And the Gold Diploma Goes to: [drum roll] Harapan Bangsa Choir!

Harapan Bangsa Choir (HBC) won a prestigious position as runner-up of the 2016 Bandung Choral Society Easter Choir Festival. But wait. That’s not everything. In addition, HBC also won the Gold Diploma, which marks the highest achievement in the Mixed Choir category.

Trained by Stefanus Fransiskus Lonto (ITHB alumnus of 2012), the twenty-five HBC singers performed their best at GKI Taman Cibunut on Friday, 1 April 2016, singing “Ride the Chariot” and “Face the Cross” to the piano and flute accompaniment by Yosephine Riana (ITHB student, class of 2013) and Marcellina (a high school student from Bandung). That night, the choir members were dressed in black-on-black attire accented by purple scarves, which represented the Easter theme that the national competition highlighted.

The international jury consisted of Mr. Tommyanto Kandasiputra (Bandung Choral Society Chairperson), Mr. Alejandro D. Consolacion II, M. Mus. LRSM, dipABRSM (speaker and choral clinician from the Philippines), and Mrs. Susanna Saw (speaker and choral clinician from Malaysia). According to HBC president Gladies Sengka, Gold Diploma was way beyond their expectation. “Our target was the Silver award. Praise the Lord, we won more than we had expected,” said the Information System student from class 2013.

An achievement cannot be possibly attained without hard work and time. The choir had their hard moments. Rehearsing three times a week, their conductor down with an illness, and a flutist who was nowhere to be found were some major challenges they had to face. Fortunately, God’s hand came just at the right moment. Marcellina, the flutist, showed up out of the blue on day minus two. Yet, another test awaited. The acoustics of the GKI Church at Taman Cibunut could not prevent the sound of the thunder from penetrating and distracting HBC’s performance. Despite it all, however, the HBC singers were able to maintain their prime vocal quality and produce a perfect choral harmony.

“HBC would like to thank ITHB for its full support. Without it, we couldn’t possibly achieve beyond our expectation,” said Gladies.

Through hard work and prayer, the Harapan Bangsa Choir singers dedicate their singing talent to glorify The Lord.