by Rodolfo de Guzman

Choral music is often seen as an old-school type of music only for church people, but, it can be perfectly attuned to the modern times when the ensemble feels right.

A Philippines-based all male choral ensemble, Koro Illustrado was formed in 2007 to bring choral music closer to the people and to revive the old tradition of choral singing by making it alive and dynamic.

Koro means choir, and Ilustrado in Spanish refers to a class of people highly educated, cultured, sophisticated and who often did not belong to the affluent families during the Spanish Colonial era in the Philippines in the 19th century.

Each member of Koro Ilustrado has extensive singing and choral music experience having been part of choral groups when they were in college, in their church or local community/parish choirs.

Today, the ensemble exemplifies the deity of the Filipino choral music scene with their wide range of repertoire from the traditional Original Pilipino Music to standards, pop, jazz and even contemporary music that endears them to their audience from all ages and generations.

Koro Ilustrado’s choirmasters, Jong Piquero and Anna Abeleda-Piquero, are both seasoned artists with a cache of experience in conducting choirs and singing groups.

Since its creation, the group has been making waves in the choral singing scene with stellar performances. In 2010, it performed with the world renowned Madrigal Singers of the University of the Philippines. They also participated in the 2010 MBC National Choral Competition where they reached the finals held at the Star City Theater in Manila. More accolades were given to Koro Ilustrado in 2011 that can be considered milestones in their budding career. It was featured in the Symposium on Choral Music 2011 held in Bandung, Indonesia; it held its 3rd Annual Concert at the Philam Life Auditorium; it joined the highly acclaimed Filipino maestro Ryan Cayabyab in the Thousand Voice Project; it performed with the Madrigal Singers dubbed Madz Et Al 2011: Latina Americana; and it made its presence felt once more at the semi-finals night of the 2011 MBC National Choral Competition.

Today, Koro Ilustrado continues to polish its craft through constant practice with each member fully dedicated and committed to perfecting it.

So if you are quite tired of listening to rock, pop or jazz, just log on to their website at and treat yourself to a different tune from this side of the planet, the magical world of music in the Philippines!

Watch them performing 2010 Waka Waka at the MBC National Choral Competition

[vsw id="1TKxGJarlLQ" source="youtube" width="425" height="344" autoplay="no"]