Filipino Chorale bags prizes in Spain

An all-male group from the Philippines clinched the top spot in a choral competition held in Tolosa, Spain.

During the 54th Tolosa Choral Contest, the Male Ensemble Philippines took first place in the Secular Music category and second place in the Sacred Music category both under Vocal Groups.

The group outperformed competitors from the United Kingdom, Italy, Iceland, and Sweden in the said competition held from 31 October to 5 November.

Male Ensemble Philippines or MEn, is a vocal group affiliated with the Philippine Madrigal Singers Company of Artists, led by musical director Ily Matthew Maniano. Members of the Choral team are Maniano, countertenor, Amiel Job Liwanagan, countertenor, John Philip Bautista, tenor, Tomas Umberto Virtucio, Jr., tenor, Dwight Benedict Chaves, baritone, and Emerson Flores, bass.

Michelle Nikki Junia, President of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, expressed pride in the group’s accomplishments.

“We laud them for epitomizing solid musicianship as well as championing artistic discipline and respect. Our Filipino artists have been making their mark on both local and international stages, and the CCP supports them in their artistic journey,” Junia said in a statement.

The Tolosa Choral Contest was founded in 1969 and dubbed as “one of the most important choral events in the world.” About 1,200 choirs across the globe have performed at Tolosa to showcase their talent.

MEn is currently on its 2023 European Concert Tour, which runs until 19 December. The group’s stops for concerts, performances, and workshops include France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, and Austria.