Heavenly Voices on Your Wedding

By Jonathan Dionisio | September 2012

You feel high, dazed, like walking on clouds, kept under a spell. There’s simply magic in the air! What could be more magical than those moments when a bride finally takes her walk down the aisle on her wedding ceremony? And what would be more memorable and dramatic than when you – the bride – begin your walk towards the altar with your loving parents, towards the man you love, as heavenly voices fill the air, singing that most special song you hold so dear in your heart?

It’s not really hard to find how music can be incorporated in your wedding. Playing a CD filled with your song choices usually does the trick. Or you can always ask a friend with a good singing voice and enough guts to sing live for you; that would be quite special. What could be more special, though, is to have a host of heavenly voices serenading you and everyone around as you take those first steps into blessed matrimony.

Angels singing at your wedding? Impossible, you say. Well if it’s the voices you want, then it is possible. We have the next best thing right here on earth, talented mortals gifted with voices of angels, and as a choir, they are here to help make things extra special.

Meet the Choir
There are, first, a few things to remember about choirs.

As we all know, a choir is an organized group of singers – male, female, or a combination of both – who perform as one unit. The number of singers ranges from eight members to as many as 50. Normally, choirs are made up of four voices: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass (SATB). Larger groups tend to have more specific vocal divisions, including baritones and counter tenors. Generally, there are several kinds of choirs, depending on the members of the group and the genre they sing.

Here in the Philippines, “mixed” choirs, composed of males and females, are very common. The most popular of these include the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Ateneo Chamber Singers, University of the Philippines Concert Chorus, University of Santo Tomas Singers, and University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors. There are all-male choirs, too, that include the Philippine San Beda Male Singers and Tiples de Sto. Domingo.

Children’s choirs are composed of young singers whose ages range from seven and above. Notable ones are the Las Piñas Boys Choir, Kilyawan Boys Choir, Loboc Children’s Choir, Hiyas ng Pilipinas Children’s Choir, and Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir, to name a few.

Genre is naturally determined by the type of music a choir performs. A gospel choir, as can be gathered from the category name, primarily sings gospel music. Show choirs combine choral singing with dance movements, much like the ones in Broadway shows and musicals – showtunes, if you will. The most common in the country, however, are church choirs, who regularly sing at religious activities or events, most especially at weddings. Their repertoire always consists of church songs, perfect for a solemn and intimate occasion. But they are not limited to those either as their list may include more modern numbers that should put everyone in a festive mood, celebrating the union of two blessed souls. This combination is normally prepared more specifically for wedding singing engagements.

Angel Voices for Hire
Mr. Ronald “Ogie” Villanueva, Choirmaster of Himig Kalawaan Choir which is based in Sta. Martha Parish Church in Pasig City, says it is best for couples to hire church choirs like them to sing for their wedding ceremonies. Not only are they very familiar with wedding ceremony programs, but church choirs help preserve the “spirit” of the ceremony with live, classical singing that a soloist or a CD simply cannot equal. Mr. Miko Abuan of Coro de Sta. Cecilia agrees. A choir creates that dramatic feel in a wedding, a mood of solemnity, as well as a joyous atmosphere.

Churches can be particular about certain things, but choirs can easily adjust to the restrictions they impose with regards to music for weddings. For instance, choirs have come to practice rendering pop songs in a classic manner, which gives the songs an interesting twist and falls within the restriction of the church. Innovative, creative, and entertaining. Meanwhile, the volume can be well-regulated and still allows the priest to be heard clearly above the singing.

With the Voice Comes the Music
Any couple wishing to commission the services of a choir for their wedding, as Mr. Abuan suggests, should properly coordinate with the church officials and, of course, the choir itself regarding the choice of songs. It is important as, for instance, some churches impose restrictions on the usage of secular music for weddings. Coordinate with the choir and make sure the repertoire they present to you conforms to the limitations set by the church. Most church choirs know this, though, so this only often applies when you ask a group that is not an in-house choir

Make sure to take time, sit down and discuss with your partner what songs would be best for the bridal procession, photo session, and reception. Make sure that you study the lyrics well – do these songs reflect how you feel for each other? do they give out a positive message to your guests? The list of songs could be long but consider only those that are significant to you. Also, consider the choir repertoire. Who knows, they might have something you like and that they can sing in specific portions of the whole ceremony and celebration.

Check out the Kasal.com Wedding Song List for songs that you’d like to hear on your special day.

Finding the Right Voices 
Mr. Villanueva shares the best way to decide on a choir. It’s simple and practical: attend a mass or even a wedding where they are to sing. Better yet, schedule a listening session with them. Any of these will allow you to listen to how they sing, interpret certain songs and gauge whether you want them singing for you on your wedding day or not. Each choir is unique, with its own distinct musicality.

Mr. Abuan shares that couples should base their choice on these criteria:
1. Quality of the choir’s musicality – the choir has to be good to create an impression in the event and bring out the solemnity of the wedding;
2. Repertoire – the choir should have a wide range of song choices and must be flexible to take in requests;
3. Working relationship – the choir should be easy to work with; and
4. Budget – some choirs have fixed rates while others are on a per group basis. “Per group” means a complete set of voices (SATB).

Choirs play a vital role during weddings. They are responsible for setting the overall mood and solemnity of the occasion. And so, make sure that you choose a good choir that can deliver your expectations.

Enjoy this most memorable moment in your life. Feel the love and be serenaded by angels on earth – quite simply the next best thing. Happy planning!

More Singers/Bands/Choirs Choices

Wedding Bands/Choirs in Quezon City: 
The Angelos
The Bloomfields Band
Chorus Paulinus

Wedding Singers/Choir in Pasay City: 
Leggiero Strings & Chamber Orchestra

Wedding Band in Mandaluyong City: 
The Sentimental Groove (Quartet-Choir-Band In One)

Wedding Singers/Choir in Valenzuela City: 
Beatitudes Strings Ensemble

Wedding Band in Manila City: 

Wedding Singers/Choir in Muntinlupa City: 
Vivace Music Consultancy

Wedding Singers/Choir in Las Piñas City: 
Enrico Braza’s Entertainment Center

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Additional Sources:
Plan-Your-Wedding-Ceremony.com. Wedding Ceremony Music: What’s Your Musical Style? Retrieved January 29, 2010

Plan-Your-Wedding-Ceremony.com. Choosing Your Wedding Ceremony Songs.
Retrieved January 29, 2010

Music-for-Church-Choirs.com. Your Wedding – How to choose the Wedding Music you want

Wikipedia.org. Choir