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Singing Praises

The Fil-Am Society Choir

In 1978, Father Howard Lavelle, Pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, asked Capt. Lescum and wife, Ciony De La Cruz, parish members, to help organize a Filipino celebration in the parish due to the increase of Filipino families in the parish. A meeting among Filipinos in the Magnolia community was called and the Filipino-American Society in Magnolia was created. 


Flores de Mayo, a Filipino celebration in the month of May, to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, was chosen to be introduced in the parish. In 1979, Anselmo Pelayre, composer and arranger, who just migrated to the U. S., saw a need to organize a choir to sing at the celebration.  Anselmo and daughter Carmen, formed a choir known as ‘The Fil-Am Society Choir in Magnolia’. Carmen became the director and Anselmo, the accompanist. The songs were composed and arranged by Anselmo. The original choir members were all members of the parish. After a few celebrations, Filipinos in other parishes who love to sing expressed the desire to join. The current Filipino American Choir draws its diverse members from Bellevue, Bothell, Edmonds, Federal Way, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park , Mountlake Terrace, Seattle, Shoreline and Vashon Island.

Mimi Pelayre, Director of Fil-Am Society Choir

The choir sings at cultural and church celebrations. Pagdiriwang (Philippine Independence celebration), Simbang Gabi, Flores de Mayo, San Lorenzo Ruiz, Santo Nino, San Pedro Calungsod, Filipino Community of Seattle Annual Christmas Concert, fund raising and weddings are some of occasions they perform at. 

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