In unison. Four Thomasian choral groups gather for a night dedicated to timeless songs of praise and worship. Photo by JOSE MARGO S. FLORESFOUR UST singing groups teamed up and with their angelic voices, gave auidiences the sound and taste of heaven.

The Liturgikon Vocal Ensemble, together with the Coro Tomasino, the UST Chorus of Arts and Letters, and the AMV Accountancy Chorale presented “In Communion,” a concert of sacred music, last April 12 at the Philam Life Auditorium.

“Communion means the possession of something in common,” said Cynthia Sy, a senior member of Liturgikon said. “We are choir groups who share the same beliefs and faith.”

Starting off the concert was the UST Chorus of Arts and Letters, led by Paolo Roel Rodriguez. They did solemn renditions of “Dumbele,” “God Will Make A Way,” and “Sa Iyong Mga Yapa,”a contemporary Filipino song arranged by Samuel Guerrero.

Next was an upbeat rendition of the song, “Elijah Rock,” courtesy of the Coro Tomasino led by Ronan Ferrer. The ensemble also performed Alleluia.

Though just a budding group, the AMV Accountancy Chorale got good notices for their highly-entertaining presentation of “Old Time Religion” and “The Lord’s Prayer.”

With conductor Karl Angelo Tangco at the helm, the group also brought something new on stage in their interpretation of “Ilay Gandangan” (Worship of the Sun). Originally an ethnic chant to please the sun-god, the song was updated on stage through a well-paced choreography.

Meanwhile, the Liturgikon Vocal Ensemble conducted by Eugene de los Santos remained loyal to their trademarkof emotion-filled songs that are prayerful in nature such as “Ave Maria” and “Salve Regina.”

For the finale, the four groups gathered on center stage for the highlight of the evening — the rendition of the “Mass for Unaccompanied Double Choir,” as arranged by the Swiss composer Frank Martin. This served as a celebration of the Holy Eucharist, with basic song patterns like the kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei.

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Finally, the groups sent the audience off with an auditory treat, singing in unison O Magnum Mysterium, a responsorial chant composed by an American sacred composer.

For a religious concert, the huge turnout surprised the organizers.

“It wasn’t a full house but the number of audience was definitely greater than the average,” said Sy.

Sy said that the concept of the event had been laid out back when the Conservatory of Music choir was still headed by Professor Ricardo Mazo Jr., a choral music icon who also founded Coro Tomasino.

Unfortunately, the proposal never made it to the stage.It was only this year that the event was realized under choir master Professor Eugene de los Santos, who is currently the coordinator of the voice department of the Conservatory.

But the long wait seemed to have paid off, evident in the flawless execution of songs by the choirs, despite the difficulty of singing acapella, and the rather big turnout.

With heartfelt performances, daring vocals and youthful energy, the choral groups showed that that religious concerts are not dull and boring, but rather, pleasurable spectacles in themselves.

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