Rondalla maestro taught first-ever Philippine stringed-instrument ensemble at UCLA in 2006-07.
Tagumpay De Leon (also known as "Pi" De Leon) was a Lecturer in the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology in 2006-07 and taught the Philippine Rondalla Ensemble class. Rondalla, the traditional string ensemble of the Philippines, consists of various sizes of lute-like and guitar-like plectrum instruments. It often provides the music for Philippine folk dances and is prominent in community celebrations like fiestas, weddings, and other civic and social events serving the Filipino community. This was the first time Rondalla had been taught at UCLA. The group performed its final concert on June 3, 2007.
Mr. De Leon is the son of the late Philippine composer and national artist, Felipe Padilla de Leon. In 1991 he helped to form the Rondalla Club of Los Angeles (RCLA), along with the late Nitoy Gonzales, former Rondalla maestro of the famed Bayanihan Dance Troupe from the Philippines, and Leonilo "Boy" Angos, also a former member of Bayanihan, son of Nitoy Gonzales. Since its inception, RCLA has remained active in various Filipino social and civic functions and is recognized as one of the leading rondallas in southern California. It has been a familiar fixture in Pilipino Cultural Nights (PCN) held in different universities, colleges and high schools. Mr. De Leon also has taught Rondalla classes at the University of California, Riverside and other community venues.
Published: Friday, June 22, 2007