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Musica Singers of Manitoba shines at WSO Community Celebration

  Musica Singers 1 Teoddy Figueroa
Musica Singers of Manitoba singing Ernani Cuenco and Levi Celerio’s “Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal” with Paolo Camus, violinist, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Raiskin. Photo by Teoddy Figueroa
  Musica Singers 2 Matt Duboff
Daniel Raiskin conducting the Musica Singers of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in the lively rendition of “Ay, Ay, Ay, O, Pag-ibig,” a traditional love song with a catchy melody. Photo by Matt Duboff
    Musica Singers 3 Emmanuel Dimatulac
Traditional singer and drummer Ray “Coco” Stevenson and the Walking Wolf Singers & Dancers pose with the Musica Singers of Manitoba at the 2023 WSO Community Celebration at the Centennial Concert Hall. Photo by Emmanuel Dimatulac

Musica Singers of Manitoba, a new vocal ensemble dedicated to promoting Philippine music and culture, delivered a captivating performance at the WSO Community Celebration on Saturday, October 7th, at the Centennial Concert Hall.

The WSO Community Celebration, a much-awaited annual event, returned with a renewed commitment to showcase local talent, including singers, instrumentalists, and composers. This is the second year that the Musica Singers was invited to take part in the program. Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra music director Daniel Raiskin conducted the remarkable evening dedicated to celebrating the diverse musical heritage in the community.

Under the guidance of their dedicated creative team, including Dante Aviso (Artistic Director), Oscar Pantaleon (Music Director), Lorenz Edward Sarrondo, Donna Bautista-Rubio, and Paolo Camus, the Musica Singers delivered a heartfelt rendition of cherished Filipino classics.

At the 2023 WSO Community Celebration, Musica Singers sang the timeless Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal (How Much I Love You) composed by two Philippine National Artists for Music, Ernani Cuenco and Levi Celerio. Conrado Del Rosario’s arrangement of this song was used with special permission from the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The score and parts were prepared by Paulo John Rubio. The ensemble’s performance was capped with a rendition of Ay, Ay, Ay, O, Pag-ibig! (Oh, Love!), a traditional Filipino love song that delighted the audience with its catchy melodic charm.

The Musica Singers’ performance at the WSO Community Celebration was a testament to their dedication to promoting Philippine music and culture in Manitoba. Their enchanting voices and sincere singing left an indelible mark on the hearts of the audience, making it a truly memorable evening.

Sharing the stage with the Musica Singers was an array of talented artists, including Raymond Ding on piano, the Manitoba Chinese Choir, vocalist Jason Burnstick, the Sistema Orchestra, traditional singer and drummer Ray “Coco” Stevenson, Walking Wolf Singers & Dancers, BunmiPraise, WithUs Ensemble, and the event’s host, Paul Ong. Monica Chen, Sistema music director, and Daniel Raiskin, WSO music director, ensured that the evening flowed seamlessly and was a true celebration of local talent.

Musica Singers of Manitoba, founded in 2019 as an informal group of kundiman (Philippine art song) soloists, has since evolved into a notable vocal group. The ensemble’s repertoire reflects their versatility, encompassing a wide range of genres from folk and kundiman to contemporary choral music, popular melodies, and sacred compositions. Musica Singers comprises professionals from various fields who share a deep passion for Philippine music.