This blog post is lovingly dedicated to one of my most favorite conductors and friend (yes, happy to say that!), Mark Anthony Carpio.

Ten years ago, when I was in my sophomore year in college, I and some of my friends auditioned for the Philippine Madrigal Singers. We were all so excited to train with the group for we all know how good they were. There we first encountered Sir Mark, the choirmaster of the Philippine Madrigal Singers. And after three European tours, three international competitions, two US tours, two Korean tours, neverending rehearsals and local performances in and out of Manila, our choirmaster became our good friend.

I am blessed to have been mentored by this talented yet humble man. He was like our big brother, leading us by example, keeping his faith in us–his trusted singers, allowing us to spread our wings and grow musically, inspiring us to share our music through building our own choirs. Yet with his many achievements, he remains grounded, and ever faithful to Him who is the source of it all. He took over Prof. Andrea Veneracion’s role as former choirmaster of the Madz with so much passion, dedication, and faith.

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Even blessed am I that he helped me finish college, by being my collaborating pianist in all four of my voice recitals! Really a rare opportunity despite his busy schedule at the University and with our own Madz schedule.

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More than being choirmaster, he is our eating buddy, Mario Kart playing buddy, and praying buddy. We always begin our concerts with a prayer. And during competition tours, we hold a rosary and prayer brigade every night as the competition draws near.

Ever patient, ever calm, ever jolly. That’s the Mark I’ve always known.

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Dearest Ninong Mark,

When I left the Madz before I got married, I told myself I won’t come back. But now, I find myself longing to be part of the Madz again, five years after I left! You’ve said, once a Madz, always a Madz, and true enough, that’s how I feel.

Thank you for the wonderful memories, for the trust, the discipline, the talent you shared with us. I will never forget the first time you assigned me to give the pitch of the songs for a concert in Europe. It was a huge task for a newbie like me, but you trusted me with it. So, thank you, thank you! God gave me the perfect pitch ability for this purpose, and it was fully discovered and honed when I was with the Madz.

You inspired me to build my own children’s choir. I am so fortunate that these kids have gotten so many singing opportunities that started with being part of the Madz et al family. You continue to inspire your singers to build a Singing Philippines, Ma’am OA’s great vision.

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Thank you for the friendship that extends to my family. For accepting the role as one of our principal witnesses for the wedding. For the advices, long talks, for being an inspiration to me.

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More successes as you continue to mold new singers, inspire more choirs, touch more hearts and souls with the beauty of your music. We love you! God bless you always.

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