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27 November 2007

u.p. singing ambassadors stage two concerts

The University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (UPSA) will be staging two concerts this week.

The first concert will be staged on 28 November, Wednesday, 7:30pm, at the Philamlife Auditorium (United Nationas Avenue, Manila). Ticket prices range from P250 to P500. P250 tickets will be discounted at P200 for students with school identification cards.

The second concert will be staged on 30 November, Friday, 6:00pm at the Church of the Risen Lord, UP Diliman (P300 tickets w/ a 50% discount for students w/ ID). For details and inquiries, please call the following numbers: 9249378 and 09157135274. Tickets will also be available at the concert sites, the UPSA booths (UP College of Arts and Letters Bulwagang Rizal/Faculty Center and classroom buildings) and Sarabia Optical (UP Shopping Center).

UPSA is a performing group affiliated with the U.P. College of Arts and Letters.

The University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (UPSA) ALIW Awardee for Best Choir of 2002, is the University’s Official Performing Group for Choreographed Choral Music. It performs all types of choral music and includes Philippine folk and ethnic dances in its international repertoire. These they have presented in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the USA. It has reaped honors for the country by winning plum prizes in some of the world’s most prestigious choral competitions and festivals.

In August 2002, UPSA represented Arezzo (ITALY) and the PHILIPPINES in the 14th EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX FOR CHORAL SINGING (EGP). By winning the Gran Premio Citta’ di Arezzo, the dream prize for choirs and conductors worth their salt. UPSA is one of only four (4) Filipino choirs to have qualified in the EGP - vied for by Grand Prize Winners of the world’s top six (6) competitions the preceding year.

During the XLIX Concorso Polifonico Internazionale “Guido d’ Arezzo” in ITALY, considered the “Olympics” in choral singing, UPSA also garnered the First Prizes in the Polyphony (Mixed Choir) & Folkloric Categories.

In its 23 years of existence, the UPSA has graced many milestone events in the Philippine choral scene, appeared on television and radio, sang in weddings and concerts, visited orphanages, prisons, hospitals, and homes for the aged, and brought beautiful music to those who rarely had time for it. It has been featured in local and international magazines, commended by government officials and music experts, and brought home symbols of triumph and honor from international competitions. The UPSA, nevertheless, braces itself to yet more years of exciting and challenging work in the country and abroad.

The competitions they have joined in Europe were extremely tough, as they have always been, so the winnings did not come effortlessly. They won the Gran Premio Citta d’Arezzo, the dream prize of every choir and conductor, and their ticket as finalist to the 14th EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX FOR CHORAL SINGING, considered the most prestigious choral competition in the world. Under the masterful leadership of the conductor, Mr. Ed Manguiat, the UP Singing Ambassadors had to go through years of rigorous training in voice, expression, social awareness, character-building and mental aptitude. They dutifully rehearsed and trained, learning the hard way that the best performances require a total positive well-being within a person as well as within the group. Ed Manguiat painstakingly instilled a concept of character for each singer not to be admired because of his vocal calisthenics but rather, to be fondly remembered for touching a chord in one’s heartstrings.

The UP Singing Ambassadors is composed of ordinary UP students. Some are plucked out of inconspicuous dormitory rooms by friends who wished to audition for the Group just for fun or out of curiosity. For this group of non-Music majors many of whom didn’t read notes, their remarkable achievements amid formidable contenders only prove that unity, hard work, and the right attitude must go together with natural talent in order for them to attain a seemingly impossible goal.


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