By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
Four choir groups from the Philippines won in the 2013 Yeosu International Choir Competition and Festival held from June 11 to 17 in Yeosu, South Korea.
The competition, which had a total prize money of $140,000, drew 63 choirs from the US, Japan, Russia, Indonesia, Lithuania, Philippines and South Korea.
Six choirs represented the Philippines.
They are the Muntinlupa Vocal Ensemble; UST Singers, Coro Tomasino and Liturgikon Vocal Ensemble from the University of Santo Tomas; church choir Imusicapella Chamber Choir from Imus, Cavite; and the Philippine Normal University Chorale.
UST Singers won one second prize and three third prizes in the Mixed Choir, Folk Music, Sacred Music Choir and Pop & Jazz categories. The group took home $4,000.
"God works in mysterious ways! The turn of events during the last days of our tour was truly unforgettable. You've taught us to be brave and to always do our best. Our decision to continue on with the competition without you was our own way of showing to the world that we are Thomasians, we are Filipinos and we have Faith in our merciful God!" the UST Singers posted on Facebook.
Imusicapella Chamber Choir won three third prizes in the Folk Music, Sacred Music and Mixed Choir divisions.
"Thank you so much for all your prayers and support. It was a very tough competition. To God be the Glory!" posted Imusicapella on Facebook.
The Muntinlupa Vocal Ensemble won third place in the Children's Choir division, said member Denmirson Vivo, a University of the Philippines-Manila student from Bayanan, Muntinlupa. The ensemble is a community-based choral group composed of youths from Muntinlupa.
"MVE [Muntinlupa Vocal Ensemble] is finally back in the Philippines! We are really thankful to those who gave their utmost support in making this wonderful journey possible. May God shower us more blessings!" the group posted on Facebook.
Korea's Pilgrim Children's Choir won first place in the Children's Choir while second place went to BomNae Trinity Chamber Choir. The Muntinlupa Vocal Ensemble shared the third prize with the K-Sori Akdong and Bupyeong District Youth Choir.
Coro Tomasino won third place in the Pop & Jazz division.
The University of Louisville Cardinal Singers from Louisville, Kentucky, was declared as the grand prize winner. The choir group won $45,000 for their feat.
They also won first place in the Mixed Choir and Sacred Music Choir categories, and second place in the Pop & Jazz and Folk Music categories. The group's conductor, Kent Hatteberg, won the Best Conductor Award.
In the competition, first place winners were awarded $8,500 each; second place winners with $4,000 each and third place winners with a trophy and certificate.
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