The UP Singing Ambassadors were hailed as the over-all grand champion in the recently held 64th International Habaneras and Polyphony Competition in Torrevieja, Spain, raising the Philippine flag yet again in the field of music and artistry.
The group earned the top slot among 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 garnered first prize under the Habanera category (Primer Premio Ricardo Lafuente) with 12,000 euros and trophy, and were also awarded first prize under the Polyphony category (Primer Premio Juan Aparicio) with 10,000 euros and trophy. The UP Singing Ambassadors also won the Public’s Choice Award with 2,000 euros in addition.
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.
The UP Singing Ambassadors, led by Director Edgard Lumbera Manguiat, were founded in 1980. The choir performed in UNESCO and during the Olympic games in the Sydney Opera. It 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, Spain 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 interest by the Spanish Ministry of Commerce and Tourism in 1994. Furthermore, the organizers welcomed the participation of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Singers, who graced the event as the Guest Choir for this year’s edition.