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Ben's Journey in Music

"Music is not just something that I do... it's my life."

-- Ben Noynay

Ben's musical journey started to take off when he was appointed Assistant Music Director of San Carlos Seminary College, Cebu City, Philippines. Mentored by no other than Msgr. Rodolfo Villanueva himself, Ben teaches the seminary choir in the absence of Msgr. Rudy. The seminary has a special choir where Ben was also a member. The San Carlos Seminary College Special Choir was very famous for winning the grand prize of the national "Himig Ng Lahi" choral competition for three consecutive years.

Even during his student years, Ben was sought after as a Vocal Music Coach and a Choir Trainer and Director by different colleges, universities, and parishes in Cebu City, Philippines.

After graduating as Valedictorian, Ben proceeded to Seminario Mayor de San Carlos to take up theology hoping to finish his studies for the priesthood. Unfortunately, Ben was not able to continue his theological studies due to circumstances beyond his control. He left the seminary and started working as a teacher at the University of the Philippines College Cebu

At the university, Ben was teaching Music Fundamentals and Songwriting to the graduating students of the high school department. On top of his other subjects, Ben was also handling the university Glee Club. After his school commitments, he was also training and directing choral groups in various establishments.


Below is a list of choral groups Ben has taught over the years. 

  • Atlas Mining Corporation Choir - Lutupan, Toledo City

  • Basak Parish Choir - Basak, Cebu City

  • Carcar Parish Choir - Carcar, Cebu City

  • Cebu Institute of Medicine Choir (CIM) – Cebu City

  • Central Bank of the Philippines Regional Office Chorale (CBRO) – Cebu City

  • Community of Former Seminarians (CFS Choir)

  • Fairchild, Inc. Choir – Lapulapu City

  • Far East Bank & Trust Company Choir (FEBTC) – Cebu City

  • Fatima Parish Choir - Basak Mandaue City

  • Filipino Choir of St. Francis – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

  • Gethsemane Parish Choir - Kasuntingan, Mandaue City

  • Guadalupe Parish Choir - Guadalupe, Cebu City

  • International Pharmaceutical Company Band - Cebu City

  • La Tondena, Inc. Choir –Mandaue City

  • Minglanilla Parish Choir - Minglanilla, Cebu City

  • MCGC Praise and Worship Team – Narre Warren, Victoria, Australia

  • National Manpower and Youth Council Choir (NMYC) – Cebu City

  • Pardo Parish Choir - Pardo, Cebu City

  • Philippine Long Distance Company Choir (PLDT) – Mandaue City

  • Ramon Durano Foundation Chaplaincy - Danao City

  • Rustan's Supermarket, Inc. Choir (RSI) – Cebu City

  • San Isidro Parish School Choir - Talamban, Cebu City

  • San Miguel Corporation Choir (SMC-GSD) – Mandaue City

  • San Vicente Ferrer Parish Choir - Bogo City

  • SOS Children's Village-Cebu Choir – Talamban Cebu City

  • Southwestern University (SWU Nursing) – Cebu City

  • St. Francis Filipino Choir – Box Hill, Victoria, Australia

  • St. Joseph Parish Choir - Mandaue City

  • St. Martin de Porres Parish Choir - Ilihan, Tabogon, Cebu

  • St. Theresa’s College Glee Club (STC) – Cebu City

  • St. Therese Parish Choir - Lahug, Cebu City

  • Sto. Nino Village Youth Choir – Banilad, Cebu City

  • Tabunok Parish Choir - Tabunok, Talisay City

  • Talamban Touch Choir - Talamban, Cebu City

  • Talisay Parish Choir - Talisay City

  • Timex Philippines – Lapulapu City

  • Toledo Parish Choir - Toledo City

  • Treasure Craft Company Employees Choir – Mandaue City

  • University of San Carlos (USC - REED) – Cebu City

  • University of San Carlos (USC-Girls High School) – Cebu City

  • University of San Carlos (USC-Nursing Department) – Cebu City

  • University of the Philippines College Cebu (UPCC) – Cebu City

  • Velez College of Nursing – Cebu City

Central Bank of the Philippines Regional Office Chorale (CBRO)

Talamban Touch Choir & Gethsemane Parish Choir

National Manpower & Youth Council Regional Office Choir

Over and above his commitment to different choral groups, Ben was also directing/producing concerts and musical shows among which were:

1. “ON WINGS OF SONG” by the Central Bank Regional Office (CBRO) Chorale...

2. “NOSTALGIA ’88” by the Community of Former Seminarians (CFS) Choir..."A TRIBUTE TO DR. HERMANN GMEINER" a concert performed by CFS Choir & SOS Children's Village Choir.

3. “PAGMAHAL SA BISAYA- A CONCERT” for GMA-7 and DYSS AM Anniversary performed by DULCE AMOR, MAX SURBAN, JAIME SALAZAR and other local artists...

4. “LOOKING THRU THE EYES OF CHRIS” a two-night concert which featured a 7-year old blind pianist, together with the CFS Choir, UV Dance Troupe and many other performers...

5. “THE OTHER SIDE OF MAX SURBAN” a two-night concert featuring a Cebu artist Max Surban performing classical love songs...

6. "C.E.B.U. Halad sa CEBU" a free concert performed by C.E.B.U. - Cebu Entertainers and Bands United as fundraising for typhoon victims...

Cebu Popular Music Festivals:

One of the highlights of Ben’s career in the field of music was his winning participation in the Cebu Popular Music Festival as a composer, lyricist, and interpreter.

In 1981, he submitted a song entry entitled "IKAW, CEBU" as composer/lyricist. "Ikaw, Cebu" (You, Cebu), was chosen as one of the 12 Finalists among hundreds of entries into the First Cebu Popular Music Festival which is the most prestigious songwriting competition in Cebu City, Philippines.

Mga Awit ni Ben Noynay-Ikaw, Cebu.jpg

In 1983, Ben submitted "BARUGANAN SA KINAADMAN" as composer/lyricist/interpreter. "Baruganan Sa Kinaadman" (Principle of Knowledge), was chosen as one of the 12 Finalists among hundreds of entries into the Third Cebu Popular Music Festival.

Mga Awit ni Ben Noynay-Baruganan Sa Kina

The most rewarding year was 1985 when Ben submitted his song entry entitled“PANUMPA” (Promise) as composer/lyricist. 1985 was the year of the Fifth Cebu Popular Music Festival and "Panumpa" was chosen as one of the 12 Finalists among hundreds of entries.

Mga Awit ni Ben Noynay-Panumpa.jpg

The Cebu Pop Music Foundation in cooperation with the provincial government of Cebu decided to organize a concert tour featuring all the songs, composers, singers, arrangers, musicians involved in the Fifth Cebu Popular Music Festival. The concert was so successful that all the 12 song entries became very popular. And that also made "Panumpa" popular. In fact, the song is still being heard in the local air waves of Cebu City up to the present.

Ben has written more than 100 songs in both English and in Cebuano/Filipino languages. His songs are varied in genres, from ballad, to folk, to blues, jazz, pop and rock. But one thing is consistent with all of Ben's songs. All of them have themes that inspire the listeners, positive messages to lift up one's soul, songs of love, hopes and dreams, struggles and victories.

In 1992, Ben and his family migrated to Australia where he is presently residing. Again, Ben successfully established himself in the field of music starting with an invitation of the former president of the Filipino Community Council of Victoria, Inc.(FCCVI), to direct a 9-night show as part of the celebration of the Melbourne International FolkFest in 1993 and 1994.

Shortly after the second FolkFest, Ben started teaching vocal music to individual students within metropolitan Melbourne. It was also during this time that Ben started training and directing St. Francis Filipino Choir that sings regularly at St. Francis Church in the city of Melbourne until today.

The Filipino Choir of St. Francis, Melbourne

The chaplain of the Filipino Choir of St. Francis church is Father Ed Wood. As an observer, Here's what Father Ed said about Ben:

"The Filipino Choir of St. Francis,” Melbourne, was founded in 1992 and, as all choirs, has had its periods of growth and development. The beginning was marked with much enthusiasm and generosity but there was a felt need for a more professional leadership and, at the same time, instruction on breathing, voice production and other techniques to bring the best out of the latent talent and possibilities of the dedicated choir members."


"The arrival of Ben Noynay was a real gift to the choir as he had the musical talent, leadership skills and background required for a good choir director. The Filipino Choir profited from his expertise and achieved a high level of performance under his direction."


"Eventually Ben Noynay moved on to follow his career but his legacy remains with the older choir members who still follow his methods and, to some extent, help newcomers to appreciate what it means to be dedicated to singing in a choir. He is on all accounts an excellent teacher and his skills and discipline bring out the best in a choir."

During that time, the president of the Filipino Choir of St. Francis was Noel de la Pena. Here's what Noel said about Ben:

"The first time I've joined the Filipino Choir of St. Francis in Melbourne, months before Ben joined, I didn’t see the commitment of the members on putting in their best efforts to improve the quality of their singing as they had different singing backgrounds and had their own style of singing. But, when Ben came and taught new contemporary songs, some of which he personally arranged "on the spot" beautifully with several voices, the choir was transformed into a "world class" choir with committed and inspired members."


"Everyone learned the proper breathing, quality of voice, phrasing, harmony and blending, and we started hitting the right tones with the right volume! Never have I met such a professional with a lot of knowledge, experience, and, a passion for excellence in his undertakings."


"Truly, he is a remarkable maestro with a lot of wisdom for teaching!" 

Since his arrival in Australia, Ben continues to teach music specializing in piano, guitar and singing. With his children already on their own, Ben now has the time to pursue the musical studies he has dreamed of taking for a very long time.


Ben has received all High Distinction grades in all subjects for both semesters during his first year of studies, plus a special recognition from APRA/AMCOS for High Distinction in  Songwriting.


He has recently completed the academic requirements for an Associate Degree in Music Industry major in Songwriting at NMIT.

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