THE SWEETEST songs are those that tell the saddest thoughts, according to Percy Shelley.

But for the Himig Tomasino Intercollegiate Song Festival, the sweetest songs are those that celebrate life, hope, and love. These are songs that not only arouse emotions but also please the senses.

Aside from the solo and chorale competitions, two categories, the duet and pop group, were added in this year’s songfest.

The Pharmacy Glee Club, which previously won for three consecutive years in the chorale competition, decided not to join, but to co-organize, the competition with the Student Organizations Coordinating Council.

Five groups competed in the chorale category: Nursing Glee Club, Chorus of Arts and Letters, Science Glee Club, College of Commerce Chorale, and UST Medicine Glee Club.

Each group interpreted two songs: a common piece Only You by Enrique Iglesias and a second piece of their choice. The common piece was especially arranged for the songfest by Robert Delgado, one of the judges. The chorales’ contest pieces were jolly and upbeat and their presentations were creative.

The Science Glee Club emerged as the champion with its harmonious and enthusiastic rendition of Manila, Manila coupled with a charming choreography. The Chorus of Arts and Letters, on the other hand, again placed second with its interesting piece, “Weniki,” a Russian folk song. Meanwhile, College of Commerce Chorale, serenaded the audience with their melodious rendition of “May Ibong Kakanta-kanta.”

In the individual category, second year Tourism student, Beverly Ann Domingcil, won first place as she awed the audience with her high notes in “Mukha ng Buhay.” Paul Andrew Rosales from the College of Commerce placed second with his full-feeling rendition of “Kahit Isang Saglit” while Maria Gerda Opaque from the College of Nursing placed third with an authentic interpretation of Jaya’s Sometimes You Just Know.

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In the duet category, Psychology students Mark Angelo Alarcio and Barbara Napiere ranked first as they captivated the audience with their vocal and performance chemistry in rendering I’m Your Angel. On the other hand, Ronnie Bonifacio and Tricia de Guzman from the Faculty of Pharmacy sweetly rendered the song Forever placing second while Jailanie Capco from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Jerlyn Servas from the College of Science placed third with their operatic performance of I Still Believe.

In the pop group category, the Faculty of Pharmacy bagged the first prize with their smooth and artistic rendition of In the Still of the Night. The all-male group from the Faculty of Engineering ranked second as they fascinated the audience with their romantic singing of “Sukiyaki” while the Faculty of Arts and Letters ranked third with their reprise of Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror.

The judges were composed of prize-winning song writers Trina Belamide and Jingle Buena, and choir conductors Paulo Zarate and Robert Delgado.

Preparation

In choosing her contest piece, Beverly Ann Domingcil considers the theme and meaning of the song. She chose Donna Cruz’s “Mukha ng Buhay” as she found it very inspirational. She said that it is her lucky song luck because she wins whenever uses it in contests.

Barbara Napiere on the other hand, found her contest piece while browsing through songbooks with her duet partner, Mark Angelo Alarcio. She admires Celine Dion and her partner looks up to R. Kelly, so they had no second thoughts in choosing I’m Your Angel. Alarcio said that they also preferred the song for its vocal calisthenics that perfectly suited their voices.

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Moreover, for the Science Glee Club, Fidji Rivera, their choir leader, said that with only less than a month to prepare, they had to pull out all their resources and exert their best effort. Their original trainor also got sick so the group, who has a number of new members, had to practice under a substitute conductor, Mr. Dennis Galindez.

Their 70s theme for the contest and their choreography were a collaborative idea of the group. In addition to intense practices, they also set a prayer time every 9 p.m., when each of them, prayed simultaneously. Indeed, their prayers were answered.

Fulfilling end

The songfest was one of the happiest moments for Mark Angelo Alarcio, who won in the duet category and was at the same time a member of the Science Glee Club.Alarcio said that he wanted to give his talent back to God by sharing it with other people.

He had been joining the songfest for four years now and for his resilience, he learned from his mistakes and told himself to give his very best this time.

He said that a friend told him that God must have been preparing the best for him. The words proved to be true.

Moreover, Amiel Bett Concordia, the group leader of the Faculty of Pharmacy group said that their award was very fulfilling.

“It feels good that you are successful in what you love doing and you know that you worked hard for it,” he said.

For the winners, the competition was not merely belting out high notes and projecting. It was also a test of attitude and teamwork.

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