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A Filo choir’s inspired music

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Kristhine Gestano

The Filipino Choir of St Anthony (FCSA), formed in October 2009 during its first mass service in St Anthony’s Parish Noble Park, has grown by leaps and bounds. From that debut initiated by then Parish Priest Rev Anthony Feeney, this group of parishioners from the southeast of Melbourne has now found itself serving different Catholic churches and inspiring churchgoers with songs of praise and worship.

Mr Alexander Genota leads the group composed mostly of couples and families. With regular service commitments in four parishes and non-liturgical performances keeping its schedule occupied, the choir has definitely made a mark on the hearts of the faithful.

“As a group, we see it as service to the Church to help people in their prayers during the Liturgy. Being invited to sing in parishes other than our own, St Anthony’s Church, is a blessing to us…We consider it as a triumph for the Lord for making us His instruments,” Mr Genota relates in an interview.

The choir members consider their recent service at the Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila in Melbourne to be their most challenging engagement to date. It took the group nine months of rehearsal to earn the privilege of being invited to serve by Fr. Loi Viovicente on this special Filipino Catholic celebration.

Mr Genota notes that it is not only their faith, which has been reinvigorated by this common passion for singing. The members have found themselves a second family in FCSA.

“Filipinos are known to have very strong family ties. Since, we don’t have much extended family here in Australia, we consider our choir as our second family,” the choir leader explains with pride.

The Choir Director thinks that the most important challenge is to guarantee the survival of FCSA. He believes this could be achieved with continuous recruitment, training, and commitment from its members. The choir prefers aspiring members who are willing to serve the southeast area. Those who are interested to join the group may email fcsa.noblepark@gmail.com.

FCSA invites the Catholic faithful to join them in celebrating the Filipino Mass held every first Sunday of the month, 1.00pm at St Andrew’s Church in Clayton and every second Sunday, 4.00pm at the Shrine of Divine Mercy Keysborough. The choir also sings every third Sunday of the month, 5.30pm at St Joseph’s Church in Springvale and every fourth Sunday at 9.30am and 5.30pm and every fifth Sunday, 5.30pm at their very own parish, St Anthony’s Church in Noble Park.

FCSA is composed of (Soprano) – Chaddy Baldemoro, Mylene Brua, Maria Calalang, Eva Miasis, Hilda Sandoval, Krishelle Sandoval, Dona Salamat, and Anita Velasco; (Alto) – Emilie Abad, ChescaBrua, Tricia Brua, Geraldine Genota, Erika Genota, Nora Macatol and Vinda Svoboda; (Tenor) – Dante Abad, Karl Brua, Renato Calalang, Jojo Macatol, Edwin Miasis, and Raymund Pelegro; (Bass) – Dennis Brua, Neil Dela Cruz, Roy Espedillon, Gerry Felices, Alexander Genota, Joseph Pelegro, Chris Sandoval and Elmer Velasco; (Instrumentalists) – Alexander Genota (Guitarist and Choir Director), Joseph Pelegro (Bass Guitar), Neil Dela Cruz (Clarinet) and Alexandra Svoboda (Guest Organist).

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