June 17, 2011 — The University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Northern California Berkeley Chapter hosted a party for the acclaimed Philippine Madrigal Singers after the successful concert they staged tonight at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Chapter president Selenna Franco-Cefre led the UP alumni and their spouses/partners and friends in the gathering that was held the residence of Romi & Beng Beza in nearby Concord. Among those present were Vangie Poe-Quesada, Alexis Zulueta, Julie Hudson, Marivi Perez, Boyong Robles, Andet Las Pinas and Cherry & Lito Utleg. Chapter members chipped in to provide the Madz — as the singers are more affectionally called — with a sumptuous late-night dinner buffet.
The Madz are in town in the midst of their North America series of concerts that encompass not only the West, MidWest and East Coast but Canada as well. Led by choirmaster Mark Anthony Carpio, the Madz wowed the sell-out concert with a varied repertoire from contemporary to classical songs that showcased their world-renown singing prowess. Compared to the last UPAANC Berkeley-sponsored concert the Madz had in the Bay Area in 2007 (when they had just won European Grand Prix for Choral Singing), the award-winning singers sang more contemporary and Filipino songs in their signature a cappella arrangements at this year’s concert. The Madz even surprised the audience when they departed from their traditional semi-circle seated singing position to do some choreographed numbers, some even with props. There were comic segments incorporated in the arrangements, too. The result was a more accessible and entertaining concert that regaled the Walnut Creek audience — Filipino and Caucasians alike.
Lead sponsor for this year’s concert was Music Repertoire, the music company owned and operated by UPAANC Berkeley chapter musical director Henry Torres. Henry enlisted the UPAANC Berkeley Chapter as well as the Tagbilaran Association of Northern California in marketing the concert and both organizations earned some funds for their respective charities. Henry is an alumnus of the U.P. Madrigal Singers — as it was known then — along with Boyong Robles, who is shown above having fun with the current Madz in an impromptu concert at the Beza backyard.
It was another enchanted evening, thanks to the Madz!