Mark Raeniel B. Agpasa
Born in 1994 into a family of musicians, Mark started having formal piano and music theory lessons at the age of seven. He then started participating and conducting in his church choir at the age of 16. He graduated from the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music with the degree of Bachelor of Music Major in Choral Conducting and is currently continuing his studies at the UST Graduate School taking up Master of Arts in Music Major in Choral Conducting all under the tutelage and guidance of Maestro Fidel G. Calalang Jr., conductor and founder of the two-time choir of the world winner, the University of Santo Tomas Singers.
Mark is a rising choral composer in the Philippines. In January 2019, he was proclaimed winner in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish 150th Anniversary Celebration Song Writing Competition based in Truckee, CA. His work entitled “Perfect Harmony” for choir and orchestra was chosen by the judges to be the community’s official theme song for their 150th year celebration. In July 2019, he won First Prize at the choral composition competition of the 2019 Busan International Choral Festival & Competition. His accapella work entitled “Jubilate Deo” for mixed choir bested 55 other composers and is the sole Filipino applicant in the said competition. In February 2020, Mark was one of the awardees for the 2020 Ani ng Dangal Awards (Music Category) for his winning moment in Busan, South Korea. And most recently, his work entitled “Confutatis Maledictis” for SSAATTBB accapella chorus, was mentioned in the 47th International Composition Contest “Guido d’Arezzo” in Arezzo, Italy.
He is the current musical director of the UST Chorus of Arts and Letters, the official choral group of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Arts and Letters. He has led the choir into different performance and competitions inside and outside the university. With his leadership, the group became a constant placer in UST’s Himig Tomasino Competition, the university’s annual intercollegiate choral songfest. He is also the conductor of the Pag-ibig Fund Chorale, a government choir, the Marriage Encounter Foundation of the Philippines Chorale South Cluster, a community choir, and the Lagablab ng Espiritu Santo Chorale, a church choir.
Mark is also the current assistant conductor and musical director of the world-renowned UST Singers, the premiere mixed choral ensemble of Asia’s oldest catholic university, the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas. As a member of the UST Singers, he has joined several concert and competition tours around the world. Now, Mark continues to share his talent to other young aspirants in the world of choral music and composition as he paves his way to the new breed of Filipino conductors and composers.