ONE of the Youth Festival's most popular attractions, the University of the Philippines Concert Chorus, has just notched up a record ninth visit to the festival. The Mitchell Hall was packed to overflowing for Tuesday's performance because of the unique appeal of the Chorus, which lies in the stunning costumes and spectacular choreography that provide a kind of visual orchestration to their sensational singing.

Even the ivory-white costumes and absence of choreography in the opening selection of sacred music ranging from Gabrieli to John Rutter seemed to define the mood of the music, just as later the turquoi-

ses, purples, and reds of the costumes and the constantly evolving formations of the dances kindled the excitement of the selection of Broadway classics that made up the final part of their programme. Also beautifully choreographed were a set of Filipino popular songs where the chorus seemed to evolve effortlessly into a huge opening flower or a tropical rainstorm.

The singing, too, was spectacular - not

just at full belt, in some of the Broadway songs, but down to barely a whisper in

their version of the old spiritual Swing Low Sweet Chariot.

This year the Chorus was conducted by Janet Sabas-Aracama, herself a chorus member from 1976 to 1986. Sadly, her predecessor, Rey Paguio, a hugely popular personality during their eight previous visits to the Festival, died recently. In his memory, Janet Sabas-Aracama headed an emotional tribute to him by leading the singing of Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art at the end of the performance.