THE GLOBALLY acclaimed UST Singers emerged as champions in the 3rd International Choral Competition Ave Verum in Baden Austria, bagging major awards including the 2017 Grand Prix.
The ensemble was hailed as the 2017 Grand Prix Niederosterreich winner after besting 10 other international chorales in the competition, which took place last June 22 to 25.
With founder Fidel Calalang Jr. at the helm, the UST Singers belted soulful performances of German composer Johann Kunau’s “Tristis est Anima Mea,” Lithuanian musician Vytautas Barkauskas’s “Stabat Mater” and Dan Forrest’s “Entreat me Not To Leave You” in the final round.
The group also won the Best Interpretation award under the category of Classic or Romantic piece with their rendition of “La Apporumbeosis,” a harmonic combination of classical and rumba music by contemporary Cuban composer Guido Gavilian.
The UST Singers notched first place in the elimination round with 97 points.
“[The] training was extensive and rigorous… It felt so powerful to realize your success was rewarded because of hard work, faith, prayer, and determination,” Calalang said in an online interview.
The four-day competition in Austria was part of the UST Singers’ itinerary in their 32nd International Concert Tour held in celebration of their 25th year. It began last June 7 and will end on July 14.
Aside from Austria, the group will also visit Germany and Switzerland.
The UST Singers gained worldwide recognition after winning the Choir of the World title or the Pavarotti Prize in 1995 and 2010.