But Ortiz still could not give other details of the group's victory. The all-Dabawenyo choral group won in one of the 21 categories of the pioneering tilt participated by more than 70 choral groups, mostly Indonesian-based, from around Asia-Pacific.
The group was one of 12 from the Philippines that competed in various categories in the competition. According to the competition's website, the group was conducted by Aldwin Curambao and Alvin E. Aviola.
The other Mindanao-based group in the competition is the Xavier University Glee Club from Cagayan de Oro City.
The Himig Singers, recipient of numerous awards and topped several chorale competitions, reportedly sang the gospel song "The Walls of Jericho,” the Visayan hit "Usahay" and "Circle of Life," the theme of Disney's animated hit, The Lion King.
According to the group's website, the group is no stranger to national and international fame.
Apart from winning awards from the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) in 1990 and 1993, Himig Singers bested choirs from all over the globe in winning the prestigious “award of the audience” at the Vivace 2004 International Choral Festival in Veszprém, Hungary.
The Himig Singers won the first prize in the mixed category and the grand prize in the 26th International Youth and Music Festival in Vienna, Austria, in 1997.
The group also bagged the first prize in the polyphonic category among 48 choral entries from all over the world in the XV International Music Festival in Cantonigros, Spain, also in 1997.
The group performed before the City Council on October 2 as part of their fund raising campaign for the competition. The City Council committee on finance, ways, and means and appropriations spearheaded raising of funds for the group.
"We didn't regret raising P100,000 for the group," she told MindaNews.
The competition was held starting Nov. 2 to 10 to cover all categories according to age, voice parts and different music genres. The competition was organized by Interkultur Germany in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism and other institutions of the host country. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)