I am very excited to share my most recent project, and labor of love with all of you. Earlier this year, an idea that has been marinating in my head for a good long while came into fruition.
When I initially moved to the US in 1993 to continue my studies, Drs. Bienvenido and Anita Jongco (and their kids Melissa, Kristen, and Rob) took me in as an honorary member of their family. I met them during the Philippine Madrigal Singer’s US/Canada tour of that same year. At the time, I had been accepted to the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT as an artist diploma student. The only problem was that I did not have a scholarship (due to my application being processed late) and not a single penny to my name.
The Jongco’s rallied their friends around my cause and through a series of recital fundraisers managed to come up with enough money to pay towards my tuition, board and lodging. No donation was too big or too small. I remember Tita Nanette (Dr. Anita Jongco’s nickname) and me going through what seemed like hundreds of checks of various amounts, as well as writing “thank you” cards that we sent to the generous donors. The Jongco’s have remained in my life to this day, and I am grateful for them every day of my life.
Over the years, other generous patrons, donors, and friends helped me fulfill my dreams as a musician, educator, and performer. These wonderful human beings include Sandra and Tom Jordan, Marsha and John Evans, Howard and Anne Gottlieb, Andrea O. Veneracion, Ms. Rita Sloan, and my husband, Dr. Ariel Porcalla. And I’m barely scratching the surface with these names.
So it’s time to give back.
I came up with the idea of starting a foundation that focuses on promoting Filipino classical musicians through scholarship assistance, and performance opportunities. The FilAm Music Foundation, NFP is a direct result of my experiences as a Filipino student and professional musician living in the United States. While other cultures are clearly well-represented in the classical music field, there is a dearth of Filipino representation, even if there is a huge talent pool waiting to be tapped.
The FilAm Music Foundation will focus on identifying upcoming Filipino talent and providing them with opportunities to advance their career. In addition, the foundation will promote the new generation musicians, as well as established Filipino classical musicians, through collaboration with existing concert series, as well as presenting its own concert season. These concerts will be free of charge as part of he foundation‘s service to the community. The foundation will exist solely on grants and the generosity of its donors.
As a 501(c)(3) entity, your generous donation will help the foundation accomplish its tasks of promoting the Filipino classical musician. During this inaugural season, a series of concerts have been planned in New York City, Evanston and Chicago. In addition, an advisory committee of esteemed musicians has been formed to identify young talent and assist them in their pursuit of a musical education and career.