Professor Janet Sabas Aracama earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music at the University of the Philippines College of Music in choral conducting, voice and ethnomusicology. Her mentors were Dean Rey T. Paguio in conducting, Josie Bailen, Fides Asensio and Elmo Makil in Voice. She is a permanent faculty member of the University of the Philippines and was Chair of the Conducting Department (2000-2005).
In November 26, 1999, "Jai" was elected and appointed by the University to be Artistic Director and Conductor of the renowned University of the Philippines Concert Chorus, filling the shoes of the late Dean Rey T. Paguio. With great determination and musicianship, she led the chorus in nine (9) major international tours to the USA, Europe, Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, England, Scotland New Zealand, Malaysia in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2015. Furthermore, she led the Concert Chorus toparticipate in prestigious choral festivals performing at the "Universitat Cantans", Festival of University Choirs 2015 in Poznan, Poland. She conducted the U.P.C.C. in 4 out of 12 invitations as the Festival's guest performers of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, Scotland.
Jai has led the chorus to win in choral competitions. With hard work and passion, besting 24 prestigious and competitive European choirs, she led the chorus to win the overall Grand Prize, "Cracovia Cantans" Choral Competition 2015 (First Prize (Classical Mixed Choir Category and Second Prize Folk, Gospel and Pop Category) in Krakow, Poland in June. In 2012, the group reaped international distinctions such as First Prize in theFolk Category and Second Prize in the Mixed Category at the Festival Internacional de Musica de Cantonigros in Vic, Catalunya Region of Spain, They also won Gold Diploma and Folklore Audience Prize at the 9th Cantemus International Choral Festival in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary. The UPCC was also selected as one of the six finalists—the first Asian choir to have done so—in the 4th Harald Andersén Chamber Choir Competition organized by the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, September 2012. In 2008 the “Prix Excellence (Award for Excellence), First Prize Mixed Category” and “Prix du Public Premier Prize (Audience Award First Prize)” at the 44th Montreux Choral Festival in Montreux, Switzerland and being the main feature of the 60th Sagra del Vino Festival, in Casarsa della Delizia, Pordenone , Italy. In addition, the Concert Chorus won the “Primo Premio di Eccellenza (First Award of Excellence)” at the Concorso Internazionale di Canto Corale (International Competition of Choral Singing) at Gorizia, Italy in 2006. In 2004, they received standing ovations at the 4th International Ruhr Universitat A Capella Festival in Bochum, Germany. In 2003, they won three Gold Prizes at the International Choral Competition in Mainhausen, Germany, the “Premio Pubblico Speziale (People’s Choice Award)” at the Festival Internazionale Canto di Folklorico (International Festival of Folk Song) in Tuscany, Italy, and became a finalist at the 51st Concorso Polifonico Internazionale (International Polyphonic Competition) in Guido d’Arrezo, Italy. The U.P. Concert Chorus captured the ALIW Awards 2013 Hall of Fame Awardee for Best Choral Group.
As a soloist with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), MPO and Las Pinas Bamboo Festival, Prof. Janet Sabas Aracama has sung with such international conductors as Piero Gamba, Ruggero Barbieri, Julian Quirit and Oscar Yatco. On the concert platform, she has performed in Handel’s Messiah, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Beethoven’s Choral Symphony No. 9, Verdi’s Stabat Mater and Requiem, Rutter’s Gloria, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, Bach’s St John’s Passion, Bach’s Magnificat, Bruckner’s Te Deum and Dvořák’s Stabat Mater amongst others.
Opera and Broadway credits include the roles of Katisha in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, Bloody Mary in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Mother in Jeffrey Ching’s Rendezvous in Venice as well as major roles in Gershwin’s Candide and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin amongst others. She is a versatile singer, not only singing opera, art songs and Broadway but crossing over to contemporary gospel, soul, jazz and Original Pilipino Music.
She is also vocal and choral trainer and facilitator of music workshops in the Philippines and regularly serves as an adjudicator in choral competitions. She has acted either as Music Director or Vocal Coach of many musical productions for Repertory Philippines' "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Into the Woods," New Voice Company's production of "Chess," Chase International's "Tribute to Boublil and Schonberg" (the composers of "Miss Saigon" and "Les Miserables"), "Once on this Island" and "Fantastiks." She coached the cast of "Miss Saigon" sent to Germany, Australia, London and the Netherlands as well as personalities from the classical music, theater and pop scenes. Currently she has been appointed as vocal coach of GMA 7 Television Arts Talent Program "Starstruck 2015" and many more.