The Diponegoro University Engineering Student Choir (PSMT Undip) has a contingent team named Aksa Swara Indonesia. This year, members of the contingent squad consisted of 45 singers and a conductor named Bagus S. Utomo.
After winning the 18th Busan Choral Festival & Competition last year, the Aksa Swara Indonesia team has again spread its wings by participating in one of the most prestigious choral competitions in Asia, namely the 12th Bali International Choir Festival, which was held on July 25-29, 2023 in Bali.
The training lasted six months, from February to July 2023. A month before departure for the competition, the Aksa Swara Indonesia team held a Pre-competition concert on June 17, 2023.
“The preparation for the Aksa Swara Indonesia team has started since February, only five months until the competition day in July. In this short time, we rehearsed and fully prepared our musical. This year, Aksa Swara Indonesia took part in the 12th Bali International Choir Festival and 9th Satya Dharma Gita Choir Festival,” said Marco Hotradero Febrian Saragih as Head of PSMT Undip when contacted by the Undip Public Relations team, Wednesday (02/08).
After going through a long struggle, the Aksa Swara Indonesia team won various awards at the 12th Bali International Choir Festival competition, including the Grand Prix Champion (General Champion), 1st Place Gold Medal (with score: 91.93) of Mixed Youth Category, and 4th Place Gold Medal (with score: 86.85) of Musica Sacra Category.
Marco admitted that he was happy and proud after winning the competition. “We feel delighted and proud because we can make achievements and make the Faculty of Engineering and Diponegoro University proud internationally. We defeated one of the world’s most famous choirs from Spain, who also just won the 2nd Asia Choral Grand Prix. We are very grateful for every prayer and support from the Faculty of Engineering, our parents and friends, and all parties who continue to encourage us to get to this point,” he said.
The Bali International Choir Festival is a series of solo vocal and choir competitions consisting of various categories. At the 12th Bali International Choir Festival, the Aksa Swara Indonesia team participated in a choir competition in the Mixed Youth Choir and Musica Sacra categories.
“In the competition, we participated in two categories: Mixed Youth Choir and Musica Sacra. We performed six songs, with three songs in each category. Our conductor, Bagus S. Utomo, composed two of the six songs. The song is Malin and Stabat Mater,” he added.
At the 12th Bali International Choir Festival, the Aksa Swara Indonesia team had the opportunity to compete directly in the championship round because the Aksa Swara Indonesia team had previously won over 85 points in the last five years. Also, in this competition, the Aksa Swara Indonesia team faced and succeeded in surpassing 79 well-known choirs from various countries, such as the United States, Spain, Italy, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea, and other countries.
After winning the 12th Bali International Choir Festival competition, the Aksa Swara Indonesia team will be invited to compete in The 3rd Asia Choral Grand Prix, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2024. In this competition, the Aksa Swara Indonesia team will face the Grand Champion (overall winner) from the Singapore International Choir Festival choir competition, Malaysia Choral Eisteddfod, and Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival.
Marco further advised other students not to be afraid, not belittle themselves, and to keep trying and working hard because it would not betray the results. “We must have the courage to try positive things, both academic and non-academic. Through competitions like this, one’s soft skills are highly trained, from consistency and persistence to high fighting power. Winning or losing is normal. The most important thing is to gain experience and create yourself who wants to compete,” he said.
The Aksa Swara Indonesia team asks for prayers and support from all parties so that the next series of competitions can run well. Hopefully, the Aksa Swara Indonesia team can make Diponegoro University and Indonesia proud.