Philippine Madrigal Singers: Get To Know The Nation's Most Respected Choir
The Philippine Madrigal Singers, lovingly known as Madz, are a local choir organised by National Artist for Music, Andrea Veneracion. Since their inception in the 1960's, the Philippine Madrigal Singers have become one of the most celebrated acts in the local music industry. They've been recognised internationally, have performed for three Popes, and are also a UNESCO Artist for Peace.
Despite international acclaim, however, the Madz singers continue to carry their nationalistic pride well. "Filipinos are inherently musical," they say. "Our musicality is deeply rooted in a “singing” culture—most Filipinos, in fact probably all Filipinos, can sing and enjoy singing." In fact, they claim that choral singing perfectly embodies the bayanihan spirit the country is so famous for. "Pinoys like doing this together or with others. This is the perfect environment for choral singing to thrive. And indeed, it has."
While choral artistry may not be as mainstream as other, more contemporary forms of music, the Philippine Madrigal Singers have no doubt paved the way for the genre. "From that first time in the 1960s when we made a splash in the international arena, the whole world now considers the Philippines as a major choral nation, with many other Filipino choirs reaping international acclaim," they note. Every community, town, or barrio has a choir, big or small, and no doubt the Madz singers have done their fair share to help these groups form and grow. "In the future, we want to see more people sing together. We want to see choral music flourish in the Philippines because it is the most participative and inclusive form of art and music-making."
After all, music is not just an art, it's also a mission. For the Philippine Madrigal Singers, music aims to uplift, to inspire, and to give home—things much needed during these unpredictable times. "We need leaders and decision-makers to prioritise this on equal footing as our economic and social priorities. In the new normal, music is not just entertainment."
As such, the choir group continues to lobby for support for their fellow singers. They've pushed artists to continue in creating in order to develop the unique Filipino genre. "Singing traditional classics (that includes our indigenous and folk songs) in the present gives it a contemporary treatment without negating or cancelling the past." But aside from support, the Philippine Madrigal Singers agree that discipline is the most important thing for foundling groups. "Discipline is how we take our musical and artistic activities from being mediocre and mundane to being truly life-changing for ourselves and those we touch."
See Also: Why Do Filipinos Love Music So Much?
In this new normal, Madz continues to perform, albeit in the virtual space. They're launching new recordings and song collections that include traditional music and original works. Their outreach program has neither been disrupted. Through their Andrea O. Veneracion Sing Philippines platform, the Madz Music Studio continues with their virtual offerings to reach more eager students. A new Choral Centre is also under construction and is well on its way to being operational by 2023. This aims to be a wonderful resource and cultural hub for Madz singers and other affiliated musical groups.
To know more about the Philippine Madrigal Singers, visit philippinemadrigalsingers.com.