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Young Voices of the Philippines to sing at first World Children’s Day in Rome

Filipino children’s choir, Young Voices of the Philippines (YVP), will participate and sing at the first World Children’s Day called for by Pope Francis in Rome next week.

Around 70,000 children from at least 101 nations are expected to fill Rome’s Olympic Stadium for the opening events on May 25 and attend Mass with the pope in St. Peter’s Square the next morning.

YVP conductor Dr. Maria Theresa Vizconde-Roldan said the YVP will be singing along with other children’s choirs at the stadium and during the papal Mass.

She said it’s “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for the young choristers and “to represent our country and share our culture with the world”.

“Our participation in this event aligns with our mission to promote our culture and heritage globally and provide opportunities for holistic growth to our choir members,” Vizconde-Roldan said.

“We believe this experience will enrich them holistically and inspire them to continue serving the Church and society,” she said.

The program at the stadium includes performances by some of Italy’s best-known singers.

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The pope is expected to arrive late in the afternoon and engage in a dialogue with the children.

Nelyja Paulene Abesamis, 10, one of the youngest members of YVP, said their Rome trip is another opportunity “to serve the Lord through music.”

“For us, this is another chance to to deepen our faith,” she said.

In 2023, the pope announced the Catholic Church’s first World Day of Children in Rome, but he called on Catholics around the world to celebrate the special day in their own dioceses as well.

As part of their “choral pilgrimage” in preparation for the Jubilee Year 2025, YVP will also be performing at the Basilica di Sant’Antonio Al Laterano on May 24, at the Basilica di Santa Pudenziana on May 26, and at the Parrocchia Santi Antonio e Annibale Maria- Piazza Asti on May 27.

The choral group, founded in 2020, is one of the scholar choirs of the Treble Choir Association of the Philippines, under the choral program of their founders, Dr. Vizconde-Roldan and Prof. Jude Roldan.

YVP features choristers who sing regularly at the Cubao Cathedral. The group has already performed for national events and won in international choral festivals and competitions.

In 2023, YVP won in all four choir categories during the 12th Golden Gate International Choral Festival in San Francisco, California. Before this victory, the choir made history by becoming the first Filipino children’s choir to perform at the iconic Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage in New York.

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