PH choirs win medals in Ohio


CINCINNATI, Ohio -Several youth choirs from the Philippines won gold and silver medals during the World Choir Games held in Cincinnati, Ohio early last month.

Philippine Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. was present to show his support for the Filipino participants in the competition on July 7 and meet with top Ohio officials.

He later attended a town hall meeting organized by the Filipino American Association of Southern Ohio (FASO).

The top Philippine medal winner was the Samewing Singers from the Ilocos Norte National High School in Laoag who won a silver medal, the highest level in the Musica Sacra championship; gold medal in the Open Competition for folklore songs; and silver medal in the Open Competition for Youth Choir of Equal Voices.

Other Filipino medal winners were the Miriam College High School Glee Club, which was awarded gold in the Open Competitions of Youth Choir of Equal Voices and Musica Sacra; Zamboanga Hermosa, which won two silver performance medals and one bronze medal in the Open Competition; and the Kammerata Singers, which garnered two silver performance medals in the Open Competition.

The competition also had choirs with strong Philippine identities including the Vox Viri singers from New Jersey, Prime Note Ensemble from West Covina, California, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Children's Choir from California.

Cuisia personally congratulated the Samewing Singers and Miriam College High School Choir for the awards they received during ceremonies held on July 8 at the U.S. Bank Arena.

The World Choir Games are said to be the Olympics of choral music.  According to the organizers, the Games have united people from around the world "through the power of song and in the spirit of friendly competition." Throughout the event's history, more than 2,000 choirs have participated in competitions across Europe and Asia.

The ambassador met Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory at the Proctor & Gamble Twin Tower banquet hall together with other dignitaries from other countries.

Later, he attended a town hall meeting organized by the Filipino American Association of Southern Ohio (FASO) headed by Guillermo Guinigundo, president of organization. The World Choir Games organization received dignitaries from throughout the world.  

At the town hall meeting organized by FASO at the Guinigundo residence in West Chester, he was enthusiastically received by the members and leaders of the Filipino community from Cincinnati and outlying vicinities.  Ohio State Representative Courtney Combs read an Ohio General Assembly resolution welcoming and honoring Cuisia for his experience and presence holding the Town Hall Meeting.

Members of the community expressed admiration for Cuisia's ability and willingness to discuss a variety of topics including those on labor, the economy, Philippine-U.S. defense cooperation, current disputes in the West Philippine Sea, and immigration issues. The Ambassador also touched on topics pertaining to Medicare portability as well as the plight of overseas workers and human rights.

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