The songwriting music festival of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) for the mid-year of 2013 became a venue of well-received firsts and great praise music for the glory of God on the eve of July 8, 2013 in Apalit, Pampanga.
With “Walang Hanggan Kitang Sasambahin” bagging the Grand Prize, together with the other three top prizes of the 2013 Mid-Year A Song of Praise Music Festival, Asia-Oceania’s record-breaking streak was the first time for one region in ASOP’s timeline to sweep all major prizes.
For Sis Sally Morgan, a prize better than the cash reward and the trophy came the moment her grand prize-winning song was sung by Bro. Daniel Razon together with its interpreter during the finals, Sis May Checa. It was another first that an ASOP-winning song was performed by the Vice-Presiding Minister to MCGI.
Bro. Eli requested Bro. Daniel to assist in re-arranging the prize-winning piece to achieve better musicality and lyrics quality.
Other winners from the same region include Sis. Anamarie Natividad’s 1st runner-up placer, “Your Servant’s Prayer” that was interpreted by Sis Marianne Liwanag; and Bro. Jun Sarmiento’s 2nd runner-up placer, “Alipin Mong Walang Kabuluhan” that was interpreted by Sis. Aileen De Matos. Bro. Antonio Gan’s “Lahat ng Dahilan”, interpreted by Bro. Jonathan Dumanais won the 3rd Runner-up award.
The musical competition has MCGI leaders, Bro. Eliseo Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon as regular judges. Criteria for judging the song finalists are musical content, lyrics, and over-all impact.
The next edition of ASOP in December will have a screening panel, which for the first time will subject finalist compositions to undergo massive and thorough evaluation and improvement to meet quality song standards. The aim is to make sure that musicians and lyricists get all the aid necessary to create well-crafted songs of praise.
“Dapat may panel na nag-screen ng kanta at nag-iimprove ng mga kanta.” (There must be a panel who would screen the songs and make improvements on the songs.) This, the televangelist said, should be convened immediately so there would be lesser edits during the finals night.
Throughout the competition, Bro. Eli made on-the-spot editing of the song lyrics after the performance of the entry. The MCGI Leader then called on the need for a screening panel.
Bro. Daniel, a songwriter himself, emphasized the importance of the “right marriage of a song.” Also known as Kuya Daniel for his broadcasting stints, he also furthered that the melody should fit the lyrics, and that the “musicality should be polished.”
Out of the fifteen mid-year finalists for 2013, participants from the Asia-Oceania, Europe-Israel-Africa and South America divisions composed nine entries. The remaining entries came from the Philippines’ Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and NCR regions.
Mindanao Region’s entry entitled “We’ll be Home” was given a Special Award while the night’s Best Interpreters were Singapore’s Sis Marianne Liwanag for the song “Your Servant’s Prayer” and Pampanga’s Sis. Dalisay Painaga for the song “Ikaw ang Tangi Kong Buhay”.
The 2013 Mid-Year A Song of Praise Musical Festival was held immediately following the Church’s International Thanksgiving to God celebration on July 5 to 7 this year.
(Written by Rona Valdez)
(Photo by Rovic Balunsay)