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 Orchestral Composition Competition for student composers. This 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 competition rules and requirements. The application form can found here and at the bottom of this page.

Rules and Requirements

  • This international competition is open to composers of all nationalities registered in a college, university or film school as of 2018.
  • 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 photo of Shane Selloria and Winston, the turtle, in promotion of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops Concert at Arcadia Performing Arts Center.

Artist Spotlight: Shane Selloria (& Winston, The Turtle)

Sweet treats, spooky ghosts and kids in costumes–Halloween has come and gone and the holidays are around the corner. That means it’s time to get excited for our December 9 Holiday Pops Concert and our featured artists! Speaking of uncommon phenomena, this will be our first concert featuring a singing turtle! First up in this round of Artist Spotlight is 10-year-old singing ventriloquist Shane Selloria, and his friend Winston, the turtle!

1. Shane’s self-taught ventriloquist skills have earned him honors and awards! Shane recently won First Place at the 18th Annual Youth Cultural Arts Foundation Talent Show. He was finalist in Shoreline’s Got Talent too! He also attracted the attention of legendary ventriloquist of “America’s Got Talent” fame, Terry Fator. Shane had a personal meet-and-greet with Fator this past July.

A photo of Shane Selloria in promotion of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's 2017 Holiday Pops Concert. This is a picture of Shane after his first place win at the 18th Annual Youth Cultural Arts Foundation Talent Show. From Shane Selloria's Facebook like page.
Shane’s shock at winning this year’s YCAF Talent Show.
A photo of Shane Selloria in promotion of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's 2017 Holiday Pops Concert. This is a photo of Shane's personal meeting with Jerry Fator. From Shane Selloria's Facebook like page.
A photo from Shane’s meet-and-greet with Terry Fator.

2. Shane shares his talents at many community events. His most recent fundraiser was the Sari Sari Talent Show for the Filipino Cultural School, one of our community partners! Shane has also graced many special occasions such as weddings and fiestas.

3. Shane is currently auditioning for sitcom, TV commercial and modeling roles at the International Performing Arts Showcase in Hollywood. Be sure to send him lots of love, support and positive thoughts!

 

4. When he isn’t hanging with Winston, Shane likes to dance, swim and play soccer!

A photo of Shane Selloria in promotion of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's 2017 Holiday Pops Concert. This is a collage of a photo of Shane in soccer attire and a photo of Shane with his many swimming awards. From Shane Selloria's Facebook like page.
A glimpse of Shane’s world outside of his time with Winston.

5. Here’s a tidbit on Winston in Shane’s own words: “Winston is an impersonating turtle. He can sing, dance and levitate. People say he looks like a frog, but he is a turtle. We met at a Terry Fator show. The first thing he said to me was, ‘Wow! You can sing?’ We’ve been best friends ever since.”

A GIF of Shane Selloria and Winston, the turtle, in promotion of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra's 2017 Holiday Pops Concert.

Watch this GIF with sound (live and not in GIF form!) on Saturday, December 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center! Celebrate the holidays with us, and support Shane, Winston and tons of other talented artists at our Holiday Pops Concert. You can purchase tickets online through this link or through our ticket extraordinaire, Andy Tecson, at 323.467.5096. The Arcadia Performing Arts Center is located at 188 Campus Drive, Arcadia, CA 91007. See you all there!

This is a photo in promotion of the concert "Filipino American Symphony Orchestra is Bach to Rock" in 2012 at the Ford Theaters.

Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) is Bach to Rock!

Classical music transcends cultural boundaries and musical genres in “FASO is Bach to Rock!”  The LA-based Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO), conducted by Robert Shroder, presents an eclectic evening of music including Bach and symphonic arrangements of pop-rock songs such as Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” as well as disco, alternative and Filipino rock music.

The event will take place on Saturday, July 28 at the Ford Theatres. “This is very exciting because it will be the first time FASO will be doing this mixture of genres in a major concert,” said conductor Robert Shroder. “Bach to Rock is a very interesting combination of repertoire because the Baroque era, the era of Bach, is where improvisation started – even before jazz and rock music.  So it’s really a good combination to mix both genres together.” Expected to be one of the show’s exciting highlights is FASO’s performance of  Stairway to Heaven, as arranged by Filipino composer Louie Ramos.

Building off the popularity of American rock music in the Philippines, FASO will also perform music from Filipino rock and pop groups, as well as classics from the Beatles and Chicago. Audience members can expect guest performances by Joey Albert, Mon David, and Mirielle Enriquez.  Immaculate Heart of Mary Children’s Choir will perform, arriving fresh from The World Choir Games in Cincinnati, Ohio. The concert will also feature FASO’s Youth String Ensemble, showcasing the talent of emerging artists ages eight to fourteen.

“Bach to Rock!” is part of the 21st annual Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture (FPAC), which will be held on Sept. 8-9 at Point Fermin Park in San Pedro, CA.  FPAC is the largest celebration of Filipino arts and culture, presenting over 1,000 artists and cultural bearers from all over the nation every year.

“FASO is Bach to Rock!” will take place on Saturday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd, East, Hollywood, CA 90068.  Tickets are on sale at www.fordtheatres.org. General admission prices range from $30-40.  VIP packages are $100 and include premium seating and a pre-show reception.  Tickets for students and children are $20, and group discounts are available.

FASO featured in Daft Punk Music Video and Dazed Magazine

The Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) was recently featured in the music video of Daft Punk, a popular French electronic music duo. Consisting of French musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, Daft Punk reached significant popularity in the late 1990s house movement in France and was met with continued success in the years following. They are credited with producing songs that were considered essential in the French house scene and have released three studio albums along with remix and live albums, and the “TRON: Legacy” soundtrack.

Wes Olson, the producer of the music teaser video, said that one of his assistants referred FASO to him when they were looking for an orchestra to join Daft Punk in the video and the film shoot for Dazed & Confused Magazine. “I got in touch with some members of the orchestra and the meeting went well so we decided to get them for the filming,” said Olson. Dazed & Confused is a British-style magazine,that was set up in 1992 and published monthly covering topics that include music, fashion, film, art and literature. Throughout the 1990s, the magazine’s influence grew as its format evolved and the reputations of those it had championed early in their careers blossomed.

The December edition of Dazed celebrates radical visions for the future, with a world exclusive feature with Daft Punk in Los Angeles as they unveil their soundtrack for the 3D sci-fi blockbuster “TRON: Legacy.” The issue of the magazine comes with specially inserted glasses in order to see the spectacular 3D shoot by photographer Sharif Hamza and styled by senior menswear editor Robbie Spencer. The photos show several members of FASO in the background. “The magazine supposedly hit newsstands yesterday (Nov 19)…. at least in Europe….. not sure if it’s quite out here yet…. but check the newsstands! The one on Cahuenga and Hollywood Blvd (or is it Sunset Blvd?) is a good candidate to find it, or also Centerfolds on Fairfax just north of Melrose. It could possibly take another week or so before it’s out in the US though. But spread the word around,” said Olson.

Filipino-American Symphony Orchestra & The Movies

Just a little more than a year ago the newly christened Filipino-American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) debuted with a gala concert at the Saban Theatre in Hollywood, mesmerizing the audience with elegant artistry.

Next came a holiday season concert, where the 65-member orchestra wowed the community once more with a commanding performance and amazing choirs and vocalists.

The third time promises to be just as charming when music lovers from throughout the Filipino-American community in Southern California get treated to another unique concert, this one scheduled for Saturday, July 10, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

The upcoming concert will offer more than music, appealing also to film buffs. Indeed the performance is billed as “FASO Goes to the Movies,” and will feature renditions of famous songs from the silver screen, including themes from well-loved Hollywood and Filipino movies.

FASO has earned a reputation for putting on amazing shows, but organizers are especially excited about this one, calling the repertoire “a feast for the soul and the senses.” The performance will bring the usual auditory experience, but also offer a visual experience and a unique display of authentic Filipino culture.

The visuals will come from video clips of famous movies shown as FASO plays the accompanying theme, according to Musical Director and Conductor Bob Shroder. The effect will not only accentuate the song but will also trigger memories, with the short clips reinforcing the emotions set off by the music of the live orchestra.

The concert will also hew to FASO’s mission by including a grand display of the Philippines’ rich culture through movies and themes from the Pacific Island nation. The effort marks a continuation of Shroder’s efforts to ensure that each FASO concert will not just feature a symphony orchestra will also provide a Filipino cultural experience for the audience.

“Our objective is to bring Filipino culture to America via a repertoire of Filipino music, as performed by a live orchestra, most of whom are Filipino musicians,” Shroder says.

Roger Oriel, founder of FASO and chairman of the Asian Journal Foundation, a driving force in support of the orchestra, says that all the effort is about the musicians as well as the music.

“The goal of Filipino artists must be to maximize their full potential and showcase their God-given talents to inspire and benefit the world,” Oriel said. “Our challenge at Asian Journal Foundation is to give to these Filipino artists the support they need to reach that goal, through the Filipino-American Symphony Orchestra. FASO Goes to the Movies will surely showcase the outstanding talents of our Filipino artists here in LA.”

Many Filipino-Americans are expected to travel for hours for the concert, based on turnouts at FASO’s first two events.

“FASO has touched a chord in the community’s heart,” says Lito Cruz, a co-founder of the orchestra. “It has become its muse in the short time since its first concert. But as the saying goes, how do you keep the music playing? By supporting FASO.”

Ticket sales for all three of FASO’s performances have been brisk, indicating that the community is touched and willing to support the effort.

“Many families and organizations have bought tickets early to get the good seats,” said Andy Tecson, who plays the violin in the orchestra and is one of those in charge of ticket sales.

“We certainly won’t miss this third concert,” said Virgie, a Filipino-American teacher who lives in Los Angeles. “I’m so excited to hear my favorite Hollywood and Filipino movie themes played by FASO.”

The musical pieces will range from Hollywood classics such as the themes from “Somewhere in Time,” “Gone with the Wind,” “Dr. Zhivago,” “Star Wars,” “Schindler’s List,” “Titanic,” and “Scent of a Woman.” Filipino favorites will include themes and clips from films such as “Maalaala Mo Kaya?” (Do You Remember?), “May Bukas Pa” (There is Tomorrow), and a number of George Canseco songs.

FASO Goes to the Movies will feature well-known guest vocalists, including Edsel Sotiangco, who will sing “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Go the Distance” from “Hercules,” and a medley of Filipino theme songs. Ed and Annie Nepomuceno will sing a couple of duets from the movies “Maalaala Mo Kaya? (Do You Remember?)” and “Hindi Kita Malimot (I Won’t Forget You).” Soprano Joan Cano will sing “Ang Maya” from the movie of the same title.

“Each FASO concert takes you to another time and place,” Oriel says. “Seeing the joy in the faces of the orchestra members and the audience makes it all worthwhile. I know we’ve done something right. And if it brings harmony in the community, then FASO has found a home in every Filipino’s heart.”

For tickets for FASO Goes to the Movies, call Andy Tecson at (213) 300-4870; Bob Shroder at (818) 395-8936; Amirah Limayo (213) 820-5248; or the offices of the Asian Journal (213)250-9797.

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