CAPITOL COMPOUND – After his successful 12-year stint as founding father and choir master of the Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU) Chamber Chorale, Mr. Noel Recinto Villanueva, a native of Orani has passed his baton to his protégée Joven Magbanua who now leads the BPSU Singers, to focus on a new mission.
Dr. Sang Ho Wu, a visiting Korean pastor and music professor from California USA, was awed when he watched a performance of the then BPSU Chamber Chorale. He approached Villanueva and broached the idea of forming a somewhat similar singing group but composed of children, ages 6-15.
In February of this year, the Bataan Children’s Choir (BCC) was born when they held an audition for prospective members of said choir. Rehearsals commenced in March of the same year with 30 members from public and private schools in the province, namely: Orani North Elementary School, St. Peter of Varona, University of Nueva Caceres, Hermosa Elementary School, Dinalupihan Elementary School, Magsaysay Elementary School, and San Benito Elementary School.
Last August 1, BCC submitted an entry, a video recording, to the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CPP) National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA). Fifteen days later, they received the happy news – of the 17 regions nationwide who participated, BCC’s entry not only passed, meaning they are now qualified for the semifinals, but they will also be representing Region 3, (the only group in the region competing in the Children’s Choir Category).
To share their happiness and to show their gratitude to Gov. Abet Garcia for his all-out support to BCC, the children performed during this morning’s flag raising ceremony at the People’s Center, to the delight of the audience.
Very briefly, Villanueva shared the good news and asked for prayers and moral support from fellow Bataeños for the forthcoming semifinal competitions come October 7 at the Lyceum of the Philippines where they will be rendering three songs.
Together with fellow mentors and parents, Mrs. Katherine Roque –Santos and Mr. Roberto Angeles, ALS Coordinator (Orani), Villanueva visited the newsroom of 1Bataan for this interview and to announce that auditions for membership to the BCC is still going on. At least 15 slots are still available for our musically inclined children. Mrs. Rosario Bacani is the choir adviser.
Right now, both mentors and children are focused on making it at the semifinals, and the grandfinals come November 22-24, but at the back of their mind, they are aiming the international music scene.
Carry on, BCC! Your fellow Bataeños are behind you!