This 2014, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) turns itself into a Center for Choral Performance. It now offers an exciting variety of choral music concerts and workshops for choirs and choral conductors as well as an international choral festival, under its choral music program.
In a press conference held at the CCP’s Main Theater, members of the media met with members of the Philippine Madrigal Singers (affectionately called the Madz), the first choir in the world to win the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing twice (in 1997 and in 2007). Founded in 1963 by the late Prof. Andrea O. Veneracion, 1999 National Artist for Music, the Madz is mostly composed of students, faculty and alumni from the University of the Philippines.
Since its founding, it has given performances for royalty and heads of state, won numerous choral competitions and more than 200 choral and vocal pedagogues have joined the choir, many of whom are sought-after as singers, music educators, and organizers and conductors of choirs. Though they perform a variety of styles and forms, they specialize in the madrigal, a popular polyphonic and challenging, Renaissance period musical style where—during a banquet—singers and guests would gather around the table to sight-sing and make music.
Their influence on the Philippine and Asian choral scene has been far-reaching. Since 1981, singers of the Madz have worked with choirs from all walks of life with the organization of the Madz Et Al, a network of almost 60 choirs, to date, from all over the country, who gather regularly for festivals and workshops, thus contributing to the now very active choral life in the Philippines. Mr. Mark Anthony Carpio, the second and current Madz musical director and conductor, outlined for us the choral music events that are lined up for this 2014 and 2015.
From April 1 to 6, a festival of choir performances, in celebration of the 30th year of the Madz, will be held. Called the Madz et al. Choral Festival, it will feature more than 50 choirs, seven choirs every concert night of the festival, under the helm of Madz’ alumni conductors. A two-day concert of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, on June 28 and 29, will close its 50th anniversary year celebration. It will also feature the Sing Philippines Choir, composed of selected choral singers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
From October 21 to 25, the annual CCP Hands-on Choral Workshop (which started in 2000) will be held. This highly regarded, intensive training program on choral singing, conducting and performance has produced winners in local and international choral competitions. It will gather choirs and conductors from different parts of the country, and will culminate, on the last day, with a choral performance at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo.
From July 21 to 25, 2015, the 2nd Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival will open its doors to choirs, from different parts of the world, who will compete in three choir categories: Folk, Vocal Ensemble and Chamber Choir.
During the presscon, members of the media were also treated to two of Madz’ signature songs: "Mas Vale Trojar" (Spanish for “better to suffer pain than to live without love”) and "One Voice" (initiated by choir member Bianca Lopez). Selected members from Coro de San Sebastian and PVAO Chorale, both under choirmaster Maria Victoria H. Llamas; Kilyawan Male Choir (also under choirmaster Mark Anthony Carpio); Philippine Vocal Ensemble (under musical director Jose Emmanuel “Joel” D. Aquino), University of Makati Chorale (under Mr. Robert Delgado), and DLSU Dasmarinas Chorale and Minstrels of La Salle, both under Mr. Vell Luis Litan, also performed together.
For details, contact the CCP Artist Training Division at 832-1125 loc. 1604.