coro San Benildo and Azusa Pacific University Chamber first got together in France during the 2017 Florilège Vocal de Tours, where they found friendship amid their shared love for music. “This year, INTERKULTUR paved the opportunity for us to once again perform not as competitors but as dear friends,” Coro San Benildo Company Manager Tao Avellanada shared.
The winning four-minute entry virtually gathered 31 vocalists from Coro San Benildo and 29 members from Azusa Pacific University Chamber Singers in an outstanding rendition of Spanish organist Josu Elberdin’s “Izar Ederrak” (The Beautiful Star).
“This is the first time that both choirs studied the piece and recorded it from scratch. Since the song is written in a language not common to the two, this performance is truly a product of our commitment to creating music even with the limitations brought about by the pandemic,” Avellanada shared.
Coro San Benildo, under conductor Lorenzo Gealogo, has participated in choral competitions locally and internationally, where they garnered international distinctions including Folklore Category at the 1st Hoi An International Choral Competition in Vietnam.
The group likewise bagged a number of top prizes in the 54th Seghizzi International Choral Competition in Gorizia, Italy, and Champion titles in the Youth Choir Competition in the 70th Llangollen Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, United Kingdom.
The Azusa Pacific University Chamber Singers, directed by Assistant Professor Conductor Michelle Jensen, M.M., performs works in a variety of musical styles and periods that range from early Renaissance to contemporary a cappella. They likewise hold multiple recognitions, including clinching six awards at the LLangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales.
Meanwhile, for the Choirs with Accompaniment Category, Coloridos from Brazil and Git on Boa’d from Germany earned the First Prize while the Second Prize was given to Chordinates Singers and Equaver, both from Singapore.
Watch the top entries and the announcement of winners through the official YouTube channel of INTERKULTUR at interkultur.tv
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