It’s common knowledge that Filipinos are a talented group individuals when it comes to music and the establishment of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra hopes to showcase these Fil-Am musicians. The Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) is the very first symphony orchestra to be established outside the Philippines. Roger and Cora Oriel, the publishers of Asian Journal and self-confessed patrons of the arts, and Lito Cruz, editor-at-large, took on the challenge to establish and sustain an orchestra comprised of talented Filipino musicians in America. The goal for FASO is to cultivate the artistry of Filipino musicians and showcase the innate Filipino artistic talent. “Filipino orchestra musicians here in Southern California have long dreamed of founding a Filipino symphony orchestra not only for the Filipino community but for the mainstream music lovers. Thank God our dream has now come true,”states Robert Shroder, musical director for FASO. By his name and appearance, Shroder would be easily mistaken for your average American, but the Fil-Am music director is as Filipino as you can get. Shroder was born in in Kawit, Cavite and didn’t immigrate to the US until 1991. This pride in being Filipino and his passion to cultivate love for Philippine arts and music help him accomplish beautifully what FASO been created to achieve. FASO hopes to educate and enrich the diverse communities in America and the world with Filipino culture as well as its rich artistic heritage. For more information on FASO please visit their website and you can view some of their performances here.