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UPSA bags top prize in 66th Concorso Polifonico Internazionale Guido D'Arezzo.

By Roy Mabasa

The University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (UPSA) has just earned the right to participate in the most prestigious 2019 European Choral Grand Prix competition after bagging the top prize at the 66th Concorso Polifonico Internazionale Guido D'Arezzo in Toscana, Italy, on Sunday.

Aside from capturing the grand prize in the Italian choral circuit, the UPSA also won four other first prizes in four major categories - Compulsory, Sacred Music, Secular Music and Monographic.

The win in Italy automatically gave the UP choir the right to represent D'Arezzo at the 2019 European Grand Prix for Choral Singing, an annual competition between the winners of six European choral contests.

"We still have a month left in Europe but we are so excited to bring back home the laureates we achieved for the Filipino people," the UPSA posted on its social media account shortly after winning in Italy.

In the span of more than a month, UPSA has already won a total of three major prizes, two of which were from choir competitions in Germany and Spain. The UP choral group is currently on a three-month tour of the European continent.

Led by famed conductor Edgard Lumbera Manguiat, UPSA was named the overall champion in the 64th International Habaneras and Polyphony Competition in Torrevieja, Spain on July 29.

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, organizer of the choral contest.

On July 8, UPSA captured both the grand prize (overall winner) and the first prize in the Sacred Music and Mixed Choirs categories at the Sing! Berlin International Choir Competition in the German capital.

"We dedicate this victory to all the people who supported us in this musical journey! We promise to continue working hard in our endless pursuit of excellence," the group said in a message posted on its Twitter account.

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UP Singing Ambassadors (photo courtesy of UP Singing Ambassador's Facebook page)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Aug 27, 2018
Words:340
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