The Philippine Rondalla Ensemble of Virginia (PREVa) was established in March 2017 as an educational division of the Cultural Arts program of the Council of United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater to promote the appreciation of traditional Filipino music. The musical ensemble was developed to promote pride in our Filipino-American youth by exposing them to and teaching them about the culture of our Filipino heritage. By playing alongside their peers, the children develop a strong camaraderie. Performing as a group offers them opportunities to learn leadership skills and responsibility. The ensemble provides a vessel through which they can express their musical talent and artistic creativity.
The rondalla is composed of a group of 14-stringed instruments including the bandurria, laud, and octavina, as well as the guitar and double bass. Rondalla music is identifiable by the distinct melodic tremolo accompaniment for the Filipino folk dances, traditional folk songs, and kundiman (Filipino love songs). In addition to traditional Filipino music, the ensemble also plays from a large repertoire of modern and patriotic pieces, popular American contemporary and folk songs, as well as Spanish music.
Under the dedicated instruction of Mrs. Grace Lanada and Mr. Jojo Alvior, the children are introduced to the rondalla with basic instruction on the bandurria. As the children develop their playing skills, they are incorporated into the performance group at various levels and have the option to learn how to play the other rondalla instruments. Children are not required to have previous musical training.
The rondalla group was originally organized in September 2003 through The Pampango Youth Club of Virginia. As most of the original 38 children grew up, the group membership decreased over the years. The rondalla, re-organized under the directorship of Dr. Arlene Fontanares, joined the Council of Filipino Organizations of Tidewater to increase our exposure to the local and national community so that we can share our Filipino culture.
Director: Dr. Arlene J. Fontanares
Instructors: Grace Lanada & Joseph Alvior
Marketing Manager: Estrella Claudio
Communications Administrator: Edith Alvior
Audio Director: Philip Lapid
Audio Technicians: Emy Gamboa, Art Castro, Ruben Baradi
Junior Conductor & Musical Archivist: Anthony Asuncion
Graphics Artist: Erson Baradi