Cebuanos are incredible singers and this is a proven fact. The Cebu Chamber Singers (CCS) adds to the long list. It is a group that may be away from mainstream publicity but has been graciously giving glory to Cebu and the Philippines. Some people do not know that this group of 35 vocally gifted Cebuano professionals has garnered prestigious awards here and abroad.
Multi-awarded Dennis Gregory Sugarol and US-based musician Rey Roa founded the CCS in June 2006. The members went through meticulous training to sharpen their skills. They were given workshops to improve their music dynamics, vocalization, breathing techniques, and phrasing, among others. The members, who are composed of lawyers, teachers, doctors, and other professionals, eagerly make time for rehearsals that are scheduled twice a week. They also sing regularly at the Pedro Calungsod Shrine in Cebu City.
The group that is committed to promote folk, religious and popular music received its first international recognition when it bagged two gold medals on November 10, 2007, in the First Asian Choir Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. The CCS became the “Winner of the Asian Open” for the Gospel and Spiritual, and the Mixed Chamber Choir categories after they beat all other gold awardees. The choral group then won gold for the Mixed Classic Category and bronze for Ethnic/Folklore category in the Busan Choral Festival & Competition 2008 in South Korea.
The Cebu Chamber Singers proved to be a force to reckon with when they recently won the top prize in the Busan Choral Festival & Competition 2011 held last November. They were able to beat 29 choral groups from China, Korea, Russian Federation, Malaysia, Lithuania, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Iran, the Czech Republic, and others.
The CCS may have performed outside the country and gained international recognition, but they still prefer to sing to their hometown crowd. Nothing beats hearing the warm and sincere applause of their fellow Cebuanos. Its vibrant members, who come from various schools, parishes, and community choirs, always guarantee to give the crowd what they have come for: a harmonious interpretation of well-selected songs. If you get invited to see them perform live, accept it so you can see for yourself why we take pride in calling them Cebuanos. You’ll definitely fall in love with this group.
The Cebu Chamber Singers continues to improve through time. Under Maestro Dennis Gregory Sugarol, the group is certainly in good hands. As they continue to evolve into better singers, they will leave a long-lasting impression to those who listen to them.