LONDON - Before competing in the international choral contest at the annual Lllangollen Festival in Wales, the De La Salle University Chorale had a brief stopover in London for a night of melodious, entrancing music, in a concert held at the Royal Over-Seas League at Green Park.
Under the baton of Professor Rodolfo Delarmente, the group opened the concert with a powerful back-to-back line-up of songs such as Ama Namen, Richte mich Gott, Exultate Deo and Jauchzet Dem Herrn.
They also crooned Pinoy folk songs such as Sitsiritsit Alibangbang, Padayon, among others, which enthralled the crowd even more, especially foreigners.
“The performance that I saw this evening is simply breathtaking, spell-binding, unbelievably professional,” said Michael Rothery.
Since its inception in 1987, the group has made a name both in the local and international choral scene particularly when it started reaping international recognition and awards.
Under the tutelage of Delarmente, the group has swept recognition across Europe in 1995, bagging a total of 6 first prizes and 2 Grand Prix awards from Arnhem, Netherlands and Tampere, Finland.
The years 1999 and 2004 were also winning years for the choral group with more participation in various music festivals and choral competitions.
This is not the first time that the group is joining the Llangollen choral completion. It has garnered awards for the Folkloric and Chamber Choir categories in the past, and with this year’s 12-14 contenders from all over the world, it is hoping to perform better and bag the top awards.
“The pressure started mounting 3 months before we left Manila. There’s a lot of preparations. One month before we left Manila, we have been rehearsing everyday including Sunday in order to hone the sound well,” said Delarmente.
He also said confidently without being brash that they have the winning streak.
“The advantage we have is our sound, which is different from other choirs because most of them are using the dark tone while we are using the bright tone,” explained Delarmente.
The DLSU Chorale concert in London was organized by One La Salle UK in cooperation with the Inter-Cultural Society of London.
“A group of us who studied in La Salle decided to form One La Salle UK and this is our first project,” said Peps Villanueva, one of the pioneers of the group.
One La Salle UK is at its nascent stage and is hoping to attract more members for future similar activities.
“What we are hoping to achieve is to get the alumni out, to get them interested and hopefully make them sign up to the chapter. We want to be a channel, to be their point people here in the UK and be a support group as well,” said Cathy Pabalan-Frideres.