PAGDIRIWANG PHILIPPINE FESTIVAL
Fil-Am Society Choir
By Kay Dumlao Doherty
The Fil-Am Society Choir is excited to participate again this year in Pagdiriwang. Led by Carmen Pelayre, Music Director, the group consists of 15 first-generation Filipino American members who enjoy bringing traditional Filipino music and song to cultural and religious celebrations. The Fil-Am Society Choir just celebrated its 44th anniversary in May. It was originally formed in 1979, as part of the Flores de Mayo event for Our Lady of Fatima parish in Magnolia. The pastor had wanted to have a Filipino celebration to recognize the growing numbers of Filipino parishioners and reached out to Capt. Lescum de la Cruz and his wife, Ciony, to help organize the event. From this, the Fil-Am Society in Magnolia was born. Carmen’s father, Anselmo Pelayre, who was a retired Division Music Supervisor of Ilocos Sur, saw the need for a choir to perform Filipino music during the mass. Thus, the Fil-Am Society Choir of Magnolia was formally created. The choir still performs every year at the Flores de Mayo at Our Lady of Fatima, providing musical inspiration for this special tradition.
If you are interested in joining the choir, please reach out to Carmen or to any of the choir members. They would love to have new members to continue this Filipino American musical tradition!
“Ang bayan kong hirang Pilipinas ang pangalan…”
The Fil-Am Society Choir, as it is now known, consists of members from across the region, including Mountlake Terrace, Redmond, Renton, Shoreline, and Seattle. Their repertoire consists of traditional folk songs and patriotic Pilipino anthems. In addition, they perform haranas, which are traditionally serenades for courtship, and kundimans, love songs for a beloved and of country. Many of the songs performed by the group were composed and arranged by Anselmo Pelayre. Their music may be enjoyed throughout the year at Flores de Mayo, Our Lady of Antipolo, Our Lady of Penafrancia, Simbang Gabi, and other events.
Mimi Pelayre, Director of Fil-Am Society Choir