The Southern Mindanao District Conference (SMDC), Inc. held a fund-raising concert presenting Davao’s celebrated The Himig Singers and Musikademy’s M6Teens last February 21, 2020, at Brokenshire Resort & Convention Center in Madapo, Davao City. Dubbed as “The Magic of Music,” the post-Valentine concert directed Cecile Dioquino-Hidalgo was for the benefit of SMDC Scholarship Foundation, Inc.’s much needed funds for its various programs including its goal to provide “a Pastor for every UCCP Church.”
The invocation was led by Rev. Haniel Joses T. Taganas, the Executive Pastor of the Davao City Church; while Eladio E. Aviola, the Chairman of of the SMDC Ministerial Scholarship Foundation, delivered a heartening welcome message.
As expected, The Himig Singers and the M6Teens wowed the crowd with their members’ singing prowess in interpreting well chosen songs sang with much feeling under the baton of the strict music maestro Alvin “Bong” Aviola.
The Himig Singers is one of Davao City’s most successful community choirs since its inception in 1988. It was in 1990 when music maestro Bong Aviola became the choir’s musical director. Since then, The Himig Singers has won awards and top prizes in both national and international competitions. It has travelled extensively touring several countries in Europe and North America from 1995 through 2008. In 2007, the choir won the top prize in the mixed voal ensembles category at the First Asian Choir Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia. This was followed by the choir’s winnings of the National Music Competitions for Young Artists awards in 1990 and 1993; the “award of the audience” at the Vivache 2004 International Choir Festival in Veszprem, Austria in 1997; and first prize in the polyphonic category at the XV International Music Festival in Cantonigros, Spain (1997). At the Vienna Festival, The Himig Singers garnered 99.93 percent rating, the highest rating in the history of the competition as of 1997.
In 2018, The Himig Singers celebrated its 30th anniversary with a grand reunion concert featuring its alumni from different batches. Today the group continues to champion the ideals of professionalism and excellence in choral music as led by conductor and music director Bong Aviola.
During the first part of the Magic of Music concert, The Himig Singers opened the show with their heartrending interpretation of John Williams “Exsultate Justi” from one of my favorite movies, “Empire of the Sun;” and ended with National Artist for Music, maestro Ryan Cayabyab’s medley. Yes, maestro Bong has close ties with the National Artist as he used to teach in maestro Ryan Cayabyab’s music school.
The second part of the concert began with The Himig Singers sentimental interpretation of Butch Monserrat’s “Umagang Kay Ganda” which I haven’t heard being sang for ages. Then the M6Teens took the stage with its rendition of “Bellas Finals.”
Chloe Palar’s vocal rendition of “Goldfinger” brought back a lot of happy James Bond memories of yesteryears. The young singer also showed her vocal ability while singing Freddie Mercury’s “Somebody to Love.” Quissha Modequillo and Lexi Cosare are standout soloists as well. My how these young girls have grown since they became my children in Musikademy’s production of “The King and I” several years ago. Not to be outdone, Keith Corrales so eagerly showed his vocal calisthenics complete with body language while singing Elton John’s “Petersburg.” It seemed that the more popular songs sang by The Himig Singers and the M6Teens in the second part of the program appealed more to the audience.
The concert ended with a closing prayer delivered by Rev. Daniel R. Palicte, the Conference Minister of SMDC.
Congratulations, music maestro Bong Aviola, The Himig Singers and Musikademy’s M6Teens.