Kurt Tijamo: “The Splendor of Christmas”
Kurt Tijamo Wunderkind Filipino American baritone and songwriter Kurt Tijamo distinguishes himself at home and abroad by the intense diversity of his performances in opera and musical theater. His deep voice, songwriting skills and manifold talents command a strong following which understands and appreciates the Philippines, the Filipino diaspora in the United States of America, in Europe and elsewhere. Kurt is paving the way for his young musician generation to shine. And shine did he anew, in a recent concert of the celebrated Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) titled “The Splendor of Christmas” at a downtown theater in Los Angeles. Watch him take his listeners deep into a magical, artistic world, in versatile roles ranging from Don Giovanni in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Alidoro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola , to Horton the Elephant in Stephen Flaherty’s Seussical the Musical and Cinderella’s Prince in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. He is a classically trained baritone with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, a Bachelor’s degree in Music from California State University Northridge and trained in intensive master class programs in France, Germany, and Prague. Kurt has featured as a soloist of Santa Clarita Master Chorale and the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra. As a singer-songwriter, he has performed on Wish USA Bus, Tropang LOL , and Net25 Letters and Music Online . His latest single, “U & Me” (produced by Curve Entertainment), is available on all platforms including Spotify and Apple Music under @kurttijamomusic . Roots & Wings is a platform for rising stars among the new generation of Filipinos at home and abroad. THE FILIPINO AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA On December 3, 2022, the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) performed “The Splendor of Christmas” concert at the Aratani Theater in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Featuring new arrangements of favorite Western and Tagalog songs, FASO once again delivered a unique musical experience to the delight of its new and long-time supporters in the community. History of FASO In 2008, a group of musicians and community leaders founded FASO in recognition of the necessity to celebrate through music the booming Filipino American community. Guided by the passion to cultivate musical artistry and to present the unique cultural heritage of Filipinos, FASO, led by its musical director Robert Shroder, made its debut on May 17, 2009, at the historic Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, California. Since then, FASO has gone on to perform at many venues and events across California, twice performing at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2019 and 2022. In 2020, FASO launched its global presence by collaborating with musicians and artists from the Philippines and across the globe and producing virtual concerts and performances that reached Filipinos in diaspora. Awards and Recognition With its diverse body of musicians from all walks of life, FASO continues to embrace, redefine and celebrate its multicultural musical legacy. FASO has received multiple awards for its work: the National Federation of Filipino American Associations Trailblazer Award for uplifting future generations of Filipino Americans and the global Filipino community in 2019; the Los Angeles City Council recognition of FASO for its “great contribution to the City of Los Angeles” in 2018; and the Historical Heritage Excellence Award from the San Diego Filipino American Humanitarian Foundation in 2016. FASO Music Education Programs In 2016, FASO launched its Education & Outreach Program , which empowers new generations of Filipino Americans to develop love and pride in their music and cultural identities. FASO’s music education program includes instrumental, songwriting, vocal, and Philippine music appreciation workshops and is open to all. In 2018, the program introduced an annual International Composition Competition for Philippine Folk Music , which challenges emerging composers to incorporate Philippine folk music material in their work. That same year, the orchestra established its College Scholarship for high school seniors. In September 2018, the Education & Outreach Program founded the FASO String Ensemble , which serves over 40 young musicians from underserved communities between the ages of 8 and 15 by providing free access to instruments and affordable music instruction from professional musicians. Ensemble graduates to the FASO Junior Orchestra that debuted in 2022 at FASO’s “ Celebration!” concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. FASO Quinceañera In 2023, FASO will celebrate its fifteenth season with a wide array of performances designed to reach not only its local community but also the communities around the world, such as a spring dance, a summer concert honoring Filipino musical legends, and a virtual winter concert. In addition, FASO is also working on releasing select recordings of its past performances for the enjoyment of its patrons and supporters. For updates on FASO’s future performances, visit www.fasomusic.org .