faso Archives - Filipino American Symphony Orchestra
An image in promotion of "Filipino American Symphony Orchestra @ 10" at the Alex Theatre on Saturday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m.

FASO @ 10: A Decade of Music, Harmony and Community

Join the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra for its 10th anniversary concert at the historic Alex Theatre on Saturday, November 3 at 7:00 pm! Be a part of this history-making event as FASO celebrates 10 years of advocacy for Philippine creativity and artistry.

Tickets are available online and onsite for $20, $40 and $60. Purchase 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.

We also have 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 advertisement forms here and view sponsorship forms here! Send all forms for advertisements and sponsorships to ads@fasofoundation.org no later than October 15Questions? Email Claire Espina at claire@edelbergandespina.com

A photo of Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja in promotion of her performance with the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) at FASO@10 on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at the Alex Theatre.

Artist Spotlight: Vocal Extraordinaire Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja

A photo of Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja in promotion of her performance with the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) at FASO@10 on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at the Alex Theatre.

It’s finally here! Vocal extraordinaire Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja‘s under the spotlight this week! Watch this package of dynamite kill it onstage with us at FASO@10 on Saturday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. at the Alex Theatre. Read on to learn more about Malea Emma!

1. After singing the national anthem at an LA Galaxy game last month, Malea Emma became an overnight internet phenomenon! News agencies worldwide covered her performance! Malea Emma was even interviewed on “Good Morning America“, “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” and CNN’s “New Day.” Here’s the performance that started it all!

Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja with Christina Aguilera.
Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja backstage with Christina Aguilera.

2. Malea Emma’s met and collaborated with cool music icons too! Her performance in a Hollywood Bowl production of “Annie” with Lea Salonga received glowing reviews from the LA Times, Broadway World and Times Square Chronicles. On “Good Morning America,” she sang “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” with original Dreamgirl Jennifer Holliday. Her idol Christina Aguilera retweeted this video of her performance and invited her backstage before her concert at Radio City Music Hall.

Here’s her duet with Jennifer Holliday!

3. Her father told USA today that Malea Emma’s been “singing forever, basically before she could speak. Sometimes we have to tell her to be quiet.” Malea Emma’s clearly dedicated to her art and her awards definitely show that! Malea Emma’s won first place in competitions including American Protégé Winners Recital at Carnegie Hall, San Gabriel Valley’s Got Talent, the Riverside County Fair Vocal Competition, among others.

4. Malea Emma isn’t just a vocalist. She’s an accomplished actor, having appeared in commercials for Kiehl’s, Amazon and East West Bank. She also has credits in the parody horror TV series “Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories” and the upcoming short film titled “Mother of Three,” scheduled for release next year! She also models, dances, swims, plays violin and piano, and speaks Indonesian and Mandarin! Watch her Kiehl’s commercial below!

5. In her free time, Malea loves singing and posting covers on her YouTube channel. Check it out here!

P. S. Here’s Malea Emma and Lea Salonga cover’s of “On My Own ” from “Les Misérables” at the Hollywood Bowl when they were both in “Annie!” We love it! ❤

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

Photo courtesy of Gerry Ruiz and Cesar Laure

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

A photo of Pete Avendaño in promotion of FASO@10 at the Alex Theater on November 3, 2018 at 7 p.m.

Artist Spotlight: Tenor & Music Educator Pete Avendaño

Next up in this FASO@10 spotlight series is tenor and music educator Christopher “Pete” Avendaño! Watch Pete and many more at “FASO@10: A Decade of Music, Harmony and Community” on Saturday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. at the historic Alex Theatre!

A photo of Pete Avendaño in promotion of FASO@10 at the Alex Theater on November 3, 2018 at 7 p.m.

1. Pete Avendaño’s no stranger to FASO! He performed in our inaugural concert at the Saban Theater. Here’s his hauntingly beautiful performance of “Sa Ugoy Ng Duyan” at the concert!

2. His music career took off when he joined the Tiples de Santo Domingo, the oldest boy’s choir in the Philippines! During his time in the ensemble, he was often featured as a boy soprano soloist.

3. Pete later earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Santo Tomas, where he joined the acclaimed UST Singers. With the ensemble, he embarked on concert tours to Europe, North America and South America! While he was a student at the UST Conservatory, he performed in Singapore Lyric Opera productions of “Il Pagliacci,” “Cavalleria Rusticana,” “Il Trovatore” and “Macbeth!”

4. Pete’s a passionate and driven music educator. Under his direction, the Immaculate heart of Mary Children’s Choir has won accolades and awards at home and abroad! The ensemble won two silver medals at the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati. They performed at the 2015 National Children’s Chorus Festival at Carnegie Hall, the 2015 International Congress of Pueri Cantores in Vatican City and Rome, and the 2017 Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, among others. Here’s a sample of the choir’s award-winning sound!

5. Pete’s hobbies include gardening and working on DIY projects. He’s also been a huge Lakers fan since 1984!

A photo of Pete Avendaño and his sons at a Laker Game in promotion of FASO@10 at the Alex Theater on November 3, 2018 at 7 p.m.
And undoubtedly, a devoted father.

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

A photo of Joan Cano in promotion of her performance at the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's “FASO@10: A Decade of Music, Harmony and Community."

Artist Spotlight: Joan Cano

A photo of Joan Cano in promotion of her performance at the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's “FASO@10: A Decade of Music, Harmony and Community."

On Saturday, November 3  at 7:00 p.m., we’re celebrating 10 years of Music, Harmony and Community with our very own 10th birthday party at the historic Alex Theatre! “FASO@10: A Decade of Music, Harmony and Community” will be featuring lots of spectacular artists. So we’d like you to get to know them before our concert! We’re kicking off this round of our spotlight series with the award-winning soprano Joan Cano!

1. Joan studied at the University of Santo Tomas​, where she was a member and soloist in the acclaimed University of Santo Tomas Singers​. She toured with this ensemble internationally too! In 2007, she earned her Master’s in Vocal Performance from Bowling Green State University​.

2. A decorated soprano, Joan has conquered the Dr. Marjorie Peatree Art Song Competition, National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Buckeye Chapter Competition, the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and the Corfu International Music Festival!

3. Joan has performed prominent roles in productions of “The Magic Flute,” “Carmen” and “Karim at Jasmin.” Joan was also featured as a guest soloist in “A Christmas Carol” and Ottorino Resphigi​’s “Laud to the Nativity” at Singapore’s celebrated Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay​.

4. She’s no stranger to FASO. Joan has shared her pristine voice with us at a number of our concerts. Maya birds around the world rejoiced after her rendition of Jose Estella’s “Ang Maya” when we went to the movies at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Here’s a clip of her performance!

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

A photo of the tutti curtain call at the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops Concert on December 9, 2017 at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center.

FASO to mark 10th anniversary with a special concert, Nov. 3

The Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) will celebrate its 10th year as the only Filipino symphony orchestra outside of the Philippines and as an enduring Fil-Am cultural institution with a special concert on November 3 at the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale, California.

FASO, winner of the 2017 San Diego Fil-Am Humanitarian Foundation’s Historical Heritage Excellence Award, will go all out in presenting an anniversary concert, “FASO@10: A Decade of Music, Harmony and Community,” worthy of its impressive decade-long run as an acclaimed orchestra.

Led by conductor and musical director, maestro Robert “Bob” Shroder, the orchestra, noted for its entertaining, quality concerts and excellent guest performers, will look back at its well-received shows and will look forward to its exciting future.

A photograph of Robert "Bob" Shroder, musical director and conductor of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra.
Filipino American Symphony Orchestra Music Director & Conductor, Robert “Bob” Shroder

Guest performers will include Joey Albert, Pete Avendano, Joan Cano, Kit Navarro, FASO Children’s Ensemble and Alumni, Holy Family Filipino Chorale, Pacific Vocal Artists, Philippine Chamber Singers-Los Angeles and the Waraynon Initiative Network (WIN) Chorale.

“It is quite an accomplishment for us Filipino musicians to be able to put together and sustain a major musical institution outside of the Philippines,” said Shroder, who was born and raised in the rich musical environment of Cavite in the Philippines.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to work with a diverse group of talents from different walks of life. The high level of inspiration, learning and dedication of every musician and guest artist during rehearsals is always something to look forward to.”

“Even amid challenging issues, language and cultural barriers, no matter how difficult the situation might be, we still bring a high level of musicianship. It proves that music really is a universal language,” Shroder said further.

“A decade can be a long time but it was short and fast for us because of the hard work and dedication of our board of directors, the support and understanding of our families despite the long hours away from home while taking care of FASO business and the continued support of our friends and the community. It is with great honor and pride to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of FASO. Mabuhay!”

FASO board member Claire Navarro Espina, who is a lawyer, shared, “As project chair of the anniversary concert, I am making sure that FASO plays to a full house. This concert is FASO’s big thanks to Southern California and all of the orchestra’s patrons. We intend to fill every seat of the Alex Theatre. The concert will be a celebration of FASO and will surely harken to the past but it will point all of us to the future of immense possibilities for this unique organization.

“In connection with the concert, FASO is publishing a commemorative book to chronicle, in written and visual form, the orchestra’s beginnings, evolution and growth. A copy of the book will be sent for inclusion in the United States Library of Congress to evidence FASO’s contributions to the history of immigrants in this great country.”

Arlene Ferrolino, FASO board president who is a music educator, said, “The FASO board is composed of many different personalities from various areas of expertise, all brought together to work toward the common goal of sustaining the orchestra. Leading this group has truly been an amazing ride so far! From its humble beginnings to this milestone 10th year, the orchestra’s journey has not always been a smooth and easy road but it has certainly been a thrilling and memorable experience.

“Each workshop, recital and concert – from the planning to the performance, from behind the scenes till the moment the curtain rises – has been a labor of love on the part of every musician, board member and volunteer. Bringing our mission to life through the various programs that we offer can be an incredible challenge but the joy that it brings to our audiences makes it worth all the time and effort.”

Members of combined children’s choruses from the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra’s “Holiday Pops Concerts.”

Dr. Louie Ramos, FASO vice president and resident arranger who is a computer scientist, pointed out the community outreach programs of the orchestra, a non-profit organization:

“We are so thrilled to see FASO’s education and outreach programs grow and expand every year, providing opportunities to budding artists of all ages to improve their vocal and instrument performance and songwriting skills.”

Ramos added, “As part of our 10th anniversary celebration, we are performing the winning folk song compositions in our first International Composition Competition. We look forward to the next 10 years of enrichment of Filipino culture.”

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 September 25Questions? Email Claire Espina at claire@edelbergandespina.com

A promotional image of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's (FASO) special Songwriting Workshop on August 18 and 19 featuring clinicians Jimmy Borja and Dodjie Simon.

Songwriting Workshop

Join seasoned clinicians Jimmy Borja and Dodjie Simon for 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! Check out our songwriting workshop syllabus here! Songwriting workshop participants will have the opportunity to perform their compositions at the Music Education & Outreach Recital in spring 2019, which culminates the 2018-2019 FASO Music Education & Outreach Program year. Lunch from Porta Via Italian Foods and In-N-Out is provided.

Registration is $50 for students grades 6 to 12, $100 for college students and $150 for adults. If admission’s a bit steep, no worries! Direct all inquiries, including scholarship questions, to pr@fasofoundation.org.

Our esteemed clinicians’ bios are below. You can find an enrollment form here or at the bottom of this page.

Jimmy Borja

Known as an award-winning songwriters’ songwriter, Jimmy Borja writes compelling lyrics for his fresh melodies and inventive chord progressions. Borja was born and raised in the Philippines. He now calls Los Angeles home. Borja’s biggest hits include “Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin,” interpreted by Lani Misalucha, “Sana Ngayong Pasko,” the theme song of the TV drama of same name, “If the Feeling is Gone,” interpreted by Kyla, among others. His compositions have been released on Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Star Music, among others. His works have been performed and recorded by Sarah Geronimo, the Philippine Madrigal Singers and EDM DJ and producer Armin Van Buuren, among others. A much sought-after songwriting clinician and mentor, Borja has conducted songwriting workshops in Nashville, Chicago, Los Angeles, and most recently in San Francisco at the 27th Annual West Coast Songwriters Music Conference.

Dodjie Simon

Dodjie Simon is an award-winning and prolific OPM songwriter. He composed “Ikaw Lamang,” popularized by Zsa Zsa Padilla. He 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. 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.

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