MCGI Music Ministry’s first-ever Virtual Music Festival Showcases Songs of Hope

“Kung ang ating in-express ay pananampalatayang nanggagaling sa ating mga puso, alam natin na  ito’y isang bagay na ina-acknowledge ng Dios, nakikita ng Dios ang nilalaman ng ating mga kalooban.” (If what we are expressing is a faith that comes from our hearts, we can be sure that it is being acknowledged by God because God sees our hearts.)

This is how Kuya Daniel Razon concluded his message in the first-ever MCGI (Members Church of God International) Music Ministry Virtual Music Festival which was successfully broadcasted on January 3, 2021, through the official Music Ministry YouTube Channel.

Indeed, with God’s help and mercy, twenty-six newly-composed hymns were performed by chorale groups from various regions all over the world. This year’s music festival is themed Songs of Hope with the tagline, “Inspired by Music in the time of Pandemic”.

As early as April last year, planning and preparations for this music festival had started but due to some restrictions imposed by the government because of the pandemic, the event had been deferred to a later date.  But the situation did not hinder the participants in creating studio-quality productions. The songs exceeded expectations and did not fail to “strengthen the weary souls, uplift the depressed, and encourage humanity to continuously face life’s adversities with optimism and unfailing trust in God”.

The MCGI chorale groups from various regions across the world participated in the first MCGI Music Ministry virtual Music Festival held on January 3, 2021 through the Music Ministry YouTube Channel.

The entry of the South America Division – Florianopolis, entitled, Tagumpay, which was composed by Bro. Sonny Catan, was declared as the “Best Song of Hope”.  Aside from that, it also won the Best in Video Editing award. The song is about claiming triumph and attaining salvation amidst struggles and troubles by holding on to God, our sole refuge.

Meanwhile, Central Apalit Division was hailed as the first runner-up for the song, Don’t Lose Heart. It also won Best Intro AVP, Best Choral Arrangement, and Best Production Concept awards.

Bulacan’s May Bagong Awa and the National Capital Region’s Beyond the Stars were tied for the second runner-up spot. The former received the coveted People’s Choice Award (Most Liked Video Award) while the latter was chosen to have Outstanding Tenor, Best in Musical Arrangement, and Best in Audio Mix special awards.

North 1 Division’s Ang Aming Pag-asa was the third runner-up along with the Most Compliant Award. Moreover, Bataan-Zambales Division’s Lunas and Quezon-Marinduque Division’s Bumangon Ka were both named fourth runners-up with the former winning the Best Interpretation award.

Other special awards given were Best Cinematography, Outstanding Inspirational Music, Best Choreography which were received by Europe-Israel-Africa Division, South America Division, and North Eastern Division, respectively. Bicol Division, Rizal Division, and Asia Oceania District 3 were recognized for winning Outstanding Sopranos, Outstanding Altos, and Outstanding Bass awards, respectively. Lastly, Panay Division and Asia Oceania Division were both acknowledged for having the Most Number of Participants.

Above: List of special awards given during the Songs of Hope: the 1st MCGI Music Ministry Virtual Festival.

Apart from the inspiration and spiritual strength provided by these songs, Bro Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon graced the event with words of wisdom and enlightenment, much to the delight of more than 14, 000 viewers tuned in here and abroad through the MCGI Music Channel on Youtube and Zoom. Kuya Daniel reminisced the time when it was just a small wish of Bro Eli for brethren to compose original hymns of praises to God. He then gave a much-needed boost to composers and singers to continue writing, singing songs of praises as these are expressions of faith and acknowledgment of God’s loving-kindness, forms of counsel and admonition to the brethren, and sources of solace and encouragement. Bro. Eli also advised the participants to compose songs that have a great recall or LSS (Last Song Syndrome) – songs whose lyrics and melodies linger in the memory of the listeners.  Bro. Eli added that, “a song should have a variety of subjects that will culminate in the glory of the Lord”. As ever, it was a memorable event.

The official hashtag, #MCGICHORALESongsOfHope. also became a top trending topic in the Philippines trends list with almost 29,000 tweets.

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