THEIR voices echo like chimes inside the university, flawlessly blending as they sing carols this Christmas season. These angelic voices are from members of none other than the USA Choir and Troubadours. This holiday season, they are celebrating friendship.
The internationally acclaimed chorale of the University of San Agustin currently has 42 talented members. Having competed and won in the Oriental Concentus – a singing contest with participants from across Asia – in 2015 and 2016, the chorale has proven itself worthy of being a “university pride.”
As they sing their way to chasing their dreams, the chorale members had a fair share of struggles. One of the biggest challenges they faced was losing their musical director. “Since the old director left, the choir had no leader or artistic director [but] the alumni helped,” a choir member said.
The group saw the light of hope when Sir Benny Castillon, the composer of the local song “Kruhay,” took over as their artistic director in 2017. They went “back to basics” enhancing their musical prowess.
At the time, the director was not the only one that’s new – the chorale’s members were, too. A bunch of “freshies” joined the choir. These neophytes strived to learn how to improve their singing skills and handle the pressure of the performing world.
According to the old members, they are still building up camaraderie with the new ones. This is timely, especially since this holiday season, the chorale is booked for a series of recitals.
The USA Choir and Troubadours was proud to tell Panay News that its members performed in a concert for the benefit of women in prison dubbed “HER Stories.” The choir members also shared the fun times they had when they performed during KASANAG 2018, the ceremonial Christmas lighting event of the University of San Agustin.
On Dec. 22, the choir will also have its Christmas party, sponsored by Zonta Club, a local women’s organization. This, they said, will help in strengthening their bond – the true core of the chorale.
Christmas made more special
“Christmas is more special with the USA Choir and Troubadours because we sing. We have the same passion together and that is singing during Christmas time,” Mary Monique L. Mosquera, a choir member, told Panay News.
Chorale president Julius Mario J. Sarria III affirmed this, adding: “It’s mostly the fact that I’m with my friends who share the same talents and share the same passion as I do. It’s being a family in one kind of music and one kind of passion.”
‘The more, the merrier’
The USA Choir and Troubadours is open to adding more members. Anyone who is vocally talented and dedicated to music can audition and be a part of their growing family.
When you’re a member of the choir, you gain development in character, said Castillon.
“[You will] learn not only [about] music but values you can apply in life [as well],” the choir director added./PN