Mandaue’s youth choir picked to perform during canonization

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Thursday, October 11, 2012


A YOUTH choir from Mandaue City has been asked to sing during the canonization of the country’s second Filipino saint, Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

The Mandaue Youth and Children’s Choir, a multi-awarded group, will leave for Rome, Italy on Tuesday to sing on three occasions: the eve of the canonization, during vespers or evening prayers on Oct. 21, and at the Thanksgiving Mass on the next day.

“It’s an offering of thanksgiving for the eight years of good harvest and eight years of world class artistry,” Dennis Sugarol, the choir’s musical director and conductor, told Sun.Star Cebu.

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He said he never thought he would be able to sing at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Sugarol said the choir has been preparing for the trip, which they consider as a “once in a lifetime chance.”

Awards

“If it is for God, you have to give your best. I told the children, ‘We cannot do this again’,” he added.

The group, formerly called the Mandaue School for the Arts Children’s Choir, received the Ani ng Dangal award last February from the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA). It also won two gold trophies at the Hong Kong International Children and Youth Chorale Competition.

In Rome, members of the choir plan to show off their talent when they sing three new songs dedicated to the Visayan saint.

Sugarol said they will sing Msgr. Rudy Villanueva’s new composition for the first Visayan saint titled, “Among Pangamuyo,” and other songs composed for the occasion:

“Mga Pangamuyo” and “Litaniae Sanctoron Pedro Calungsod” by John Pamintuan and Wa’y Sukod ang Pagmahal (There is no limit to love), written by Villanueva for Calungsod’s beatification in March 2000.

Funds

Sugarol and the parents of choir members had to raise funds for their transportation and accommodation expenses. They received donations from friends, businessmen, politicians, priests and nuns.

A priest helped find free lodging for the delegation, which will be in Rome from Oct. 21 to 26.

Sugarol said they had to raise more than P3.7 million for the trip, but they are still short by more than P500,000.

Greenline Travel Agency is assisting the group in searching for affordable plane tickets and accommodations.

The youth choir, which is a member of Center for Cebu Choral artists, continues to raise funds through selling an album of songs arranged by Sugarol.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 11, 2012.

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