EGP FINALISTS 20192019-08-25T00:14:55+02:00




Imusicapella Chamber Choir
Conductor Tristan Ignacio
(Imus City, Cavite Province, Philippines)

Winner of
International May Choir Competition 2018
Tours Vocal Competition 2018

Formed in 2002, “Imusicapella” is a church choir based at the Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in Imus City, Cavite. The choir regularly sings at the Imus Cathedral and St. Peregrine Chapel. They have successfully represented the Philippines by winning a total of fourteen (14) first prizes and four (4) Grand Prix awards in some of the world’s most prestigious choral competitions such as: 33rd Takarazuka International Chamber Choir Contest 2017, Japan,  63rd Guido d’Arezzo International Polyphonic Competition 2015, Italy, 52nd International Choral Competition Castle of Porcia, Spittal an der Drau 2015, Austria, 8th Busan Choral Festival and Competition 2013 South Korea, 40th Florilege Vocal de Tours 2011 France, 9th International Choirdays Mainhausen 2011 Germany, 5th and 6th Harmonie Festival Lindenholzhausen Germany (2005, 2011),1st California International Choral Festival & Competition 2007 USA, 43rd Montreux International Choral Festival 2007 Switzerland, 1st Mundus Cantat International Choir Festival Sopot 2005 Poland, 10th Festival Choral International de Neuchatel 2003 Switzerland.

Somnium Ensemble
Conductor Tatu Erkkilä
(Helsinki, Finland)

Second place* at
Tours Vocal Competition 2018

*Since the winner of Tours, Imusicapella Chamber Choir, already won the Grand Prix in Varna, the second choir at the Grand Prix de la Ville de Tours will represent the Florilège Vocal de Tours at the European Grand Prix.

Somnium Ensemble is a Helsinki-based mixed chamber choir founded in 2009, consisting of young music students and devoted choir hobbyists. During its nearly ten-year long existence, the choir has grown into a semi-professional ensemble known for its full-bodied sound and high-class renditions. Somnium Ensemble specializes in choral music from the Romantic period, the beginning of the 20th century, and the Renaissance. Some of the choir’s most notable achievements include the selection as the Finnish National Radio’s youth choir for 2012-2013, 2. prize and the prize for the audience’s favourite at the Neuchâtel International Choral Festival in Switzerland in 2014, and the prize for the best Sibelius rendition along with two golden stamps at the Tampere Vocal Music Festival in the summer of 2015. In 2016, the choir published its first album, Ad Mariam. Choir conductor Tatu Erkkilä has acted as the artistic director of Somnium Ensemble ever since its establishment.

The University of Houston Concert Chorale
Conductor Betsy Cook Weber
(Houston, USA)

Winner of
Béla Bartók International Choir Competition 2018

The Moores School Concert Chorale is the University of Houston’s premiere large choral ensemble. The group has been under the direction of Betsy Cook Weber since 2002. Since that time the group has appeared as an invited choir before the 2004 national convention of the American Musicological Society, the 2005 and 2008 Texas Music Educators Association conventions, and the 2007 American Choral Directors Association national convention in Miami. The blog described their Miami performances as “absolutely outstanding” and “stunning.” Chorale members traveled to compete at the Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales this past summer, and were invited to represent the United States at this prestigious festival’s opening night concert. At that world-renowned festival, Chorale won or placed in every category in which they entered, including a first price in the most coveted category of all, Chamber Choir. The goal of the Moores School of Music is to prepare singers who are strong musicians possessed of a secure vocal technique that will enable them to succeed wherever vocal opportunities presents themselves. Recently, in addition to numerous concerts of standard choral repertoire, Chorale members have sung in productions of The Saint of Bleecker Street (Menotti), The Ghost of Versailles (Corigliano), Orpheus in the Underworld (Offenbach), and Grapes of Wrath Gordon), Carmina Burana, Verdi’s Requiem, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection). They have sung in masterclasses with Joseph Flummerfelt, Charles Bruffy, and for the men’s vocal ensemble, Cantus. A number of singers were featured in the NBC television show Clash of the Choirs, filmed in New York City December, 2007, and Chorale members were featured at the Latin Grammys Lifetime Achievement Awards in November, 2008. Because of the school’s enviable location in one of the country’s most active musical and cultural centers, these students are active as paid soloists, section leaders, and directors of church choirs, and they often teach voice privately in the public schools. When schedules permit, they may be seen singing with the Mercury Baroque, Cantare, the Houston Symphony Chorus, and the Houston Chamber Choir.

University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors
Conductor Edgardo L. Manguiat
(Quezon City, Philippines)

Winner of
International Guido d’Arezzo Polyphonic Contest 2018

The University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors (UPSA) is one of the Philippines’ foremost choral groups. Since its inception on August 12, 1980, UPSA has consistently brought honor and prestige to the country, having won Grand Prizes, First Prizes and various awards in competitions in Arezzo & Gorizia, Italy;  Debrecen, Hungary; Tours, France; Varna, Bulgaria; Langollen, Wales; Neuchatel, Switzerland; Torrevieja and Cantonigros, Spain; Sopot, Poland; Trenscianske Teplice, Slovakia; Maasmechelen, Belgium; Wernigerode, Germany; Arnhem, the Netherlands and Prague & Pardubice, the Czech Republic. Its triumph in the “Guido d’Arezzo” Polyphonic Competition in 2001 in Arezzo, Italy, qualified UPSA to compete in the 14th European Grand Prix (EGP) for Choral Singing in 2002, the most coveted choral prize in the world. This makes the choir one of the only four Filipino choirs (with the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Ateneo Glee Club, and UST Singers) to attain eligibility to contend in the world’s most coveted choral prize. UPSA Conductor Dr. Ed Manguiat founded the group in 1980 as a freshman dormitory choir at the State University. He has studied under world-renowned choral musicians and trained under respected names in vocal pedagogy and choral conducting in the Philippines. He has also won various international conductor’s awards in choral competitions. The UPSA was elevated to the HALL OF FAME at the 25th the 2012 ALIW Awards in the Philippines for winning its 3rd Best Choral Group (2011, 2010 & 2002) given by the Aliw Awards Foundation, the pioneer in giving tributes for excellence and achievements in the live entertainment industry. Also, UPSA was the official entry of the Philippines to the 2005 UNESCO International Music Prize in Paris. It was named the Best University Choir in 2012 and 2004 at the “Who’s Who in the Philippines” 19th and 27th Consumers’ Choice Awards, respectively. Similarly, UPSA was also chosen as Best Choir in 2011, 2010 and 2002 by the ALIW Awards Foundation which recognizes excellence and achievement in the live entertainment industry.

Youth Choir »Kamēr…«
Conductor Aivis Greters
(Riga, Latvia)

Winner of
Tolosa Choral Competition 2018

The choir was founded in 1990 by conductor Māris Sirmais, and was led by Jānis Liepiņš from 2012 to 2018. Since its foundation, the choir has won dozens of diplomas, awards, and trophies at a variety of choral competitions. These include a prize at the Marktoberdorf Chamber Choir Competition in Germany in 1999, two European Grands Prix for Choral Singing in Gorizia (2004) and Arezzo, Italy (2013), as well as three championship prizes and gold medals at the World Choir Olympics in Xiamen, China, in 2006. Kamēr… has twice received the Latvian Great Music Award and has won the national choir competition a total of six times. Almost all of the choir’s original music as well as various choral classics in the choir’s repertoire have been recorded in a series of highly praised CDs. The latest of these are Amber Songs, 17 arrangements of Latvian folk songs by international composers, Pelēcis. Plakidis. Kamēr…, which celebrated the anniversaries of composers Georgs Pelēcis and Pēteris Plakidis, and the recording of the Kalpotājs. Blumbergs. Kamēr… program that was made in spring 2019. Over the last twenty-five years, Kamēr… has achieved its special sound by cultivating its own signature performance style. Both full emotional surrender, a characteristic of amateur singers, as well as the strictest criteria for vocal quality, are of equal importance for the choir. This is expressed in the ellipsis encoded in the choir’s name, Kamēr…, which means “while” in English. While we are still young, anything is possible…