Manila, Philippines (31 Jan 2010). Brainstorming for the choir started about a year ago when over their usual dinner and bellini, Robert Delgado and John Pamintuan thought of forming an elite group of singers that would go beyond the usual thrust of competitions by amateur choirs.
Things even got better when Dean Acoymo of the UP College of Music suggested that the mandate of the group be: to constantly output new Filipino and Asian choral works, not only to edify Asian choral literature but also to present the ever-changing paradigm of Filipino compositions which always set a trend in the international stage. It would then be the group's aim to create a strong movement beginning in Southeast Asia affecting the whole world.
And so The Chamber Choir of Asia is born, with much interest and eagerness coming from the invited singers, comprising the creme de la creme of the Philippines' choral music scene. Once a month, internationally prominent Filipino conductors, composers and singers come together for two hours and sight-sing through the most terribly challenging and demanding choral music ever written and share with each other their musical intelligence, energy and soul.
"It was as if the gods decided to take a break and go down to earth, and play frisbee while singing their music," said an observer. And of course, the night is not complete without a scrumptious fare, care of the group's dear partners Clawdaddy and Crustasia, through the support of Red Crab Managing Partner, Raymund Magdaluyo, himself a choral enthusiast having sung with the Ateneo College Glee Club. If music be the bond of our souls, let food be the bond of our hearts.
The group munches about 17 new pieces over the short rehearsal and would have digested a total of about 50 new titles by John Pamintuan and new arrangements of Asian folksongs by Robert Delgado until the launching concert 11 April 2010 (details TBA).
As Artistic Director Jonathan Velasco so aptly puts it, "life without music is a mistake; resistance is futile."
postscript: the day after this was published, we received about 480 fan mails and 7,000 hits on our website from 21 countries! Thank you all for your interest in The Chamber Choir of Asia! At the moment, membership is by invitation only and will be open to Asian conductors by June 2010. During the second season concert in September 2010, five conductors from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Indonesia will perform with the group in the world premiere of a commissioned work from Vytautas Mishkinis.
(click on photo for a larger view)