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An image of clinician Jimmy Borja in promotion of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's Songwriting Workshop on August 18 and 19 at Glendale Adventist Academy.

Artist Spotlight: Jimmy Borja, Songwriting Workshop Clinician

An image of clinician Jimmy Borja in promotion of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's Songwriting Workshop on August 18 and 19 at Glendale Adventist Academy.

Our special two-day songwriting workshop on August 18 and 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Glendale Adventist Academy is just around the corner! Here’s more info on our special workshop here and our registration form here! Get to know one of our accomplished workshop clinicians, songwriter Jimmy Borja, in this last artist spotlight of the series!

1. Jimmy’s most popular song is “Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin.” You can hear it on Sarah Geronimo’s variety show “Sarah G Live!,” the teleserye “Tayong Dalawa” and on “The Voice of the Philippines” (“The Voice Kids Philippines” too!) It even inspired a 2013 teleserye of the same name (and it was the show’s theme song of course!) Here’s a recent rendition of the song by its original interpreter, Lani Misalucha!

2. Jimmy’s credentials are incredible. He’s won Awit Awards for Best Ballad Recording, Best Country-Ballad Recording and Best Regional Recording. His songs have been performed and recorded by Rachelle Ann Go, the Philippine Madrigal SingersLea Salonga, among others. He’s in demand as a songwriting clinician as well. He’s conducted songwriting workshops in Nashville, Chicago and Los Angeles!

3. Wanna hear Jimmy sing one of his works? We’ve got you. Here’s his performance of his song “Truest Heart.”

4. Jimmy is a songwriter of great breadth. While his songs are a mainstay in the OPM songbook, he’s made significant contributions to the Nashville music scene—and to EDM! Check out this remix he did for Armin van Buuren!

Learn the fundamentals of songwriting from Jimmy Borja and Dodjie Simon at our Songwriting Workshop August 18 and 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Glendale Adventist Academy at 700 Kimlin Dr, Glendale, CA 91206. For more information, check out our workshop event page here. Apply here. Questions? Email pr@fasofoundation.org

A photo of Dodjie Simon, clinician for the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's (FASO) Songwriting Workshop.

Artist Spotlight: Dodjie Simon, Songwriting Workshop Clinician

A photo of Dodjie Simon, clinician for the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's (FASO) Songwriting Workshop.

This summer, FASO’s hosting a special two-day songwriting workshop on August 18 and 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Glendale Adventist Academy! Learn more about this special workshop here and sign up here! Get to know one of our accomplished workshop clinicians, songwriter Dodjie Simon, in this special artist spotlight!

1. Does Dodjie Simon sound familiar to you all, FASO fans? At “FASO Goes Pops” at the Alex Theater back in 2015, we performed Dodjie’s “Ikaw Lamang” and “Tatak ng Pilipino” with FASO artists Shelby Miguel and Bryce Gomez respectively! We also performed “Tatak ng Pilipino” with 7-year-old vocalist Mirielle Enrique at “FASO is Bach to Rock!” at the Ford Theatres. Watch our performance below!

2. Dodjie won Grand Prize at the 1999 Metropop Music Festival with his song “Can’t Stop Loving You,” interpreted by Lani Misalucha. His other awards include the Grand Prize at the Asia Song Festival with “You Lift Me Up,” interpreted by Jaya, and second place at the Manila International Song Festival with “One More Time,” also interpreted by Lani Misalucha.

3. Dodjie was former president of KATHA, an organization of Filipino composers, and Vice-President of the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (FILSCAP) from 1995 to 2000. He continues to crank out new music through his own music publishing company, Elzar Simon Publishing!

4. Dodjie is leader in both the music world and the corporate world! He’s currently director of New York University‘s Enterprise Data Management Service Management and Infrastructure Support! Over the past 15 years, he’s held CIO-level positions at several other companies.

5. Dodjie earned his degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of the Philippines. Currently based in New York, he’s married to psychiatrist Elise Nazal Simon and together they have three kids: Joshua, Elisha and Grace. He’s also a foodie and enjoys food from a wide variety of cuisines!

Learn the fundamentals of songwriting from Dodjie Simon at our Songwriting Workshop August 18 and 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Glendale Adventist Academy at 700 Kimlin Dr, Glendale, CA 91206. For more information, check out our workshop event page here. Apply here. Questions? Email pr@fasofoundation.org

A photo of VJ Rosales in promotion of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's Swing the Night Away event on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at the Signature Banquet Hall.

Artist Spotlight: VJ Rosales

Swing the Night Away” is coming up this Sunday, so we’d like you to get to know one of our featured artists, singer-songwriter, vocal coach and musical director VJ Rosales!  Remember to watch him perform this Sunday, May 20 at the Signature Banquet Hall in Granada Hills, Calif. Cocktails at 5:00 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m.! For tickets, call Robert Shroder (818.395.8936) or Arlene Ferrolino (213.248.9850).

1. You may know VJ Rosales best as a member and musical director of the LA-based Filipino-American a cappella group The Filharmonic. Under VJ’s leadership, The Filharmonic has made leaps and bounds in the musical world with their urbanesque hip-hop sound and ’90s nostalgia! They were semifinalists on NBC’S a cappella competition “The Sing-Off,” they played the a cappella group Manila Envy in Universal Pictures’ “Pitch Perfect 2” and they’re a mainstay on “The Late Late Show with James Corden“‘s “Riff-Off” segment! They’ve also shared the stage with Linkin Park, Black Eyed Peas and Pentatonix! And these make up just a portion of their many accomplishments! Here’s a taste of VJ’s a cappella arrangements for The Filharmonic!

2. VJ’s also made a name for himself as a soloist! He offers an impressive collection of covers and original works on his YouTube channel. He’s performed alongside Fifth Harmony and Melissa Polinar, and collaborated with a cappella group VoicePlay and The Filharmonic beatboxer Niko Del Rey in this fantastic arrangement of Jason Derulo‘s “Talk Dirty”!

3. VJ grew up in household of “professional” karaoke singers! His parents forced him to sing at parties, but he secretly loved it. Having reveled in making music as a member of his high school’s marching band and vocal jazz ensemble, he realized that he wanted to pursue music for the rest of his life. After a brief stint pursuing the medical field at California State University Long Beach, VJ turned to music once again while on tour with CSULB’s premiere vocal jazz ensemble Pacific Standard Time. While the ensemble was onstage for a performance, VJ’s teachers offered him a scholarship on that condition that he majors in music! As you can probably tell, he took the offer! He earned a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from CSULB’s Bob Cole Conservatory of Music.

4. VJ’s considered an expert in the world of a cappella! His membership in musical ensembles in high school and college inspired him to teach aspiring artists. He serves as group director of A Cappella Academy, run by Ben Bram and Avi Kaplan of Pentatonix. He’s also vocal coached and arranged for pro football players on CBS’ “Most Valuable Performer“! For an inside look into his mentorship to students at A Cappella Academy, he has a vlog!

5. Listen up budding artists! VJ loves mentoring young artists like you and has some words of wisdom to offer, “Wake up everyday and understand your passion. Go for that passion no matter what it is. Do you and do it well!”

To close, we can’t help but share VJ’s gorgeous, jazzed up arrangement and performance of CeeLo Green‘s “Forget you“! We’re in love! 💖

Remember to watch VJ Rosales swing with us on Sunday, May 20! Cocktails at 5:00 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Signature Banquet Hall is located at 11130 Balboa Blvd. Granada Hills, CA 91344. For tickets, you can call Bob Shroder at 818.395.8936 or Arlene Ferrolino at 213.248.9850.

Image in promotion of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra College Scholarship

Filipino American Symphony Orchestra College Scholarship

We’re happy to announce that applications for the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra College Scholarship are open!

This $1000 scholarship was established for graduating high school seniors that have committed to a degree program at an accredited higher education institution based in the United States. All applicants must write an essay between 1,000 and 1,400 words. The essay prompt is “What does Philippine music mean to you?” Essays can be submitted in the application form below.

Questions? Email pr@fasofoundation.org.

Applications must be submitted by or before Wednesday, August 1 at 11:55 p.m. PST. Best of luck!

FASO transformed into a swing band, with music director Robert “Bob” Shroder and guest singer Deedee Magno Hall, in last year’s “Swing the Night Away.” Photo by Ruben V. Nepales.

FASO brings back fun-filled ‘Swing the Night Away’ on May 20

Due to popular demand, the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO), under the musical direction of Robert “Bob” Shroder, will bring back “Swing the Night Away” on Sunday, May 20. “Swing…” is the one night when the acclaimed orchestra transforms into a swinging big band and attendees can dance to their hearts’ content!

And to make this “Swing…” show even swingier, this year’s theme is masquerade ball! So, bring out your masks and dancing shoes to The Signature in Granada Hills, Calif., which will be transformed into a fun, elegant night club.

An exciting line-up of guest performers will be announced soon. Save the date for this annual FASO event, which brings dancing aficionados and music lovers together. DIs or dancing instructors will be available to guests.

A $125 ticket includes cocktails at 5:00 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. The Signature is located at 11130 Balboa Blvd. Granada Hills, CA 91344. For tickets, you can call Bob Shroder at 818.395.8936 or Arlene Ferrolino at 213.248.9850.

An image in promotion of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's (FASO) Composition Competition for Philippine Folk Music.

Call for Young Composers: International Composition Competition for Philippine Folk Music

The Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) is pleased to announce its International Composition Competition for Philippine Folk Music for students. This composition competition is dedicated to the promotion of Philippine folk music and was established in honor of FASO’s 10th anniversary. All participants must submit an original composition for full orchestra (no vocals) that incorporates a theme(s) from any Philippine folk song(s). The composition must be between 3 and 5 minutes.

A distinguished panel of judges will select a winner, who will be awarded a $1000 prize. The second place winner will receive a prize of $500. The winning piece will have its world premiere at FASO’s 10th anniversary concert in Los Angeles in November 2018.

Composition scores, demo recordings and application form are due July 31, 2018 at 11:55 p.m. PST. Demo recordings and composition scores should be submitted via email to pr@fasofoundation.org. See below for more details on submission logistics.

The following is a list of composition competition rules and requirements. The application form can found here and at the bottom of this page.

Rules and Requirements

  • This international composition competition is open to composers of all nationalities registered in a college, university or film school as of 2018. Students graduating from their respective programs in 2018 are welcome to participate.
  • Multiple composers may collaborate on one competition entry as long as each composer satisfies the previous requirement above.
  • The composition may not have vocals.
  • The composition should not have been commercially released, posted publicly on content-sharing websites (e.g., YouTube, SoundCloud, Vimeo etc.) or performed in public as of the deadline. A composition will not be accepted if it has won first prize in another competition(s). Compositions that originated as school projects or that have been performed in school recitals may be submitted.
  • The composition must use standard symphonic orchestra instrumentation. For your reference, FASO has the following instrumentation: 2+picc, 2d1, 2+bass, 2 – 3, 3, 3, 1, timp, perc, hp, str.* You may include Philippine instruments (e.g., kulintang, angklung, rondalla instruments, etc.), but it is not required.
  • The composition must incorporate theme(s) from any Philippine folk song(s). Clarification on what we mean: Of course, Philippine folk songs with established melodies already exist. The composition component in this competition is the arrangement of those melodies. There are many opportunities to be innovative and creative in the composition process. The composition may be in any style, genre or form. Some examples:
    • A straightforward orchestration of a folk song melody
    • Medley of themes
    • Variations of a theme
    • Mashup of multiple themes
  • The composition’s score in PDF format and a demo recording in MP3 format must be emailed to pr@fasofoundation.org on the same day that the online application form is submitted. You may use one or a combination of the following for the demo recording: live instrument performance, MIDI mockup, synthesizer, playback from notation software (e.g., Finale, Sibelius etc.). Keep in mind that the quality of the demo recording will have no impact on the evaluation of the composition. The duration of the recording must be between 3 and 5 minutes.
  • The participant must submit an application fee of $15. Fee payments can be made online on the application form. Credit card and PayPal are accepted.

Judging Criteria

A distinguished panel of judges will score and judge competition entries according to criteria provided below.

Creativity (40%)
Creative use of music composition elements including, but not limited to form, genre, groove/feel, melody, counterpoint, harmony, rhythm and textures.

Orchestration (40%)
• Instrument parts are in playable range and are readable for college-level and professional musicians
• Lines and harmonies are effectively orchestrated
• Effective use of dynamics and articulation
• Effective utilization of the orchestra families
• Effective focus, balance and separation between multiple layers

Impact (20%)
• The composition is identifiable as Philippine folk music in an orchestral setting
• All audiences can relate to the piece (via subjective assessment by the judges)

Questions? Email pr@fasofoundation.org.

* Click here for an explanation of shorthand notation.

A head shot of Paul Concepcion in promotion the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops Concert at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center on December 8.

Artist Spotlight: Paul Concepion

A head shot of Paul Concepcion in promotion the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops Concert at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center on December 8.

Our Holiday Pops Concert is upon us (It’s tomorrow!) And we have one last artist under the spotlight—a pianist beloved throughout the Southern California Filipino-American music community for his talent and signature wit—FASO’s very own Paul Conception, Read up on Paul in our latest spotlight and watch him rock a piano solo in our performance of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center!

1. Paul earned his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at University of the Philippines (UP). He ended up teaching at UP right after his graduation! He later took up graduate studies in Piano Performance at the Musashino Ongaku Daigaku in Tokyo.

2. His musical travels didn’t stop in grad school! Paul performed throughout Europe and North America as the pianist of acclaimed UP Concert Chorus and as a member of the folkloric UP Kasarinlan Ensemble.

3. Paul’s also a choir director! He currently directs the St. Lorenzo Ruiz Church Choir in Walnut, Calif. (one of our community choirs featured in our upcoming Holiday Pops Concert!) He’s directed the choirs of First United Methodist Church in Downtown Los Angeles, Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Temple City, Calif. and St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Lomita, Calif.

4. Paul is heavily involved in Southern California’s music scene as an active collaborator and teacher. He’s a member of the American College of
Musicians/National Guild of Piano Teachers and the Whittier Branch of Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC). Paul has had the distinction of being MTAC’s past president!

5. A really fun fact: Paul performed for Mrs. Rosalyn and President Jimmy Carter for Mrs. Carter’s eighty-eighth birthday in Plains, Ga.!

Paul Concepcion Jamming at a David Pomeraz and Stephen Bishop Concert

Watch Paul Concepcion rock his piano solo (and our other repertoire!) tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center! Celebrate the holidays with us and support tons of talented FilAm artists at our Holiday Pops Concert. Online ticketing closes today, but you can always order tickets over the phone at 213.248.9850! Or purchase your tickets tomorrow at Arcadia Performing Arts Center’s physical box office right starting at 5:00 p.m. right before the concert! The Arcadia Performing Arts Center is located at 188 Campus Drive, Arcadia, CA 91007. See you all there!

 

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