High hopes for choral singing in the Philippines
The 2021 Sing Philippines Youth Choir (SPYC) is a joint project of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) through its cultural exchange department, the Andrea O. Veneracion Sing Foundation; the Filipino Madrigal Singers; MADz Music Studio and PhilMadz Singers Music Incorporated.
The virtual music camp and performance continues through July 30, with a climactic performance on July 31 at 5:30 p.m., which will be streamed live on the CCP’s Facebook page.
Soprano Romina Jose contributed photos
I interviewed four representatives of the current SPYC group, namely soprano Romina Jose of Sounds of Santiago Church Choir in Alabang, Muntinlupa; viola Claudine Kristia Pascual from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Lisieux Music Ministry and VC6 Philippines; tenor Ronald Baa of OCLP scholar, former student of the Glee Club at Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro; and bass Kent Montes from JRG Visayas Chorale, Cebu City.
Viola Claudine Kristia Pascual
What made you decide to join this project? What are your expectations?
Romina Jose: I was amazed by the magnificent goal of Mrs. Andrea Veneracion from the Philippines to be united through music. Something so healthy made me want to do the same and be part of such a group. I expect to interact with other Filipinos from different cities and provinces. It’s a great opportunity for me to grow as a singer and grow among those with similar goals in music. Not only do I expect to learn from Sir Mark, the MADz and my fellow SPYC members, but I will also be able to deepen my passion and love for music, express my love for our nation and inspire others to do the same. .
Claudine Pascual: I see this rest period as a time of individual enrichment, an opportunity to individually enrich our skills and knowledge, so that the time that we are allowed to resume our activities face to face, I can share this which I learned and experienced by joining virtual choirs and in the SPYC music camp. I look forward to learning more about proper techniques, reading sheet music, and improving my tone and tone. These are the things I really want to teach later in my own choir since most of our members have little or no knowledge of choral singing.
Tenor Ronald Baa
Ronald Baa: I have never had formal education in music, that’s why I always wanted to study and grow in this field, and with the help of this project, I will be able to realize my dream.
Kent Montes: I decided to join this project first for the love of singing and the repertoire of choral music. I also want to serve people and give happiness. Finally, these are the social aspects of being part of a group with similar interests.
What are the qualities that will make a choir stand out from the crowd?
Romina: I believe that a choir that stands out from the rest has the quality of a holistic Filipino performance, with an emphasis on “holistic performance” and “Filipino”. A choir that has a holistic performance tries to involve as many people as possible and has the motto “Leave no one behind”. They show that making music can be done even if they all come from different socio-cultural backgrounds. They are able to cultivate an environment that is by Filipinos and for Filipinos.
Bass Kent Montes
Claudine: Besides having a good set of skills in diction, pitch, tone, rhythm and breathing, a choir stands out if it is able to carry the message of the song or touch the heart. listeners and make them realize that music accompanies them in everything they experience.
Ronald: The commitment of each member to join this project, as the mix of singers across the country performing virtually together is really a challenge. The members of this project seem to have a positive attitude towards the virtual choir, focusing on its advantages rather than its shortcomings.
Kent: Enthusiasm not only for choral music but in all its aspects – keeping the fun in rehearsals and performances and understanding their goals. Finally, they must have a lot of patience for all of our differences.
How can you be a better member of your community during this pandemic using your specific art form?
Romina: Because SPYC allows me to aim for passion and love for music even in difficult times, I wish I could reach people in the same way. I must inspire; be salt and light for my community, especially for young people who may have gone astray during the pandemic. In doing so, I am able to create an open and free environment in the name of music.
Claudine: I see myself serving in the artistic community by joining virtual choirs and singing continuously in Sunday masses. This is my contribution to the growing breath and depth of the arts on different platforms. In my immediate community of Cordon, Isabela, it is also my way of promoting the beauty of choral music as a form of reflection and an instrument of healing in this difficult time. I want to inspire young people, those who love music and singing, to continue their profession. The pandemic has only restricted social interactions, but it cannot stop music from transforming and transcending the distance and barriers between artists and audiences.
Ronald: In the face of the uncertainty and panic caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, music can be a powerful stimulus. I am grateful to Heavenly Father for giving me this talent for music, because sharing it with my community in one way or another could comfort the hearts and ease the pains of all victims.
Kent: As a member of the Teresian Youth Music charity here in Cebu, when the crisis hits, we offer hope in the form of service, donations and music.
For more information on SPYC and other PCC online events, see www.culturalcenter.gov.ph