Ilocano choir “Samiweng” from Ilocos Norte province in the Philippines etched another history in the world of music as they bagged two top awards in the recently concluded 12th World Choir Games (WCG) held in Gangneung-si, Korea on July 3-13, 2023.
The multi-awarded Samiweng Singers of the Ilocos Norte National High School (INNHS) copped the top prize Gold V in Musica Contemporanea for the mixed choir’s category and Gold IV for youth choir of mixed voices category, besting thousands of the world’s best singers from six continents.
“God is good! Thank you so much to everyone for all the support. These are all for you!,” said conductor Sherween Cabrales in his Facebook post on Tuesday evening as his group from the Philippines was announced as one of the winners in the open category.
He said the journey of the Samiweng Singers became possible because of the big support of the province’s top officials, the Department of Education as well as some private benefactors, family, and friends.
Founded in 2001, the Samiweng Singers is the official choir of INNHS and has won several awards and prizes in choir festivals and competitions here and abroad.
“I’m so happy and proud to see our kailian (constituents) who are taking up the space outside our province. The Ilokano journey continues!” said Ilocos Norte provincial tourism officer Aian Raquel in a statement on Thursday, beaming with pride that the world-class talents of the Ilocanos are seen everywhere.
Barely this week, the Saguday Chorale of Northwestern University (NU)in Laoag City also brought home top prizes in the World Choir Games as they were hailed as category winners, with Golden Diploma Level 1 in the Musica Sacra Category and Golden Diploma Level IV under Folklore A Capella Category.
Saguday’s conductor Sherberk Cabrales is a twin of Samiweng’s conductor, Sherween.
“We were all amazed at your brilliance. We knew you were already good and the world knows it too,” NU president Ferdinand S. Nicolas told the choir members as he led a welcoming committee at the university compound upon their arrival from Korea. (PNA)