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Adventist Filipino choir wins 'Choir of the World' title

Music an expression of 'thanksgiving' for Adventist University of the Philippines-based group

Adventist Filipino choir wins 'Choir of the World' title

The Adventist University of the Philippines-based Ambassadors pose after winning 'Choir of the World' title at the 2011 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod July 10. [photo courtesy The Ambassadors]

A Seventh-day Adventist choir based at Adventist University of the Philippines earned the "Choir of the World" title at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod this year.

The university's Ambassadors Chorale Arts Society bested more than 4,000 performers from 50 countries to earn the prestigious title.

"This is God's victory," said director Ramon Molina Lijauco Jr. "We can't thank God enough for these opportunities," he said, adding that the choir's music is an expression of "thanksgiving and remembrance to the creator and source of music."

The small town of Llangollen has hosted Eisteddfod -- Welsh for "festival" -- since 1947. The event celebrates musical competition, performance and international peace and friendship. Well-known Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti marked his first professional performance in the United Kingdom at Eisteddfod in 1968.

The Ambassadors also won first prize in the categories of Mixed Choirs and Chamber Choirs, and received the Luciano Pavarotti Trophy.

They wouldn't have made it to the festival without prayers and the support of choir alumni, who helped raise the necessary $43,000 to cover airfare, accommodation, visas and registration fees, Lijauco Jr. said.

The Ambassadors regularly perform worldwide and are counted among the notable choirs in the world, according to the World Ranking List of Musica Mundi. They have performed with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and at last year's General Conference Session in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2006, the choir earned "World Choir Games Champion" status in the Gospel and Spiritual Category at the 4th World Choir Games in Xiamen, China.