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Operated by couple Eddie Flores and Orquidia Valenzuela
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By Catherine Andres
July 27, 2017


The adjudicators of the 28th Australian International Music Festival (AIMF) held in Sydney from 9 to 15 July 2017 awarded 2 golds to the Children’s Paradise Montessori School (CPMS) Choir and Rondalla for their instrumental and choral renditions of Filipino music and Filipino dance performances including the Sinulog.

Established in 1989, AIMF has attracted a global cast of choral, orchestral, wind and jazz ensembles since its inception and provided the participants 7 days of fantastic musical and cultural experiences.  For its 2017 season, over 1,200 children and adults from US, China, Canada, New Zealand, Croatia, Hongkong, Philippines and Australia participated in the festival with performances held in Sydney’s world-class art venues - Concert Hall of the Opera House, the Verbrugghen Hall of the Conservatorium of Music, the Recital Hall of Angel Place and the Sydney Town Hall.

Showcasing Filipino song and dance, the 20 Filipino participants aged 7-15 years accompanied by 23 school officials, musical directors and parents entertained and amazed distinguished audiences of different cultural backgrounds. In the 2 adjudicated performances, the adjudicators were unanimous in their decision scoring gold for the CPMS Choir and Rondalla. Marivic Bathan, president of CPMS and head  of the Philippine delegation shared the following comments from the adjucators from their score sheets:

Andrew Eisenman – “Great young voices. Extraordinary. Brilliant work. I love the movement and storytelling. Your performance is exciting and wonderful”

Elizabeth Scott  –  “Great energy. Mesmerising performance. Incredible variety of colours and sounds. Amazing. A magical atmosphere. So wonderful to see big and small all working together”.

Brett Waymark – “Really amazing performance. Loved the arrangement that exploited the harmonicas”.

Dr Ralph Hultgren – “A very good sense of ensemble. Well executed. Solid work. A good balance and blend. Engaging and entertaining.”

Stephen Williams – Lovely and interesting sound. I was impressed by the level and discipline of playing. Great contrasts in the type of music performed.”
The delegation arrived in Sydney on 6 July 2017 and called on the Philippine Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis on same day followed by a community fellowship and dinner at the Bulwagang Rizal, Philippine Consulate. At this gathering, the executives of the Philippine Community Council of New South Wales (PCC-NSW), Filipino Community Cooperative and  Adhika and some community leaders presented donations to the group to support the Montessori Foundation to provide the Education of the Badjaos in the Visayas and also provide assistance to the group whilst in Australia. The group also met with the Visayan Association of Australia Inc (VAAI)  and Carolinians  in separate luncheon and dinner events on 8 July 2017 with a showcase of Fiesta Filipinas and the Sinulog at the Visayan event held at Mt Druitt Pabico Club 55.

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