By: Miosoti Valentin
The University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez (UPRM) witnessed an outstanding musical event for the first time November 2010. 15 participants from UPRM and other universities around Puerto Rico gave life to “Noche de Voces 2010”; the first singing competition coordinated by students in the UPRM.
“Noche de Voces 2010” was an event organized by the Psychological Student Association (PSA) of the UPRM. November 18, 2010 was the premiere night where the 15 participants previously chosen in an audition of 23 demonstrated their talent. The jury, which was composed by talented musicians, singing teachers and ex-competitors, had the tough decision of choosing the winner that would represent the UPRM.
Julio Cruz, organizer of the event, student of UPRM and ex-president of the PSA, said: “I’m a singer, it’s my passion and it’s a stress relieve to people that like me, enjoy music. I came with this idea in order to give an opportunity to those who believe in their talent and want people to believe in their talent as well.”
After the 15 excellent interpretations, the winner of 2009-2010 singing competition in the UPRM, Melvin Rodriguez, performed the song “No importa la distancia”. Before choosing the winner, the 15 participants united their voices and performed “We are the world”, filling the room with emotions. According to Julio Cruz, it was clear that all of these participants had a lot of talent.
The winner, Ivette Roldán, sang for the second time after receiving a big applause from the audience. Second place winner, Lucia Hernandez and third place winner, Johniel Torres also seem very satisfied about their participation. The winners received medals and dinner gift cards worth 25, 35 and 45 dollar from Chilli’s, Longhorn and Applebees restaurants.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011, after six weeks of preparations and rehearsals, “Noche de Voces – The Concert” took place in the UPRM. Eight talented participants, who previously had been part of other singing competitions, sang in front of an audience composed of more than 100 people. A lot of romanticism and strong lyrics were the highlight of the night.
After the positive results of “Noche de Voces 2010”, the PSA decided to give the event another chance by creating “Noche de Voces 2011”. This time, the competition was divided into three nights, where the chosen participants would be eliminated until there’s only one left. Like the other competitions, auditions were done to choose the 12 participants that will sing for the first place.
Thursday, September 13, 2011, 12 participants became part of the first show of “Noche de Voces 2011”. For second year in a row, PSA and Julio Cruz, their president, were the coordinators of the event. Julio Cruz and his partner, Priscilla Alvarez, were the hosts of the event.
In this first show, eight from 12 participants were chosen to be part of the second show, which took place Thursday, October 13, 2011. This time four from eight participants were chosen to be part of the final night, in which the first place winner would be chosen.
Throughout the competition, somewhere between the first and second night show, some changes occurred. After some problems with the association, Julio Cruz quitted his presidential position in the PSA and the PSA abandoned their title of organizers of the event. The competition passed to the hands of the Psychological Honor Student Society (PHSS). But this was not a problem for Julio Cruz, coordinator of the event and former president of PHSS, who organized the event to be a magnificent one.
The four final competitors have already been chosen. Ana Mella, José Oquendo, Midalys Gonzalez and Joshua Cintrón are preparing themselves to give a great show to the more than the 100 people expected. The final night will take place on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 7:00pm in Salon Tarzan, next to the cafeteria in the UPRM.
Finalist of the competition, Jose Oquendo, was very enthusiastic and excited. When asked about his experience in the competition, he said: “Wow! I feel very happy to be in the final round with the other guys. My experience in music is mostly choral, but I’ve been adventuring as a solo these past months. I felt I was going to be far in this competition, but I can never be too confident. I feel very satisfied with my work and let’s see what happens in the finals.”
Joshua Cintron has been a participant in other competitions, but this is the first time he’s in the finals. “I feel very happy to be part of the four finalists. This competition have given me the chance to fortalice my self-confidence, my talent, to project myself in stage and live my songs. When I was chosen to be part of the four finalists, I couldn’t believe it; I thought it couldn’t be possible since there was a lot of talent in the competition. I hope I give my best in the finals and become the winner of the competition.”
This might be the last year of the competition since Julio Cruz is soon to be a graduated alumnus from the UPRM. Hopefully, other dedicated students will take his place and keep on with this event that demonstrates talent and dedication.