#BEHOLDBOHOL: Bohol Celebrates Music with 2nd BICFC

9:00 AM

BICFC2015 Poster

Bohol is definitely more than just sights but also a haven for cultural appreciation and musical celebration as it hosts the second edition of the annual Bohol International Chorale Festival and Competitions last week starting July 16 and was wrapped up last June 19.
Eight chorale groups from all over Asia are gathered in the beautiful City of Friendship for a week-long musical celebration of Pitch Perfect-proportions.  These groups were introduced during the Opening Program held at the CPG Sports Complex last Tuesday.  Representing the land of the Hallyu Wave, South Korea are; Ulsan Taehwagang Choir, Ulsan Junggu Female Choir, Incheon Seo-gu Choir, and the Jeonju Happy Choir.  Beaming with Taiwanese pride are the ladies of Taipei Alice Choir.  Coming from the Philippines are the Cebu Singing Ambassadors, Boscorale of Don Bosco Technical Institute – Makati and the University of the Philippines – Los Baños (UPLB) Chorale Ensemble.  I know it’s quite sad not to see any Boholano act for this year’s edition but I was told that the chorale groups in the province are already preparing for the third BICFC.  I have the feeling that the province may be aptly represented next year.

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Holy Name University (HNU) Chorale performs Kruhay before the audience during the opening program.

The opening program treated the participants and guests into a spectacle of the colorful Boholano culture and its rich pool of talents.  It became also an opportunity for the Bohol Grand Choir which is composed of ten chorale groups from all over the province to once again wow the audience.

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The Bohol Grand Choir, under the baton of Professor Joshibiah "Butch" de Juan performing during the opening program.

Aside from the chorale groups, the Sol Art Ensemble of Vietnam and UMS’n JIP Music Duo of Switzerland were also present during the event.

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SolArt of Vietnam enthralls spectators with their performance.

From the opening program where participants and guests were treated into a spectacle of the colorful Boholano culture and its rich pool of talents, the next two days were then set to be a little fierce with the scheduled competitions. The Meridian Hotel became the exquisite battleground for the friendly musical battle.

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The Ulsan Taehwagang Choir during the Classical/ Sacred Category competition.
The Choir from South Korea was among the grand prix qualifiers.

Each choirs competed in the different contest categories: Classical/ Sacred, Equal Voices, and Mixed Voices staged last June 17 and the Senior Choir and Folk that was held on the 18th.  They were judged by an international set of judges who have carved their names into the music industry.  They are: Dr. Koo Chun from South Korea, Conductor and Professor of the National Chorus of Korea and the Former Chairman of the Korean Federation for Choral Music; Dr. Randy Stenson from the USA, Conductor and Chorale Clinician of St. Mary Varsity Ensemble and the Publishing Editor of the Santa Barbara & Pavane Music Publishing; Mr. Johan Rooze of The Netherlands, a Jazz Choir Specialist and a Conductor and Professor Group “Dekoor” from the University of Ultrecht; Ms. Dang Chau Anh from Vietnam, who is with the SolArt Children’s Choir and a Professor at the Vietnam National Academy of Music; and, Mr. Javier Hagen, one-part of the Swiss duo UMPs n’ JIP and a member of the International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM).

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Don Bosco Technical Institute - Makati's all boys choir, Boscorale
competed in the Equal Voices (as seen in the photo) and in the Folk Songs Category.  

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The Cebu Singing Ambassadors wows the judges and the audience with their performance in the Mixed Voices Category.

Aside from the competition, Atelier, French word for workshops, were also conducted with the Atelier-Concert before the Closing Program wrapping up the entire series.  Workshoppers were under the tutelage of Mr. Kum-Gu Kang and Mr. Koo Eunsook from South Korea and our very own, Prof. Joshibiah “Butch” de Juan.   Special concerts were also held in three different locations: BQ Mall Atrium last June 16, Tubigon Cultural Center last June 17, and the Mayor Pablo O. Lim Memorial Astrodome, Valencia last June 18.  Selected groups performed before the audience during those shows.

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The Incheon Seo-gu Choir performing during the Grand Prix competition.

The week-long BICFC was put into a conclusion last night at the Dagohoy Grand Hall of the Bohol Tropics Resort.  It was a night of cultural appreciation and musical celebration.  But the highlight of the night would have been the final round of competition where four groups (Ulsan Taehwagang, UPLB Chorale Ensemble, Incheon Seo-gu Choir, and Boscorale) went head to head for the Grand Prix title.  At the conclusion of the night, it was the Boscorale who was named the 2nd Bohol International Chorale Festival and Competitions Grand Prix winner.  The group won US$10,000 prize money, a trophy, and certificates.

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The Boscorale happily performs to the audience right after their announcement as the festival winner.
Here, a member leads the group in singing Maegan Trainor's All About The Bass, with matching dance steps.

Here is the full list of winners:
Festival Grand Prix Winner – Boscorale
Special Jury Award – Taipei Alice Choir
Choral Conducting Award – Ulsan Junggu Female Choir
Classical/ Sacred Category – Ulsan Taehwagang Choir (2nd place)
Equal Voices – no winner
Mixed Voices – UPLB Chorale Ensemble (1st place); Cebu Singing Ambassadors,  Incheon Seo-gu Choir (3rd place)
Senior Choir – Jeonju Alice Choir (3rd place)
Folk Songs – Boscorale (1st place)

The participating groups of this year’s BICFC went home winners in their own right, bagging for having been able to showcase their musical gifts and experience the warmth and hospitality that is truly Boholano.  But the biggest winners of the entire festival would be the spectators, the ordinary Boholanos who were able to enjoy such feast for the ears with every hair-raising performance.

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Boscorale's cheers and smiles wrapped up the second edition of the annual
Bohol International Choir Festival and Competition

Bohol has come far from being just a picturesque destination for tourist.  It has now evolved as a cultural haven where the love of music is fostered with the hush of the winds, the grunts of the waves, and the angelic voices of its people.  Definitely, Bohol is a paradise for music and the successful BICFC is the cherry on top of the cake.

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DEEJAY WRITES is a proudly Boholano lifestyle and travel blog by LifestyleBohol in-house writer Deejay Arro. Launched in June 2014, DEEJAY WRITES ranks among the Top 200 Entertainment and Lifestyle blogs in the country and has been consistently receiving positive feedback from readers..