by MARIA CECILIA PAGDANGANAN
THE UST Chorus of Arts and Letters (AB Chorale) conductor won first place at the recently concluded 2019 Busan Choral Festival and Competition (BCFC).
In an online interview, Mark Raeniel Agpasa told the Flame that his winning piece Jubilate Deo was inspired by Southeast Asian music.
Agpasa shared that he was still busy composing a separate piece for another composition competition when BCFC posted an announcement for applicants on their website.He immediately started working on the piece and was able to finish it in two to three weeks.
“I want to share my knowledge and works to all the choirs out there. […] I also want to promote our rich Filipino heritage and Thomasian artistry not just here in the Philippines, but also around the world,” Agpasa said when asked about his reason for joining the competition.
The conductor attributed his achievements to the musical groups he is affiliated with. With the AB Chorale, he was awarded the best conductor in Himig Tomasino 2018. The choir also placed 1st runner-up at Himig Tomasino 2019.
Aside from being the conductor of the AB Chorale, Agpasa is also the Assistant Musical Director of the University of Santo Tomas Singers. The UST Singers has since won ‘Choir of the World Champion of Champions’ in an online voting competition by the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. F