Mixed choirs are great, of course, and so are all-female choirs. But there is something about an all-male choir that gains one’s immediate attention.
Aleron (Latin for “the winged one”), is an all-male choir started in 2006 by Ateneo de Manila High School Glee Club alumni, now with members from Ateneo and University of the Philippines (plus one La Sallian).
The group is led by Christopher Arceo, a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music who is into the new music along with fresh, innovative arrangements of traditional songs.
Aleron has since come a long way, winning plaudits from music specialists and six major awards, including three in international competitions in Busan, South Korea; Takarazuka, Japan; and Macau.
The group has just released a Christmas album, “Dakilang Hiwaga,” and launched it for the press in a recent mini-concert at Xavierville, Quezon City,
In their rendition of “Silent Night,” the voices of the tenors and male sopranos were angelic and the bass-baritones were masculine, manly, the whole blending into an achingly beautiful harmony.
For “Stars” (music by Eriks Esevalds, lyrics by Sara Teasdale), the choristers twirled their fingers around wine glasses half filled with water, creating rhythmic musical sounds as the voices rose in crescendo and died away.
Chimes, wooden percussion instruments and a bongo drum complemented the music of the final number, “Nomads Carol” by Ily Matthew Maniano.
The 27-member choir is now preparing for the World Choral Symposium for Choral Music in Barcelona, Spain, in July. —CONTRIBUTED