ALERON first came into existence in 2006 as the alumni ensemble of the Ateneo de Manila High School Glee Club under the musical direction of Christopher Ong Arceo. Today, the group is composed of male choristers from different backgrounds: most of which are from the Ateneo and University of the Philippines musical networks. ALERON, being an all-male ensemble, is geared towards exploring the male choral soundscape. Through innovative programming and the performance of repertoires across musical styles and genres, the group aims to deliver to its audiences a diverse and unique choral experience. ALERON envisions to broaden the all-male choral genre by continuously commissioning and premiering new works throughout its concert seasons.
ALERON has recently been making waves in the Philippine choral scene, most notably with its First Prize distinction in the Vocal Ensemble Category of the 1st Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival, Manila in August 2013, serving as the group's very first win in an international choral competition. In the following year, on the occasion of its maiden voyage overseas, it won the Gold Prize for the Classical Equal Voices Category and was declared over-all Grand Prix winner of the 10th Busan Choral Festival & Competition held in Busan, South Korea in October 2014. In February 2015, the group was awarded at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts’(NCCA) 7th Aning Dangal, an annual ceremony which aims to recognize Filipino groups and individuals who have reaped success in artistic competitions abroad. In May 2015, ALERON participated in its first masterclass conducted by the world-renowned King’s Singers from the United Kingdom. Following this, ALERON travelled to Takarazuka, Japan in July 2015 to compete at the 31st Takarazuka International Chamber Chorus Contest where it was declared Overall Winner of the competition, also bagging Gold Prizes in both the Folklore and Contemporary Categories. It is the first Filipino choir in the history of this competition to be declared overall winner.
This string of victories in Manila, Busan, and Takarazuka has established ALERON as one of the formidable ensembles in Asia today, garnering the group an invitation to be the Philippine representative in the inaugural International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM) World Choral EXPO in Macau, China this November. Most recently, ALERON performed as the male chorus in the concert-format production of Gioacchino Rossini’s La Cenerentola held at the Meralco Theater in August 2015. The group shared the stage with the Manila Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Darrell Ang.
ALERON, translated from Latin as "the winged one," not only aims to soar towards all-male musical excellence, but, more importantly, to enjoin its audiences to experience and embrace its unique brand of choral music.
CHRISTOPHER ONG ARCEO, conductor
Christopher Ong Arceo is a baritone and choral director who just recently returned from his studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in San Francisco, California. His operatic and oratorio repertoire includes Fauré’s Requiem, Bach’s Coffee Cantata, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Puccini’s La Bohème, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro, and Wolf-Ferrari’s Il Segreto di Susanna, among many others. Prior to his studies in the US, he served as assistant conductor of the Ateneo Chamber Singers from 2001-2007.
His other choral stints include singing for the San Francisco Choral Artists under Magen Salomon and the Grammy award winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus under former Swedish Radio Choir Conductor, Ragnar Bohlin.
In 2010, he was selected to perform the bass-baritone arias of George Handel’s Messiah with the Napa Valley Symphony, also under Bohlin. Upon his return to Manila, he played the role of Padre Damaso in Dulaang UP’s production of Noli Me Tangere. Currently, he serves as a choral director at the Church of the Risen Lord. He also directs Aleron, a male choral ensemble that has been making waves in the choral scene, especially after garnering the First Prize at the 1st Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival in Manila in 2013, the Grand Prize at the 10th Busan International Choral Festival in Korea in 2014, and the 1st-Over-all Winner at the 31st Takarazuka International Chamber Chorus Contest in Japan this year.
He studied voice with the renowned Mexican tenor César Ulloa and conducting with Jonathan Velasco and currently, with Beverly Shangkuan-Cheng.