Tagumpay “Pi” M. de Leon

Posted by on Jul 30, 2010 in RCLA Members | 0 comments

Tagumpay “Pi” M. de Leon

Pi de Leon is an engineer by profession and a musician by avocation. His musical experience came at an early age, being the son of the late renowned nationalist composer and Philippine national artist Felipe Padilla de Leon and the late Iluminada Mendoza, an accomplished pianist. He plays all rondalla instruments, the piano, accordion and the violin. The “De Leon Rondalla” was already appearing in various Philippine functions in the early 60s. Five years after he migrated to the U.S. in 1971, he started playing for the Pamanlahi Dance Troupe (now defunct). He also formed the Hiyas Rondalla, active from 1978 to 1985. In 1985, he joined the Fil-Am Family Cultural Group where he collaborated with Mr. Nitoy Gonzales, the renowned rondalla maestro of the famous Bayanihan Dance Troupe from the Philippines, to establish the Fil-Am Rondalla. In 1991, they co-founded the Rondalla Club of LA together with Leonilo “Boy” Angos, the music director of Kayamanan ng Lahi Performing Arts Group.

Mr. De Leon has played in or directed rondallas for annual Philippine Cultural Nights in various universities and colleges. He has also participated in International Folk Dance Festivals held in Marseille, France and Sicily, Italy in the summer of 1990 and 1993 and also in the 1995 Northwest Folk Life Festival in Seattle, Washington. In between his playing schedules, he conducts rondalla classes and workshops, including his current tenure as a rondalla instructor at U.C. Riverside. In 1997, he was awarded a grant by the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department to train future rondalla instructors through workshops designated as Master Teacher Apprenticeship Class.