"The most important thing is that all of you know how to enter into the music. You can feel the rhythm and that's very important," said Master Danny Kalanduyan as he addressed the cohort of elementary, middle, high school, and college students who have signed up to participate in Little Manila's Kulintang Music Program. For the first time, multiple generations within and outside of the Filipino community in Stockton are gathering to collaboratively keep the Kulintang arts alive in our community.
After a year of conceptualizing and digital infrastructure building, Master K, Frank Holder, and Ramon Lazo are ready to pilot "Kulintang Academy" with its first cohort from Stockton, Ca. Modeled after the collegiate courses that Master K has taught at campuses such as SFSU, Skyline College, and the University of Washjngton, KA promises to quickly and efficiently teach Kulintang technique and music to individual regardless of musical background or training. With a combination of face-to-face three-hour weekly sessions, and at-home support via a fully functional course website, KA strategically creates a learning environment designed for novice and expert musicians.
Typically, Kulintang classes promise fluency in just the 8-gong instrument. However, what makes KA unique is their mission to train all students in every instrument including the dabakan (drum), the gandingan (four flat gongs), the babandil (time keeper), and agung (large bass gong).
Little Manila is excited to partner with KA to train a Filipino American cohort of Kulintang ensemble musicians. Broken up into six 10-week intensive semesters, students learn two songs with future focuses in dance and attire. Because of Master K's ancestry and expertise, music is focused on southern Maguindano musical and cultural traditions. Currently, with funding from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and the Stockton Arts Commission, Little Manila can fund one semester of the program. We are currently looking for more funding to continue our training.
Next week, our cohort of 13 students will continue training in Pinole, CA for eight weeks at KA head quarters. Help us pay for gas by donating to Little Manila today! Click "Donate" in the navigation bar to contribute to our travel fund or mail in checks to Little Manila (memo: Kulintang program) to 927 S. Van Buren St. Stockton, CA 95206.