MANILA — After a yearlong hiatus, the Tagum City Chamber Chorale made an epic comeback, proving themselves as the country’s best government choral group when they emerged as this year’s grand champion of the annual National Government Choral Competition sanctioned by the Civil Service Commission.
The group bested seven other government choral groups from Luzon, National Capital Region, Visayas and Mindanao, granting them their fourth championship title.
It can be recalled that the group had already won a grand slam victory by being hailed as champion in the said competition three years in a row since 2015 to 2017. In January 2018, the group also won its first international choir tilt in Kobe, Japan.
Now returning to the national stage, the 30-man choral group composed of casual and regular employees from the City Government of Tagum had to undergo even more serious training and extensive preparation to defend its undefeated state in the prestigious competition.
On Tuesday, Vice Mayor Hon. Eva Lorraine Estabillo led the group in claiming the championship trophy and the 200,000-peso cash prize.
Other than the championship title, Mario T. Sabello, through his focused and relaxed way of conducting the choir onstage was once again declared as this year’s Best Choral Conductor.
Opening the group’s performance of their three-song repertoire was the well-interpreted energetic “Gapas” by Eudenice Palaruan followed by the folk-ethnic “Three Kalinga Chants” by Nilo Alcala which gave the audience goosebumps when the hauntingly-beautiful solo chant opened the song.
The group was also honored to have given justice their gleeful and patriotic rendition of the contest piece “Ako’y Isang Lingkod Bayan” arranged by the brilliant John August Pamintuan who ultimately won as this year’s Best Arranger of the Contest Piece.
Bangko Sentral Singers from NCR was declared as first runner-up, while the Dasmariñas City Teachers Chorale from Luzon and Bayugan City Educators Chorale from Mindanao bagged the 2nd and 3rd runners-up awards, respectively.
This year’s panel of adjudicators include two National Artists for Music namely Mr. Ryan Cayabyab and Dr. Ramon Santos, alongside three other notable world-renowned choral arrangers and clinicians.
The National Government Choral Competition is one of the official activities lined up in the nationwide month-long celebration of the 119th anniversary of the Philippine Civil Service. Drex Rafols/CIO Tagum
The Tagum City Chamber Chorale has proven themselves as the country’s best government choral group, winning as grand champion of the annual Civil Service Commission National Government Choral Competition. Carlo Abellana/CIO Tagum