WORLD-RENOWNED UST Singers reigned supreme in the 4th Florence International Choir Festival, bagging the overall best choir award and bringing home the grand prix, the Golden David Trophy.

The 32-member chorale bested 14 ensembles from various countries such as Armenia, Bulgaria, China, England, Estonia, Hong Kong and Italy in the competition held last July 22 to 25 in Florence, Italy.

The UST Singers emerged as first-prize winners in the Mixed Choirs Adult Category, Pop, Folk, Gospel and Barbershop Ensembles Category, Sacred Music Category, and Modern and Contemporary Music Category.

Roberto Tagalog, group's baritone specialist and College of Science alumnus, won as Best Male Soloist for his part in “Gabag-an” by Ruben Federizon.

“We studied Gabag-an just last June. I did not expect this award because my solo part only lasted a couple of seconds in the introduction of the song,” Tagalog said in an interview with the Varsitarian.

Fidel Calalang Jr., the conductor the UST Singers, also won special prizes for Best Contemporary Work's Arrangement for his choral arrangement of Ennio Morricone’s “My Heart and I” and the Best Interpretation of the Required Piece “Vergine O Natura” by Gaetano Lorandi.

The Golden David trophy won by the UST Singers represented the emblem of Florence and the festival: it was a replica of Michelangelo’s famous scuipture of David. Jury was composed of choral experts from Italy, Japan, and the Netherlands.

The UST Singers will be continuing their tour in Germany and will hold a thanksgiving concert upon arrival in Manila.

The UST Singers achieved much global acclaim after winning again the Choir of the World title, or the Pavarotti Prize, in the Eisteddfod choral fest in Wales, United Kingdom in 2010, the only choir in the history of one of the oldest choral fests in the world to do so. It had previously won the grand prize in 1995. Amierielle Anne A. Bulan and Ma. Czarina A. Fernandez

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