Church choir Kammerchor Manila wins world virtual competition

Church choir Kammerchor Manila wins world virtual competition


By Patricia Escaño

June 8, 2021

Manila, Philippines

Church choral group Kammerchor Manila won the top Grand Prix prize in the recently concluded Queen of the Adriatic Sea International Choral Festival and Competition in Italy.

The competition was streamed online from June 4-6, with participating choirs from Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Japan, Poland, UK, USA, and Russia.

The festival is part of the Rimini International Choral Competition, which takes place in September of every year.

The Philippine choir’s winning piece was Dan Forrest’s “Entreat Me Not To Leave You”.

Kammerchor Manila’s Anthony Villanueva also bagged the Best Conductor award.

“I have been with Kammerchor Manila for the past 10 years and it is really a fulfilling journey for me personally and as the musical director of the group,” Villanueva said.

“It rekindled my love for choral music despite the situation we are in. It felt good seeing the support of the Filipino choral community during the live streaming event on Youtube. You’ll see fellow choristers cheering for the group’s success like one big family,” he said.

The choral group of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish in West Triangle, Quezon City also won the Sacred Music Category and received a gold medal for two other categories: pop, folk and Gospel, and mixed choirs.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the choir has been working hard with online rehearsals despite some challenges like internet connectivity hitches.

Since the competition was held virtually, most of the categories required all of the choirs’ pre-recorded performances.

“It’s really the heart that we put into our music. Love, being the universal language, allows us to communicate with our audience regardless of the language of the song we are singing,” said Villanueva.

According to the group, they picked the best performance videos that they have from the past 3 years.

“It really felt good that even during this pandemic, the hard work our group exerted has paid off. But this time, in the virtual stage,” said Arvin John Garcia, one of the choir members.

“It gave me hope that after this pandemic, Filipino performers and talents will soon conquer international stages once more,” he added.

Prior to the competition, the choir also won the Grand Prix at the first Leonardo DaVinci International Choral Festival in Florence, Italy, and first place in Habaneras at the 63rd Certamen Internacional de Habaneras y Polifonia in Torrevieja, Spain in 2017.


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