“Music is God’s gift to man, the only art of Heaven given to earth, the only art of earth we take to Heaven.” -Walter Savage Landor
Last night, I was treated to a barrage of musical awesomeness, not by some lame-ass band, but by a choir.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a choir. And not one of those show choirs that you see on TV, but the freaking CHOIR OF THE WORLD. I’m talking about the UST Singers who just recently staged a thanksgiving concert entitled “Unending Grace, Unending Praise” last night in the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The choir, under Prof. Fidel G. Calalang Jr., recently won 1st prize in the Mixed Choir and Youth Choir Category, 3rd Prize in the Chamber Choir Category, and the first in the history of Llangollen and only Filipino and Asian Choir to win the CHOIR OF THE WORLD Title twice. They also just finished their 18th International Concert Tour of South Korea and Europe where they garnered more than 15 top choir festival prizes.
Because of all their accolades, I expected them to be good. But when I heard them live and up close, my expectations were shattered because they were mind-blowingly great. I never heard people sing that well in my entire life. Their blending was superb; their harmony, perfect; and their control was next to none. Add to that, great choreography and some musical instrument playing, and one can see why they were named The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod Choir of the World 2010, where only the best performers are allowed to compete.
The selection of the pieces they performed were great although (most likely because of my lacking knowledge in classical music) I’m not familiar with some of them, you can clearly appreciate the amount of musicality involved in creating their performances. Other pieces were familiar, including some traditional Filipino songs, and 20th century pop which included several broadway songs and my personal favorite: Ogie Alcasid’s “Kailangan Kita” wherein this small guy belted out some big vocals.
If you thought that was great, the live version was even more amazing! I never had so many goosebumps from hearing someone singing.
If you can, try and catch one of their performances. They are an amazing example of how big and diverse the Filipino talent is, and they truly are one of the rare treasures that we, as a nation, can be proud of.