The Orchestra of the Filipino Youth (OFY) toured outside Luzon for the second time last June 26 & 27 at the Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium. Their classical music concert opened the 53rd cultural season of Silliman University.
Some classical music they performed were Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Allegro con brio from Symphony No. 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven, and Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg. They also performed National Artist for Music Lucio San Pedro’s Mga Katutubong Awitin.
OFY was established by Ang Misyon. It is an organization inspired by El Sistema, a music education program that socially uplifts children in poor areas.
There are 54 countries that adopted El Sistema. Ang Misyon, its Philippine counterpart, is the only one in Southeast Asia and is considered to be one of the top five that is close to the El Sistema program.
The organization gives free music education to underprivileged children whose family’s annual combined income is about Php 200,000 or less.
“One of our objectives is to help eradicate poverty from communities through music and social change,” OFY Director Jovianney Emmanuel Cruz said.
Ang Misyon has 11 satellites around Luzon and Visayas.
“We assess their financial situation, talent, vision, and goals because we’re also concerned of instilling and forming values of the Filipino youth. We’re trying to create a new breed of Filipino musicians,” Cruz said.
The members are provided with meal, transportation and rehearsal allowance.
In a video presentation played before the performance, Charmagne and Lerica Rodriguez, mother and daughter respectively, expressed their gratitude to Ang Misyon.
“Napakalaking tulong para sa anak ko at sa amin dahil unang una po,libre. Sila po ang nagbibigay ng allowance,” said Charmagne Rodriguez.
“Thankful po ako sa OFY kasi dahil po sa kanila mas na-enhance ko ang pagtugtog ko,” said Lerica Rodriguez, an OFY violinist.
Jeremy Baccol, an OFY clarinetist, also shared that he “was inspired by the teachers who came to the Philippines from their different countries just to teach us.”
Olivier Ochanine, resident conductor of OFY, said that he enjoys performing with the children and that they need the support they can get.
“It’s always great performing with them. They’re full of energy, they’re excited, they’re eager, they want to learn, they have great attitude, so you can’t beat that,” said Ochanine.
“One thing that we can try to do is uplift the Filipino spirit, by supporting these young musicians. They need all the support they can get, and so everybody, that has a conscience, a heart, a love for the Philippines, should help to promote this,” Ochanine added.
OFY members also plan to launch ‘Ang Misyon Dumaguete.
“It is in our vision to put one [AngMisyon branch] up in Dumaguete, and hopefully build ‘The Orchestra of the Dumaguete Youth,’”said Cruz.
OFY had a concert at Iloilo before Dumaguete.
By: Andrea Dawn E. Boycillo