DAGUPAN CITY – Members of the Dagupan Youth Orchestra have started learning the fundamentals of string playing under the guidance of Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra bassoonist Pong Mendoza.
Around 45 of these young boys and girls aged 10-16 compose the first batch as 100 or more are needed to comprise the Dagupan Youth Orchestra. The training is free and the instruments are provided by the city.
Gerard Salonga a conductor, musical arranger, orchestrator and musical director and founder, musical director and conductor of FILharmoniKA, a symphony orchestra in the Philippines, lauded the program and the children in his message.
The Dagupan Youth Orchestra is the brainchild of Mayor Belen T. Fernandez and it is supervised by Mendoza.
Mendoza said that audition is still ongoing and it is conducted every Saturday at the city’s Child Minding Center located at the city hall from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. The audition will last until the end of October.
“We are still in the process of recruiting more young people who have a profound interest on music to be part of the first Dagupan Youth Orchestra in the city. Mayor Belen is giving this for free as a scholarship for the children,” said Mendoza.
Fernandez was elated over the start of the training and expressed hope to see the children perform soon.
“We will provide the best for the children who like to learn and love music. The children are gifted, we only need to support and develop them. Our Dagupan Youth Orchestra will be one of the best youth orchestra in the country with Sir Pong Mendoza and the members of the Philippine PhilHarmonic Orchestra as their trainors,” said Fernandez. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO)