The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong, in cooperation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)-Cultural Exchange Department (CED), presented the Philippine Madrigal Singers, famously known as The MADz, who conducted a three-day event series in Hong Kong from January 10 to 12. This project is part of CCP-CED’s Mabuhay Philippines! program.
The group, organized in 1963 by National Artist Professor Andrea O. Veneracion, holds the distinction of being the first choir in the world to win the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing twice (1997 and 2007), and was recognized by UNESCO as Artists for Peace (2009).
Led by its choirmaster, Mr. Mark Anthony Carpio, The Madz kicked off its activities with a full-house concert at the Hong Kong City Hall Theatre on January 10 where they sang a repertoire of Filipino songs including “Anak” and a well-known Chinese song, Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin (The Moon Represents My Heart) to the delight of the audience. The audience could not get enough of The MADz that the group sang two encores after the actual concert which culminated with a standing ovation from the concertgoers composed of Filipino community members, as well as members of the Hong Kong and international communities.
Day 2 of the MADz weekend in Hong Kong was marked by a cliniquing workshop with the Hong Kong Baptist University’s (HKBU) Cantoria Choir headed by Dr. John Winzenburg on January 11. During the workshop, Mr. Carpio shared The MADz’s chorale training techniques and discipline. It was also an opportunity for the MADz members to interact with the Cantoria Choir and impart their experiences as a chorale group. Director Peter Li of the HKBU’s International Office noted that the workshop was not only a training session but also a venue where “friendship has developed between two peoples” (i.e., Philippines and Hong Kong).
The University of the Philippines Alumni Association-Hong Kong (UPAA-HK) also organized a Lamma Island tour for The MADz where the group met with the Filipino community.
The MADz capped their Mabuhay Philippines! tour in Hong Kong with a Cliniquing Workshop for Filipino choirs on January 12 at the Bayanihan Centre Auditorium. Thirteen (13) choirs (a total of around 160 singers), some with non-Filipino members, participated in the workshop, which was followed by a mass at St. Joseph’s Church where The MADz was the guest choir. To culminate the workshop with Filipino choirs, The MADz performed the songs “One Voice” and “Prayer of St. Francis” after the mass with all the Filipino choirs who participated in the workshop.
The MADz event series is part of the activities under the 2012-2013 Philippines-China Years of Friendly Exchanges aimed at promoting Philippine culture to the international community and strengthening Philippines-China ties including Hong Kong.