Baao children’s choir wins UK competition

By Juan Escandor Jr.

NAGA CITY --- Even though they have to adjust unexpectedly with one choir member unable to make it through the immigration, the Baao children’s choir still made it to receive two third-place awards at an international choir festival in the United Kingdom early this month. The Baao Children and Youth Choir of the parish in Baao town was awarded third prize with an average grade of 86.7 for Children Folk Song Category and another third prize for Senior Children’s Choir Category with a grade of 90 percent. Fr. Louie Occiano, parish priest of Baao, said the 31 members of the Baao choir sang Normito Rio Pablico’s Kayao (Headhunting) and Ragragsakan (Song of Happiness) for the folk song category; and Essassa (Heave-Ho) by Ko Matsushita and Non Nobis Domine (Not to us Lord) by Joy Nilo for the senior children’s category. “There may have been adjustments since one of our members was denied exit in the Philippine airport on the day of our flight, but we managed to give it a good fight,” Occiano said. He thanked all the friends, families, mentors, sponsors and supporters for their successful trip and participation at the Llangollen International Musical Eistedfood 2017 held in Llangollen, Wales. Occiano said the choir of Baao parish is not new to receiving awards in the international competition. He said the same group won gold in Busan Choral Festival held Busan, South Korea in 2015 and another gold in 18th Certamen International Juvenil de Habaneras y Polifonia held in Torrevieja, Spain in 2012 aside from performing in Mexico in a non-competition event. Occiano said the choir with members coming from the Rosary School Inc. and Baao National High School were trained for three months by Hermilino Briones, a native of Baao town. He said the Baao choir will stay at the UK until after their concert for Filipino audience at St. Patrick’s Church on July 20.