The 2023 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod Competition, an annual Welsh sing-off, recently named a Filipino church-based chorus as “Choir of the World.” The July 8 contest awarded Kammerchor Manila the Luciano Pavarotti Grand Prize for their outstanding performance.
Next Shark reports that Kammerchor Manila competed under the direction of conductor Anthony Go Villanueva, performing “Cast Thy Burden Upon the Lord” by Alejandro Consolacion II and a contemporary take on the Latvian folk song “Atsalums” by Jēkabs Jančevskis. A rendition of the former has been recorded and released on the choir’s YouTube channel, featured below:
The much sought-after award reaffirms the Philippines’ prominent position in the global classical music scene.
Founded in 1992, Kammerchor Manila is based in the Parish of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Quezon City. Over the decades they have established themselves as the premier choir of the Philippines, with a versatile repertoire that includes traditional folk, contemporary pop, and classical madrigals.
As a non-profit organization, Kammerchor Manila had to get creative with their funds, saving for two years before they were able to make the trip to the UK for the competition. The complex logistical process of transporting a large choir required the group to secure sponsorships before they could finalize travel plans and apply for visas. Villanueva commented of the choir:
“The Philippines is known for producing good singers,”
Villanueva told Tatler Asia. “We sing from the heart. Our language is very warm, so when we sing, we are adapting that tenderness. That is our biggest advantage when it comes to choral singing.”
Learn more about Kammerchor Manila’s origins and accolades
at their official website, then be sure to follow the award-winning choir on YouTube, where there are dozens of high quality recordings of choir music, both sacred and secular, to browse at your leisure.