10 Biblical Stories Set to Music Presented in 1st MCGI Musical Play Festival

The youth choirs of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) staged ten musical Bible-based stories, ranging from the grandeur of the Egyptian empire to the heavenly sight of Christ’s ascension. The MCGI Music Ministry’s first ever Musical Play Festival was held on the nights of April 24 and 25, 2016.

Choristers playing Daniel, David and other biblical characters sang live before audiences gathered at the Ang Dating Daan Convention Center of MCGI in Pampanga. Other Coordinating Centers worldwide also tuned in via internet and satellite.

The set of Joseph, the musical play by the youth music ministry members of the Rizal Division of MCGI.

The set of Joseph, the musical play by the youth music ministry members of the Rizal Division of MCGI. (Photo provided by Photoville International)

Noteworthy

Each musical play touched the story of a biblical personage or two, retelling the triumph of their faith through poignant lyrics and melodies. The said stories were:

  • “Noah (And the Covenant to the Chosen Generation)” by Bulacan Division
  • “The Faith of Abraham” by North II Division
  • “Joseph” by Rizal Division
  • “By Faith, Moses” by National Capital Region (NCR)
  • “The Strength of Samson” by Bataan-Zambales Division
  • “David” by Cavite Division
  • “Daniel (Just Put Your Trust in the Lord)” by the Laguna, Batangas, Mindoro, Romblon Division
  • “Jonah (An Inescapable Fate)” by North I Division
  • “Paul and Timothy: Then and Now” by Pampanga and Central Apalit Divisions
  • “The Sacrifice (Once and Forever)” by Quezon-Marinduque and Bicol Divisions

Some of the lyrics were taken right out of biblical passages; others used paraphrasing that preserved content and context while adding rhyme.

“Abraham” amidst a sea of stars displayed on the LED background, recounting the time when God promised the Israelite patriarch the vast number of his seeds.

“Abraham” amidst a sea of stars displayed on the LED background, recounting the time when God promised the Israelite patriarch the vast number of his seeds. (Photo provided by Photoville International)

An awarding ceremony was also held after the curtain call on April 25th. “For us, you are all winners,” said Helper of the Ministry Bro. Danny Navales, one of the event’s judges.

The story of Moses as presented by the National Capital Region bagged the Best Musical Play award. Rizal Division, who told Joseph’s plight and success, received a plaque for being the best in set design. Other awards handed out were:

  • Best in Poster: Central, Pampanga & Rizal
  • Best Supporting Actress: Lea Escobido (Rizal Division)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Bro. Larzen Midayanes (NCR)
  • Best in Lighting Design: Quezon, Marinduque & Bicol Division
  • Best in Costume Design: Rizal Division
  • Best Actress: Ma. Theresa Pongpong(NCR)
  • Best Actor: Bro. Irwin-Ian Buenavente (Rizal)
  • Best Musical Scoring: NCR
  • Best Director: Bro Jeffrey Calumpiano Morales (NCR)

“We believe that your gifts were given to you that you may use them for the glory of our Creator,” the minister added.

Helper of the Ministry Bro. Roland Ocampo, who was present during the first night, and UNTV executives Bro. Bobby Delos Santos and Sis. Ruth Soriano also joined the judges’ table to oversee the biblical accuracy, general content, and message of the plays.

Meanwhile, Bro. Anton Estrella Jr. and Bro. Arnold Sanchez judged the plays’ technical aspects. Bro. Anton was the first A Song of Praise Grand Champion while Bro. Arnold is the owner and consultant of Art Edge.

With God’s Help

At the end of the two-night event, “You have surpassed our expectations,” said Sis. Ruth to all of the participants. “And for you to be able to do such things, it is truly with the help of God.”

"Moses" as presented by the National Capital Region stands before the crowd during the penultimate number of their musical play.

“Moses” as presented by the National Capital Region stands before the crowd during the penultimate number of their musical play. (Photo provided by Photoville International)

The BMPI-UNTV COO added that what they have seen were impressive, considering that the performers belong to choir groups with no professional theatre background nor training.

“We hope that this may serve both as a challenge and an inspiration to all,” said Bro. Danny.

The minister added that they are hopeful that the event may add unto the edification of faith of the youth who attended being reminded of the sufferings and the plights of the many heroes of faith in the Bible, which they have depicted in music.

Come next year, the youth music ministry will once again busy themselves; albeit in making production numbers of praise for the glory of the Lord.

(Written by Rigor Arellano)

 

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