April 17, 2024

A call goes out to Baguio and Benguet secondary schools to showcase their musical talents through an original composition and choir contest on May 26 for the third Saleng/Pine tree festival entittled “Rhythm and Harmony of Nature.”
According to City Environment and Parks Management Office head Rhenan Diwas, invitations have been sent to Baguio and Benguet public and private schools for their choir delegation to compete on May 26 at the Rose Garden. A minimum of 12 singers and 20 at most, are allowed; not counting the conductor and accompanist, if any. Choreography is a must, the competition guidelines state.
As of date, Baguio City National High School, Pines City National High School and Philippine Science High School, Cordillera Campus have signified their intentions to compete, and sing about interplays in the environment. 
Schools even from the outskirts of the province or far-flung areas are enjoined to compete, Diwas said.
Their musical talents are worth listening to, and local accompaniment or indigenous musical instrument used might even prove to be an original for the competition, he added.             
The winner of the original composition competition could be designated as the official musical theme for the succeeding Saleng festivals, Diwas added.      
Two songs, “Awit ng Kalikasan,” by musician Chaz Katalbas and an original composition should be performed within 10 minutes; starting with the choir’s proper assembly and commencement of the song, but excluding the singers’ entrance, exit and duration of applause. The musical scoring of Katalbas’ song shall be emailed to the participants for preparation and practice, once the school choir’s application form is received and approved. 
Cepmo chair of the committee on Programs Engr. Joseph Willy said the choir competition not only confirm talents from the locals, but that the original musical piece may be composed in English, Filipino, any indigenous language of the Cordillera, or a lyrical mixture of any of the three languages. The content should be focused on nature and the environment, and the use of explicit or offensive language, trademark or brand names is strictly prohibited, Willy added.        
Live accompaniment for both songs is permitted but strictly not any playback or sound track; the organizers agreed. As the festival is focused on nature and its preservation, and spearheaded by the Cepmo, collaborative efforts for the program, communication, technical aspects and arrangements were done by the parks, urban forest, environmental management, water and hazardous waste material, administrative and Burnham Park Division heads and employees for the three-month preparation.     
Champion voices take home P20,000 and a trophy, with second and third places having P15,000 and P10,000, respectively, with trophies as well.
The original composition should be submitted signed by the composer not later than May 15 at e-mail addresses [email protected] or [email protected].
The composer reserves the rights to the song, no compensation and no participation fee is collected, nor solicited by the organizer.
The deadline for submission of entries is on April 28 through online registration at https://forms.gle/byVqJaa4BiS7i1qeA, but contest forms may be submitted at CEPMO, City hall.
Inquiries may be coursed through cp # 0939-2849-571. – Julie G. Fianza