Dominican choral groups belt Christmas carols in ‘Benedicere’

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THE OLDEST existing choral group in the country led other Dominican choirs in “Benedicere: A Christmas-Jubilee Concert” yesterday at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Tiples de Santo Domingo, the boys’ choir founded in 1587, performed a repertoire of classic Christmas songs by English composer Benjamin Britten. They were conducted by former Tiple soloist and Conservatory of Music assistant dean Eugene delos Santos.

With Lourdes Gregorio on the harp, the Tiples sang “Wolcum Yole,” a Christmas carol with an upbeat melody. It was followed by the soothing tunes of “As Dew In Aprille” and “In Freezing Winter Night,” a carol with an eerie yet tense harmony.

“This concert of the Tiples and the Dominican brothers intends to bless us with music of the Christmas season,” said Fr. Roland Mactal, O.P., prior of the Santo Domingo Convent and associate professor of the Faculty of Sacred Theology .

The UST Symphony Orchestra and tenor Ronan Ferrer joined the Tiples in their performance of “Domini, Ego Credidi (Christmas Oratorio),” a composition by Romantic era pianist Camile Saint-Saëns.

The Tiples then led the Santo Domingo Male Choir in singing Austrian musician Johann Ritter von Herbeck’s Christmas motet titled “Pueri Concinite.”

The Santo Domingo Male Choir and Music alumna Thea Perez rendered “Ave Maria,” arranged by Music professor Hermingildo Ranera.

Music dean Raul Sunico’s 10-minute solo piano performance treated the audience to a medley of familiar Christmas tunes like “Carol of the Bells,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “Sa Araw Ng Pasko.”

The Dominican Student-Brothers choir also performed holiday classics such as “When a Child is Born” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.”

The concert ended with a singing of “Laudare, Benedicere, Praedicare,” the official Dominican Jubilee song composed by Rev. Fr. Giuseppe Pietro Arsciwals, O.P.

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