The Ateneo de Davao University congratulates the AdDU Chorale for bagging the Silver diploma at the Sing ’N’ Pray Kobe 2020 chorale competition held last 16 to 20 January 2020, at the Kobe Bunka Hall in Kobe, Japan. The chorale competed against six other international choirs from all over the world, invited to join the playful celebration to sing and pray for peace on earth and its people., as well as to compete and sing together in a peaceful contest. Since 2012, the participants in the competition have gathered to sing and pray for the victims of the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Fukushima, on the east side of Japan, in March 2011.

 The chorale, led by their conductor Mr. Jay Ruel Longakit, participated in an evaluation performance, before moving on to the competition proper. In their evaluation, the group sang their contest pieces before a set of international choir panelists, who gave them constructive critiques after their numbers; these critiques were designed to help improve their singing techniques for their succeeding performances. The chorale performed three songs at the competition proper: The Prayer of St. Francis by Robert Delgado; De Profundis by John August Pamintuan; and Gapas by Eudenice Palaruan.

Members of the chorale shared reflections on their experiences at the competition. “It was an experience like no other, seeing different chorale groups from other countries,” Mr. Von Jumilla said. “[It] gave me lots of insights that the group and I should take into consideration to become better.” He added, “Truly, it was an honor to represent the Philippines and take part in a prestigious competition.”

Another Chorale member, Ms. Michelle Macaldo, said about her experience, “Personally, participating in the Sing ‘N’ Pray Kobe International Choir Festival in Japan was an exhilarating yet nerve-wracking experience.” She also praised the resilience of her teammates, adding that despite her own anxieties and hesitations, their “sound fell right into place as we performed our pieces on the stage, pulling at the heartstrings of our audience.” Ms. Macaldo expressed pride and gratitude after their victory, saying, “It was all worth the sacrifices we made, not just because we achieved a high silver ranking, but because we experienced and accomplished the journey together as a family driven by our shared passion for music.”

“Joining this competition was both an honor and a huge responsibility for me,” Ms. Reishi Villagonzalo said. “[I] immediately thought that this is a rare chance of me representing my country by doing the thing that I love, singing.” She also added, “I’m really thankful to be part of this competition because not only did I represent my country, honed my talent, explored Japan, but also I met these amazing people that I made unforgettable and fun memories with that will surely treasure for the rest of my life.”

Ms. Vanessa Valmoria talked about the challenges her team faced in the competition. “Bearing the name of the school is not an easy task, much more when you are [also] representing your country…[It] was never easy for us to reach what we have right now,” she said. “Just like normal groups we also had to face our own challenges. Conflicts that we have to fix and judgments that we have to deal with.” However, Ms. Valmoria noted that those trials and challenges only pushed their team towards their success. “Without these trials, we would have never got to create wonderful music that was reflected in our performance,” she said. “The secret to our success is not the amount of time that we allow ourselves to practice. It is…the bond that we have created, through friends that had turned to family, and the experiences that made us better people.”

More than 600 singers, representing national and international chorales, competed at the 2020 edition of Sing ‘N’ Pray Kobe. The Ateneo de Davao University once again congratulates the University chorale for their achievement, and wishes its members well in all of their future endeavors.

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