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Mandaue Children’s Choir bags top prize in Germany festival

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The Mandaue Children’s Choir won the first prize award from the recently concluded George Friedrich Handel Internationales Kinderchoir Festival in Germany.

Earlier this week, the choir offered its spectacular winning piece during their courtesy call with Governor Hilario Davide III.

Maestro Dennis Gregory Sugarol who has been with the choir for 10 years said that this group is the third batch with ages eight to 16.

They trained after classes from 6 to 8  p.m.,  every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. But during summer, they trained almost every day.

The children followed some food restrictions, such as ice cream, crackers, peanuts, and sweets.

“It is challenging for me to handle the choir since they belong to different age groups and I have to use different approaches to them. For the little ones, I have to go down to their age while for the big ones, I have to be tough and strict sometimes,” said Maestro Dennis when asked about his way of managing the children.

Prior to the win in Germany, the group has won several competitions around the Asian countries, such as  Jakarta, Indonesia  where they bagged three gold medals in the  1st Asian Choir Games in 2007 and  Gyeongnam, Province of South Korea where they have won 1st prize in the World Choir Championships in July 2009.

In addition, the choir also bagged the “Jury Prize” with a rendition of “Bochong” in the Hong Kong International Youth and Children’s Choir Festival in 2011.

Last year, they won three awards, namely Gold and Category Winner for Equal Voices (Soprano and Alto), Silver for Children’s Choir Category and Folklore Category from the 2nd Asia Cantate held in Hong Kong.

“I felt nervous but at the same time happy while singing today,” said Alfonso Gabreil Jay Alegado, the youngest in the group, referring to singing for Governor Hilario Davide III.

When asked what his unforgettable experience was while competing in Germany, Alfonso revealed that he was able to eat ice cream, which is not normally allowed.

Next year, the group is planning to have a one-month concert tour in America. Cris Lanie Delos Reyes & Mary Ann Tapayan (CIT-University Intern)