Aianna Xyril Monsod
The Letran Singing Ambassadors standing proud with their conductor, Mr. Anthony Go Villanueva at the 6th Binan National Choral Festival. Photo courtesy of Mr. Villanueva of the LSA.
The Letran Singing Ambassadors (LSA) won the championship title with their performances— “One” and “Magkaisa”, in the 6th Biñan National Choral Festival on Saturday, February 4, 2023.
In line with this year’s theme, “new beginnings”, the choir chose “Magkaisa” as their second piece by Juan Miguel Salvador was arranged by Fidel Calalang, Jr. While “One” by Ogie Alcasid was arranged by Emmanuel Louie Aribon for the festival.
Among the 26 school choirs that submitted their video presentations for the first round, the LSA was one of the 10 choirs that advanced to the finals held at People’s Center Biñan.
In an interview with The LANCE, Mr. Anthony Go Villanueva, LSA Conductor, shared the preparations and struggles faced by the choir before the competition.
The preparation has been very tedious with the new choirmaster. “Sinubok ko lang kung pu-p’wede ang mga bata na isabak sa competition this January. Ang ginawa namin, starting January, nag araw-araw kami na rehearsals,” Villanueva stated.
“Most of the students, natatapos ang classes nila ng 9 pm so hindi kami nakukumpleto, that’s the first struggle. Second, the choir is really new. Yung third struggle namin is syempre dahil bago pa lang yung choir, wala pa talagang sound. Binubuo ko pa lang yung sound ng group and also sa aming financial side din, wala pa din kaming naiipon for the choir,” he added.
The members were looking forward to this kind of activity as they have been inactive for almost three years.
When asked about her feelings about winning, Kim Carabbacan, a member and one of the property heads of LSA, said, “It was an unexpected and surreal moment for all of us. It was also an emotional one because looking back at all the hardships, sacrifices, efforts and challenges, it finally paid off. It was not an easy journey, we have a lot on our plate, responsibilities as an employee, students, and as a member of LSA. From the struggle to find time and going home late it was all worth it.”
“Winning this competition is evidence that we are on the right path in aiming for that goal. LSA is experiencing a new era and we are coming back stronger than ever with the help of our choirmaster. We are marking this win as the start of a new journey and to leave a remarkable legacy of the LSA,” Carabbacan added.
Villanueva’s goal for the LSA is to inspire the students to join a choir, develop themselves, and bring them to greater heights.
“..for the longest time, hindi active ang arts. Mas expose kasi ang school sa basketball. Support the arts, especially the choir para ma-iangat din ang level of physicality ng choral,” the conductor said.
Mr. Anthony Villanueva is preparing them for an international competition. “...if not in Europe, in Asia. Since tapos naman na sila sa national,” the choirmaster said. For the time being, the LSA will be seen at school performances.