Artist Spotlight: Music Educator, Composer & Community Organizer Melvin Corpin - Filipino American Symphony Orchestra

Artist Spotlight: Music Educator, Composer & Community Organizer Melvin Corpin

Photo courtesy of Gerry Ruiz and Cesar Laure
Photo credits to Gerry Ruiz and Cesar Laure

It’s time to spotlight one of the most beloved composers from the Philippines. At FASO@10 on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m., we’ll be performing a work by the late Melvin Corpin, who inspired a generation of Samarnon and Leyteño musicians! Read on to learn more about this “wonderful one in a million musician” who dedicated his life to his family, his faith and his community!

1. Melvin wrote and arranged over 2,000 pieces! A majority of his works are liturgical hymns that continue to grace churches in the Archdiocese of Palo in the Eastern Visayas. In collaboration with National Artist of the Philippines Bienvenido Lumbera, Melvin arranged music for touring Philippine stage plays. His arrangement of “Di Ako Titigil” from the film “Burgos” won Best Original Song at the 2014 Golden Screen Awards. We’ll be performing his masterpiece “Ha Imo La,” which he composed as musical and artistic director of the Warayon Initiative Network’s fundraising concert of the same name, at FASO@10. Here’s a taste!

2. Melvin learned how to play piano by ear from the age of 4, and learned to compose and arrange music from the age of 10. He later graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s in music education from Leyte Normal University (LNU) in Tacloban City. During his time at LNU, he received the YMCA Outstanding Student Award, the Musician of the Year Award and the President’s Recognition Award! Following his graduation, he directed many Eastern Visayas choirs. Under his leadership, the St. Therese Singing Angels and St. Therese Educational Foundation of Tacloban Inc. (STEFTI) Children’s Choir won several awards at the National Music Competition for Young Artists.

3. He was a beloved teacher known to many in the Eastern Visayas and beyond! Back home, many fondly remember Melvin as their first voice teacher or musical mentor. As musical director of the Family of God’s Little Children of Tacloban City, Melvin traveled to Australia, Indonesia, Jerusalem, Malaysia and Singapore to teach workshops, and organize and perform concerts.!

4. Melvin never stopped thinking about home after moving to the United States with his family in 2008. He was an important founding member of the Southern California-based Warayon Initiative Network (WIN) and was WIN’s VP for Ensemble, Training and Development. He contributed his talents to many Typhoon Haiyan fundraiser efforts. At Pope Francis’ mass for the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in 2015, Melvin led the 250-member Grand Choir of the Archdiocese of Palo. Most pieces played at the mass were Melvin’s own compositions!

5. Music is a family affair in the Corpin family! All of four of Melvin’s sons play instruments! His son Meldian plays violin and arranges for strings. Carlvian, Meldian’s twin, plays cello, violin and piano. Mel plays clarinet, guitar and piano. Carl plays bass flute, guitar, and piano. And last, but not least, Melvin’s wife Carla is both a practicing nurse and a soprano!

A photo of Melvin Corpin with Filipino American Symphony Orchestra arranger-in-residernce Louie Ramos.
Melvin Corpin with Filipino American Symphony Orchestra arranger-in-residernce Louie Ramos. Photo credits to Carla Corpin.

Be a part of this history-making event as FASO celebrates 10 years of Filipino musical creativity and artistry on Saturday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m., at the Alex Theatre, on 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91203. Order tickets online here and check out info on the Alex Theatre’s physical box offices here. Children 2 years of age and under may enter for free. Student discounts and group rates apply. Contact Louie Ramos at luisramos91201@gmail.com, for more info on those special prices.

There are also advertising and sponsorship opportunities! Our 10th anniversary Commemorative Book, which will highlight the orchestra’s legacy and future, has a special advertisement section. Here, members and friends of FASO can submit their own written tributes to the orchestra. Businesses can also submit advertisements that highlight their own services. You can also make a donation and get listed in the book on our Donors & Sponsors page! Find advertisementforms here and view sponsorship forms here! Send all forms for advertisements and sponsorships to ads@fasofoundation.org no later than Oct. 15Questions? Email Claire Espina at claire@edelbergandespina.com

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