(Editor’s note: The article below if from the column Direct Line by Boy Abunda as printed in The Philippine Star 06/14/06 edition.)
The Philippine Madrigal Singers scored another triumph for the country when it emerged as the grand prize winner in the Florilège Vocal de Tours 2006 last June 4. The group was awarded first prizes in the Mixed Vocal Ensemble Category and in the Free Program Category. It was also the recipient of the Prix Special Renaissance (separate category for a purely Renaissance program). The group bested 14 other choirs, earning them the Grand Prix de la Ville de Tours, an award given to the choir having the most satisfactory overall performance during the entire competition and that gives them the right to compete in the 2007 European Grand Prix in Choral Singing.
Held in Tours, France, the Florilège Vocal de Tours is one of only six prestigious European choral competitions that culminate in the European Grand Prix in Choral Singing. Champions from the six competition venues Tours (France), Tolosa (Spain), Arezzo (Italy), Gorizia (Italy), Debrecen (Hungary) and Varna (Bulgaria) compete for one grand prize and the prestige of being recognized as the world champion of choral art.
The Philippine Madrigal Singers is the first and, to date, the only Filipino choir to earn this distinction when it emerged as the grand prize winner in the 1997 European Grand Prix. Incidentally, the 1997 European Grand Prix was held in Tours, France, with the group representing the Tolosa competition