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UP Singing Ambassadors bag top prize at international choir competition in Spain

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Raising the Philippine flag yet again in the field of music and artistry, the University of the Philippines (UP) Singing Ambassadors were proclaimed as the overall grand champion at the 64th International Habaneras and Polyphony Competition held in Torrevieja, Spain.

The UP Singing Ambassadors won the top slot among the 12 short-listed choirs from 11 participating countries, out of around a hundred applications received by the Torrevieja Municipal Patronage of Habaneras and Polyphony Technical Commission.


The UP Singing Ambassadors saluting the audience after one of its performances. (Madrid PE photo)

The UP Singing Ambassadors garnered first prize under the Habanera category (Primer Premio Ricardo Lafuente) with €12,000 and a trophy, and were also awarded first prize under the Polyphony category (Primer Premio Juan Aparicio) with €10,000 and a trophy. In addition, the singing group won the Public´s Choice Award with the prize €2,000.

The group performed and sang “La Cubana del Manglar,” “Tú” and “Noche” composed by various musicians, and Pamugun arranged by renowned Filipino composer Francisco F. Feliciano.

Apart from the UP Singing Ambassadors, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) also joined the international music festival as guest choir for this year’s edition.

The UP Singing Ambassadors, led by Conductor Edgard Lumbera Manguiat, was founded in 1980. The choir previously performed at the UNESCO and during the Olympic Games in the Sydney Opera House. The group has already won many awards, including the Guido D´Arezzo International Polyphonic Competition in Italy and the International Music Award in Paris.

The International Habaneras and Polyphony Competition of Torrevieja has become a point of reference in the world of choir music, serving as host of annual international choir performances since 1955. It was declared an international tourism of interest by the Spanish Ministry of Commerce and Tourism in 1994.

In top photo: Jubilant choir members raising the Philippine flag after the UP Singing Ambassadors was announced grand champion of the event. (Madrid PE photo)

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