All-girl Davao singing group wins awards in international competition

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 August) — The love for singing is what brought seven young girls together.

The common ground where Alexea, Rica, Adrianna, Dianne, Christina, Trixia, and Meryll met has woven a tight friendship among them, and will be bringing them to places, proudly waving the Philippine flag along the way.

The Voices, a Davao City-based vocal ensemble comprised of the girls, represented the country in an international choral competition last July.

The girls went head to head with other singing groups hailing from across Asia in the seventh edition of Orientale Concentus held at the School of the Arts in Singapore.

“We have been rehearsing since January this year,” said Meryll Clarisse Salape, 16-year-old Ateneo de Davao engineering freshman, the eldest in the group.

The group competed in two categories: the ensemble category and the folksongs category—and they won gold awards in both!

The Voices showcased three songs per category; all of these songs (except for one) were their renditions of the musical works of Filipino composers/arrangers Sidney Marquez Boquiren and Joy Nilo. There were four Filipino songs of different dialects that highlighted the repertoire of The Voices.

The group has been singing together since 2010 in children’s choirs: in Holy Child Children’s Choir and in Voices of the South Children’s Choir. Since then, the girls in The Voices have won awards from competitions here and abroad.

The Voices was a finalist in the National Music Competition for Young Artists in 2010, and won awards in the Manila Broadcasting Company choral competitions in 2011. In 2012, the group bagged awards in the Musikahan sa Tagum National Choral Competition, and won as champions in several competitions in the region. Last year, The Voices won gold and silver medals in the folklore and children’s choir categories of the 6th Grand Prix Pattaya International Choir Competition in Thailand.06choir


The Voices is composed of sopranos Aika Abando, Trixia Ebita, Rica Penano, and Meryll Salape; and altos Dianne Capuno, Adrianna Salape, and Abby Salape.

“We come from different schools but we are bonded together because of our friendship and love for singing,” said Trixia, a mass communication freshman in Ateneo de Davao.

The girls look at their rehearsals as episodes of self-discovery–chances to know and understand each other deeper. “We try to understand each other and we always talk,” said Meryll. “Our parents would let us understand that we have different personalities and we should always value our friendship.”

Even at such young ages, the girls are also keen at learning more about their craft and life in general. “We learned that success is achieved not only because of our passion in music but also because of discipline, hard work and patience,” said Dianne, Grade 9 at San Pedro College.

“We also learned the importance of time management–that we should know how to balance our time because we still put priority on our studies,” added Rica, Grade 9 at Precious International School of Davao.

Their dedication for their craft has long made them ready for competition here and abroad.

They eyed high prizes in Orientale Concentus and they made their vision become a reality—they became one of the six finalists for the Grand Prix Competition and showed the world what they got.

They competed against 28 international choral groups from across Asia and they took home honor for their country and a deeper love for singing.

Follow The Voices in (Jesse Pizarro Boga/MindaNews)