Some say music can bring people together, and that’s what the Filipino-American Symphony Orchestra is hoping to do, with a little high profile help.
A night of music, with the Vice President nodding along to the beat and enjoying Philippine fusion dishes.
The Filipino American Symphony Orchestra held a fundraising gala for their music programs which have entertained LA’s Filipino community for nearly a decade.
“This will keep sustaining the orchestra, and support the children for our educational programming that we hold year-round; like workshops, vocal workshops instrumental workshops,” said FASO Conductor Bob Schroeder.
“So all this funding that we raise will go to the community support we’re doing on a year-round basis.”
For the last two years, 17-year-old Kaitlin Aquino has been one of those students, learning more than just the music.
“I’m not even in touch with my culture. I don’t even know how to speak Filipino,” she said. “It’s great — I can connect with my culture in a different way other than language, through music.”
It’s also given Filipino musicians a platform to play Filipino music with fellow Filipinos.
“I’ve always wanted to be part of Filipino groups; it’s a good thing FASO lets me be apart of them. I’ve always loved to play Filipino music and to promote our culture,” said Ed Maravilla.
Over 300 guests paid $200-300 to be at the Filipino owned Mary Pickford Estates, with other leaders donating thousands of dollars worth of prizes for the live auction.
FASO honored the likes of Kundiman queen Sylvia Latorre, soprano Kit Navarro, and others who have contributed to the group’s success.
Despite the presence of the Philippine Vice President, FASO says there were no politics involved — just a high profile leader willing to help during uncertain times.
“Love empathy and hope; hold more power than hate and anger, like music. They unify us in the face of diversity. They hold us together more powerfully than the forces that try to pull us apart,” said Vice President Leni Robredo.
FASO continues to appear at many community events, and their next big concert will be in August.
While this celebration was grand, FASO looks forward to an even
bigger 2018 — when they officially celebrate one decade of sharing Filipino culture through music.