DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 May) – Dabawenyo tenor Kevin Mikhail Hernandez Gomez won three first Nprize awards in the four categories he joined at the 21st Queensland Vocal Competition on May 27 and 28.
Gomez won first prize in Open Sacred Music, Open Foreign Classical Aria and Open Operatic Aria and received a High Commendation certificate for the Open English Aria.
He sang George Frideric Handel’s “Total Eclipse” from “Samson” for the Open Sacred Song category; Nicanor Abelardo’s kundiman, “Nasaan ka Irog” for Open Foreign Classical Art Song and Guiseppe Verdi’s “Questa o Quella” for Open Operatic Aria.
In the fourth category that he joined (Open English Aria) he sang Roger Quilter’s “Music When Soft Voices Die,” and got a High Commendation Certificate.
He was accompanied by pianist Jennifer Enchelmeir for the Open Sacred Song and Open Foreign Classical Art Song while pianist John Woods accompanied him for Open English Aria and Open Operatic Aria.
The Queensland Vocal Competition is hosted by the Queensland Music Teachers’ Association Incorporated.
Gomez told MindaNews that all the pieces he sang that won him first prize “were introduced to me when I was still studying with my teachers from the Philippines, Mr. Christopher Arceo at the Arceo Voice Studio, and with Mr. Jonathan Velasco at the University of the Philippines College of Music.”
“Through my training at the Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University with my current teacher, Dr. Margaret Schindler, and with my vocal coach, Jillian Stoll, I was able to prepare even more for the competition,” he said.
In his Facebook post, Gomez said he did not participate in the festival to win “but really just to gain as much as I can as a performer.”
“Don’t do it to win. Do it to become a better performer,” he wrote.
Gomez started his musical journey with the Ateneo de Davao University’s Subdominant 7 chapel choir in 2007. He became its Music head from 2008 to 2011.
He finished AB Mass Communications at the ADDU in 2012, worked at the Xavier School in San Juan, Metro Manila as Campus Minister and enrolled in 2015 at the University of the Philippines’ College of Music in Diliman, Quezon City, where he majored in conducting, and graduated cum laude in 2020.
Among his teachers were Professors Mark Anthony Carpio, Janet Sabas-Aracama, Beverly Shangkuan-Cheng, and Raul Navarro.
While studying in UP, Kevin became the choral consultant and music director at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mt. Carmel in Quezon City, which gave him the opportunity to organize one of the biggest grand choirs in the 70-year history of the Basilica.
He was also a member of the Ateneo Chamber Singers and the Villancico Vocal Ensemble.
He held a farewell concert in Davao City on January 6 and left for Brisbane, Australia a few weeks later to further hone his timbre at the Griffith University’s Queensland Conservatorium where he is pursuing his Master’s Degree in Music Studies program, major in Opera Performance. (MindaNews)