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Multi-award UP Concert Chorus performs in the Bay Area.

By: Gabby V. Moraleda

It was a gala evening to remember, one of the largest audience for a Filipino group. Led by its conductress, Ms. Jai Aracama, the UP Concert Chorus(UPCC), or simply Korus, the official choir of the University of the Philippines performed its "Saliw Himig" concert on January 2, 2016 at the Union City Apostolic Church before a full house of 1600 guests. The concert was sponsored by several organizations namely; St. James Parish, St. Anne and the Knights of Columbus,FUN Sunset Rotary Club, Union City Tennis Club, and the UP Alumni Association of San Francisco.

The repertoire of the evening consisted of traditional Christmas carols, Filipino and contemporary songs. The crowd was awed by the finale which featured the theme song from the James Bond movie "Skyfall". The group held several mini concerts in the Bay Area, one was at the Philippine Center in San Francisco jointly sponsored by UPAASF and the Consulate. It was similarly well attended by FilAm leaders, officers of other consular posts, Senate President Frank Drilon and his wife.

Not many are aware of what it takes to bring UPCC over. It requires serious planning, time and commitment. The unseen heroes are the "host families" which open up their homes for the singers. They become the "extended families", taking care of their needs while with us. Without them, we simply cannot make available UPCC for us to enjoy. Cheers to the hosts.

As an internationally-competitive performing group, Korus has mastered versatility in singing classical, folk, pop and Broadway musical genres with signature vibrant choreography. Korus has become a veritable icon of performing arts, as the pioneer of ChoreoCapella or choreographed a capella, in the Philippines. Korus garnered the Grand Prix at the 6th International Krakow Choir Festival in Poland on June 14, 2015 for being the best choir of the festival, besting 23 other choirs from all over Europe and the USA.

Throughout the years, Korus has proven that it has done more than just showcasing exceptional talents. With a brilliant 53-year tradition of compelling interpretations, vibrant choreography, theatrical expressions, eye- catching costumes, and a charisma that is uniquely Filipino, UPCC continues to revolutionize choral performance arts in the country and even across the world.

Vice Mayor Jim Navarro headed the group of concert organizers. He has done this for the last 15 years. Jim looks forward to the next one – in 2 years, when UPCC returns.