WASHINGTON, D.C.—The University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers, the country’s premier singing ambassadors, marked their 50th anniversary with an outstanding performance before a Filipino and American audience at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception here on Saturday.
The Madrigals performance in Washington D.C., sponsored by the United States-Philippines Society and the Philippine Embassy, is part of their 50th anniversary tour that includes performances in Dallas, Texas and Bogota, Columbia, according to Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.
“The Madrigal singers are among the Philippines’ preeminent diplomats. With their talent and demeanor, they share the best of the Philippines with the rest of the world,” Ambassador Cuisia said. “It is fitting that the Madz are here in May—the month when the US celebrates Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month and when the Philippines marks National Heritage Month.”
Ambassador John Maisto, President of the US-Philippines Society said: “The Madrigal Singers gave a rapt Philippine and American audience a marvelous, memorable performance. The renditions of sacred music in Latin, Pilipino, and English, arranged mostly by Filipinos, were exquisite. The encore, a gorgeous traditional American spiritual, brought tears to the eyes, and showed once more how Filipinos and Americans so easily interact, this time in music.”
The Madrigals performed at the Basilica’s Crypt before more than 600 guests that included American officials and executives from the Department of State, the US Agency for International Development and US Export-Import Bank and members of the Filipino-American community.
The audience said they were all impressed with the Madrigals’ rendition of the following religious songs: Doxologia, Pater Noster, I Will Sing Forever, Agnus Dei, De Profundis Magnificat, Prayer of St. Francis, Cantate Domino, Ama, Take and Receive, Panalangin sa Pagiging Bukas Palad, Anima Christi, Pilgrim’s Hymn, Ang Pag-Ibig and Ang Puso Ko’y Nagpupuri.
Organized in 1963 by National Artist Professor Andrea Veneracion, the Madrigal Singers is composed of students, faculty and alumni from the different colleges of UP. The group holds the distinction of being the first choir in the world to win the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing twice (1997 and 2007).
The Madrigal Singers was recognized by the UNESCO as Artists for Peace (2009) and was the recipient of the Guidoneum Award from the Concorso Polifonico Guido d’ Arezzo Foundation (2010). In July 2012, the group became the first choir in the world to receive the Brand Laureate Premier Award as the World’s Best Choral Ensemble from the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation.
The Madrigals is led by Mark Anthony Carpio, a graduate of the UP College of Music who was personally chosen by Professor Veneracion to succeed her as choirmaster. A noted countertenor and accompanist, Carpio is a faculty member of the Conducting Department of the UP College of Music.
The performance of the Madrigals is the second major cultural event organized by the US-Philippines Society since it was established in 2012 to help raise the profile of the Philippines in the United States. In November, it sponsored the performance of the Bayanihan Dance Troupe in Washington D.C. and New York. ###