Xarina (foreground) and other CFCA scholar students learned and performed on traditional Filipino instruments for a concert in the jungle surrounding Zamboanga City, Philippines, in January 2008. The concert will be featured in ZAMBOANGA, a documentary film. Visit www.zamboangathemovie.com for more information.
Scholarship students from the Philippines formed a special bond while studying traditional Filipino instruments such as the kulintangan, the dabakan and the agong. The students rehearsed throughout the year for a CFCA concert on Jan. 30 in Zamboanga on the island of Mindanao.
The experience awakened an interest in composing and writing for scholar Xarina, 16. Xarina is featured in the Spring/Summer issue of The Scholar, a CFCA publication that highlights the accomplishments and challenges of students in the CFCA Scholarship Program.
ìI am used to composing in English and Tagalog,î Xarina said. ìNow I am writing in Chavacano [a Filipino dialect]. I am experimenting.î
Hours of rehearsal put a strain on Xarinaís studies, but the hard work paid off.
ìThey did brilliantly,î said Kansas City-based musician Barclay Martin. Martin arranged the concert music and wrote original songs combining traditional Filipino and modern music.
The day after the concert was bittersweet for the students, Martin said.
ìWe played music for each other as a gesture of thanks and to mark a significant life experience for all involved,î he said. ìAs it neared time to leave, members from all of the groups began to laugh, sing and cry out of gratitude for what we had shared.î