Serenata (children's choir)

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Serenata concert.jpg
Serenata, during its first concert held March 3, 2006.[1]
Background information
Origin Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Years active 2005–present
SERENATA, during its December 30 performance in the International Philippine School in Jeddah.

Serenata is a Philippine children's choir in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


Serenata was founded in 2005 through the pioneering efforts of Sylvia de los Santos, Desil Manapat and Louis Bautista.[2] It was accredited by the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah on August 25, 2005.

First season[edit]

Serenata held its major concert on March 3, 2006 in the Saudi–German Hospital Auditorium, also located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Second season[edit]

The auditions for the second season of Serenata was held at the Sunrise International School on July 13 and July 21, 2006. Some of the 45 children who were members from the last season were retained based on the criteria by de los Santos. The organization also sports a new chairperson, Joey Samonte after Manapat left for Canada last March and a new set of members.[2][3]

Serenata 2006–2007 membership therefore, is a combination of the old and the new, 37 girls and 4 boys coming from various Philippine and International Schools in Jeddah. With this "old-new" blend comes the perceived advantage of time in honing the children's flair and ultimately producing a better and more chorally mature Serenata.

Apparently, the perception proved to be true. Armed with only three months of rigid training, the new batch was ready to unleash its choral prowess with brand new repertoire. Coming fresh from a successful combined Leadership and Personality Enhancement Seminar, the new batch lifted off for its Season 2 debut performance during the Asian Festival held on October 27, 2006 at the Indian International School in Jeddah, before Asian dignitaries and a huge crowd of Filipino and foreign audiences. The festival was organized by the Asia Consuls General Club (ACGC) with the support of the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On November 16, 2006, Serenata found itself in the limelight once again as it opened the Cultural Festival of the Al-Hekma International School in Jeddah, mesmerizing students, teachers and parents in attendance.

Serenata continued to shine and make a name for itself as it joined a host of Filipino organizations in Jeddah in celebrating the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Month on December 7, 2006. It concluded the evening-long program with Harana: Alay ng Serenata, a free mini-concert dedicated to the distressed Overseas Filipino Workers under the care of the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah. The children's touching musical presentation, which was highlighted by a meaningful gift-giving ceremony for the distraught OFWs, brought tears to many eyes. It was an inspiring show! Indeed, a grand finale marking the end of 2006.

The euphoria carried over to 2007 as Serenata prepares and looks forward to its major concert day. The hangover of the holiday notwithstanding, the choir, in pursuit of time to put together a more varied and wider repertoire, immediately got back onto the rehearsal track. As choreography was introduced, the rehearsals intensified. It was necessary to double training time and frequency. The pressure was definitely building up, but the children amazingly remained poised and focused. With an utterly tight rehearsal schedule, the choir could have forgone accepting singing invitations. However, since further exposure was deemed inevitably important to promote its concert, it did not mellow on its singing engagements. On January 25, 2007, Serenata guested at the awarding ceremonies of the Jeddah Schools Olympics held at UMEA Sports Complex, upon the invitation of Sunrise International School, the host of the olympics. Two days later, the choir sang at the Saudi German Hospital Auditorium in a tribute organized by the Filipino Community of Saudi German Hospital in honor of Dr. Mohammed Fahim Mousa.

Prior to its major concert, the public would get the opportunity to experience Serenata's music when it performs at the Music and Arts Festival of GEMS International School on February 8, 2007. Serenata closes the 2nd season with its major concert, REACHIN’ OUT, on March 16, 2007. Designed to provide financial and material assistance to poor/disadvantaged schools in the Philippines, the concert fully embodies Serenata's charitable nature and strengthens its unyielding commitment to its lofty mission.

The concert is likewise Serenata's official activity-entry to the Philippine Arts Festival 2007 organized by the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah, in line with the observance of the National Arts Month in February 2007 as declared by the Philippines’ National Commission for Culture and Arts.

Composition of the choir[edit]

The choir is usually composed of 45 Filipino children. These children study in different schools in Jeddah. They were chosen during the auditions.[2][4]



Its first major performance was its concert in the Saudi German Hospital Auditorium, last March 3, 2006. The concert was conducted by Mrs. de los Santos. The concert's choreographer was Ms. Reneegrace Villarosa-Divina. The concert's beneficiary was for the landslide victims in Leyte last 2005. SERENATA was able to raise 100,000 pesos for the beneficiary. The major sponsor of the concert was KAB Holding of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The second major concert was held at the Al Waha Hotel Ballroom in Jeddah on March 16, 2007. Under the musical direction of Ms. Sylvia delos Santos and directed by Ms. Reneegrace Villarosa-Divina. This concert benefits 4 poor schools in the Philippines namely - M. Casho Elementary School (San Jose del Carmen. Talisay, Camarines Norte, Philippines), Cantuyoc Elementary School (Cantuyoc, Jagna, Bohol, Philippines), Linantangan Elementary School (Mamasapano. Maguindanao) and Jamaitu Dhikra Al-Islamia School (Marawi City, Philippines).

Other performances[edit]

Before the concert, the choir performed in venues in Philippine schools all over Jeddah. It also performed after its major concert in Santos's students piano recital.

  • October 2005 - Order of Knights of Rizal (International Philippine School in Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
  • December 2005 - "Harana sa Bahay-Kalinga" (Philippine Consulate, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
  • January 2006 - Music and Arts Festival (Al Hekma International School, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
  • January 2006 - Milo Sports Week (Sunrise International School, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
  • October 2006 - Asian Festival (Indian International School, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
  • November 2006 - Cultural Festival (Al Hekma International School, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
  • December 7, 2006 - Harana..Alay ng Serenata (Philippine Consulate - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
  • December 21, 2006 - Cultural Festival (GEMS International School - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
  • March 16, 2007 - "Reachin'Out" - the second major concert - Al Waha Hotel, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • December 7, 2007 - Harana.. a Mini Concert (International Philippine School in Jeddah [IPSJ])
  • February 8, 2008 - "Serenata..Journeyin' On" (American International School of Jeddah [AISJ])
  • June 12, 2008 - "Himig Handog" (in celebration of the 110th Philippine Independence Day - Phil. Consulate - Jeddah)
  • Dec. 5, 2008 - "Harana...Alay ng Serenata" - Elite Hall, Al Waha Hotel, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • February 6, 2009 - "SERENATA ... With Strings Attached" major concert - American International School of Jeddah (AISJ)
  • September 22, 2009 - "FILCOM Night" with H.E. Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo held at the Princess Hall of Habitat Hotel.
  • February 16, 2012 - "SERENATA...Shines at Seven" (American International School of Jeddah [AISJ])[5][6]
  • February 22, 2013 - "SERENATA...Celebrates 8" (American International School of Jeddah [AISJ])[7]


External links[edit]