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'Struck and Plucked': An Evening of Rondalla and Kulintang Music of the Philippines
From the organizers:
Join us for an unforgettable evening of Rondalla and Kulintang music of the Philippines at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park, San Diego, CA. Experience the rich melodies and rhythms of these traditional Filipino musical ensembles, featuring a unique blend of string and percussion instruments. Immerse yourself in the vibrant sounds and cultural heritage of the Philippines. Don't miss this one-of-a-kind event!
For the first time, on October 28, 2023, Saturday, at 6:00 pm, the Samahan Filipino American Performing Arts & Education Center (dba Samahan Arts) holds at the Mingei International Museum a music concert entitled “Struck & Plucked - An Evening of Rondalla and Kulintang Music of the Philippines.” The concert is offered as the “finale” to the celebrations of the Filipino American History month. The Filipinos’ traditional string and indigenous “gong” music will be presented with a few cultural dances in an intimate setting of the La Atalaya Theatre of the museum. Featured are the “home-grown” Rondalla and Kulintang musicians led by Samahan Arts’ Music Director and Ethnomusicologist, Dr. Bernard Ellorin. This music concert is funded in part by the Dr. Lolita Diñoso Carter Endowment through the San Diego Foundation, the California Arts Council and donations of generous patrons. Limited number of admission tickets at $25 each may be obtained at https://SamahanArts.org. Discounted student ticket at $15 each may be made available to student groups. For information: email@example.com.
About the music:
The Philippine rondalla is of Iberian origin composed of string instruments such as the banduria, laud, octavina, guitara and bajo. The rondalla typically plays nostalgic folk and contemporary pieces by Filipino composers. On special occasions, it accompanies both European and Latin American influenced dances. The Samahan Rondalla started in 1982 under the tutelage of the late Bayani De Leon, well known Filipino Ethnomusicologist. Samahan Arts’ dynamic outreach activities and educational program have been instrumental in maintaining its “staying power.” In the ‘90s, Music Coordinator, Dr. Juanita Caccam patiently taught Ellorin how to play the banduria, getting him eventually interested in pursuing a degree in Ethnomusicology. Since 1992, Ellorin has been the principal banduria player of the Samahan Rondalla, and is currently the ensemble’s lead. As an undergraduate student at UCLA, he attended extended Rondalla studies with Tagumpay De Leon, NEA National Heritage Fellow in 2021 and the director of the UC Riverside Gluck Rondalla Ensemble. Tagumpay and Bayani are sons of Felipe De Leon, also a famous Filipino composer and a National Artist for Music of the Philippines. Dr. Caccam and Frederick Embalsado, Rondalla Director, ardently nurtured musicians, such as, Mitchell Almoite, Alex Alcantara and Taryn Chiong, who are currently active Samahan Rondalla musicians, with Rogelle Zamora and Ellorin.
Kulintang is an ancient instrumental form of music played on a row of horizontally laid bossed gongs that function melodically, accompanied by large, suspended gongs and drums. It is the customary music of the indigenous Muslim societies in Mindanao Island, Philippines, for rituals, ceremonies, weddings and other social occasions. Samahan Arts’
Kulintang Ensemble plays traditional music of the Maguindanaos, Maranaos, the Sama and Tausug people. In 1996, Ellorin was designated as the ensemble director after mastering a number of Kulintang pieces taught by the late Maguindanao Kulintang Master Danongan Sibay Kalanduyan, NEA National Heritage Fellow, 1996. The ensemble, originally made up of Master Kalanduyan’s students in San Diego, adapted the name Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble, when it merged with the ensemble that was co-founded by Ellorin with his colleagues in UCLA in 2003. Playing with the ensemble is Master Kalanduyan’s granddaughter, Kimberly Kalanduyan Villanueva, who was Ellorin’s apprentice in 2019 with the Apprenticeship Program of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA). The 2021 ACTA apprentice of Ellorin for Sama kulintang music, Rogelle Zamora also plays with the ensemble. Janet Asuncion, Michelle Camaya, and Mitchell Almoite are also dedicated musicians of the ensemble who study the music intensely with Pakaraguian.