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Philippine Chamber Rondalla of NJ members Clarita Ramos, Rosemarie Pablacio and Del Gow with the Orchestra of the Filipino Youth String Quorum and OFY managing director, Tinky Cruz, at the after-concert meet-and-greet at Zion Lutheran Church in Clark, N.J.

PARLIN, N.J. — True to its mission to promote appreciation of Philippine musical traditions and to elevate musicianship, the Philippine Chamber Rondalla of New Jersey presented two highly successful concerts showcasing the Orchestra of the Filipino Youth String Quorum in its first International Awareness and Educational Tour.

The concerts at Zion Lutheran Church in Clark, N.J. on June 3; and at Brotherhood Synagogue in Gramercy Park in New York on June 6 both generated a buzz that bodes well for a return performance the orchestra plans for later this year.

“The performance of the Filipino Youth String Ensemble at the Brotherhood Synagogue in New York City was breathtaking and simply out of this world! From the first note of their opening number to the last strum and beat of their vibrant encore piece, what those children accomplished transcends words. They mesmerized me with their talent, touched my soul with their beauty and warmth, and captured my heart forever,” gushed Nicole Hunt, an audience member.

“For me the Orchestra of the Filipino Youth String Quorum was quite a discovery. On stage were a vibrant group of seven teenagers who make beautiful string music. Their love for their art was clear to see in the way they played with great attention to detail and clear crisp notes. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and note of the performance,” added Ian Cox, another new OFY fan.

The Orchestra of the Filipino Youth is a project of Ang Misyon, Inc., a Philippine-based nonprofit whose goal is to “help eradicate poverty in the Philippines through social change, simultaneously enhancing the country’s identity by creating career paths in Classical Music performance and redeveloping its Arts & Culture scene.”

It is inspired by “El Sistema,” the global movement of establishing “nucleos” or community-based orchestra programs for children in underserved communities.

Presently, over 400 scholars from disadvantaged families are given free music education and other opportunities to achieve their full musical potential.

They currently hail from northern and central Philippines.

A satellite program will soon open in southern Philippines.

The ensemble that performed at the June concerts comprised of senior members of the orchestra.

They were joined by Co-Founder and Artistic Director, Jovianney Emmanuel Cruz.

Bayanihan spirit

The success of the concerts was due in large part to the bayanihan spirit of PCR’s friends — the Filipino Families and Friends of North Edison (NJ), Our Lady of Fatima Filipino-American Association (Piscataway, N.J.) and Brotherhood Synagogue (NYC), especially its Interfaith and Social Action Committees spearheaded by Dr. Devi Enerio-Ellant.

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Drs. Jonathan and Devi Enerio Ellant and family, and Cantor Michael Weis with the Orchestra of the Filipino Youth String Quorum at Brotherhood Synagogue in New York.

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