Children’s choir concert to mark Dominicans’ 800th year

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QUEZON City, Dec. 12, 2016—The all-boys choir of Santo Domingo Church is set to perform in concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) at Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City, Dec. 13 as part of the global celebration of the 8th centenary of the foundation of the Dominican Order.

The Tiples de Santo Domingo, the Santo Domingo Church’s all-boys choir, whose members are aged 6 to 14, will be performing in a major concert at the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo dubbed “Benedicere: A Christmas Jubilee Concert.”

Golden heritage

Organized in collaboration with the CCP and the Convent of Santo Domingo, the concert features the Schola Cantorum, the choir of the Dominican student-brothers; the Santo Domingo Male chorale which is composed of former members of Tiples; UST tenor Eugene de los Santos; and other singers connected to Sto. Domingo Church and La Naval.

The repertoire will include songs the Tiples have sung for four centuries as well as compositions of contemporary artists. Organizers hope the audience will get a glimpse of the Tiples de Santo Domingo’s and the Philippines’ golden heritage through the concert. Tickets are available at Ticketworld.

Tiples de Santo Domingo through the years

Tiples is a Spanish word that refers to the highest note the human voice can reach. A high-pitched voice was necessary for the beautiful and complex arrangements that were sung during solemn Masses. Gregorian chants and the compositions of well-known musicians such as Palestrina, Bach, and Beethoven are still sung today by the Tiples de Santo Domingo on Sundays and on annual celebrations of the feast of La Naval.

The Dominican tradition of establishing a boys’ choir was started in 1587 by Fr. Pedro Bolanso, OP when he gathered a number of boys in the vicinity of his mission in Bataan to serve as singers in church services. His purpose was not only to provide music for the liturgy but also to teach them Christian values. It is from his initiative that the tradition of the Tiples de Santo Domingo originated.

There used to be Tiples choirs that sang in the major churches in Spanish-era Intramuros, among them those of Manila Cathedral, the Jesuit church of San Ignacio, and the Augustinians’ San Agustin Church. Sadly, only that of the Dominicans has survived. (Rev. Rommel Olivar, OP / CBCPNews)

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