Classical crossover group dazzles the music scene


Sometimes it’s a good sign if a group is formed by impulse rather than via tradition where teenage friends experience it all together from garage jams to concert venues. When remarkable individual talents make way for a strong ensemble, it’s a case of the right ingredients falling into place for a good recipe.

Such is the scenario that resulted in Fil-Trio, a new classical crossover group based in Los Angeles whose members are all immersed in the Filipino-American community of performers, artists, and creatives. While each member has his separate journey before becoming a professional act, their intertwined destinies led to the fine mix. Someone saw it coming.

The troika, composed of Lyndon Apostol, Kenneth Laurente, and Cristiani Rebada, recorded and put out their version of “O Holy Night” to celebrate Christmas and their group’s formal birth. That came after Starlink Promotions, anchored by the beloved-sometimes-controversial Fil-Am singer Garth Garcia, initiated the idea that they perform as a guest trio for the renowned Jed Madela in a previous California concert.

From left: Fil-Trio members Lyndon Apostol, Kenneth Laurente, and Cristiani Rebada

“We instantly clicked, drawn together by our shared passion for classical, musical theatre, and OPM repertoire. Singing together at various events, we formed a strong bond, supporting fellow artists and organizations within the community,” expressed the multi-talented Apostol whom I witnessed direct a fashion show at the Scientology Auditorium in North Hollywood.

Fil-Trio did their first concert at the same venue last April, where they were joined by Discovery Philippines second placer Leeana, rising star Savannah Blandino, and The Voice Kids PH alumna Claire Geonzon.

They are slated to participate at the Vocal Champs Live in L.A tomorrow (Friday, July 20) that will feature top Filipino singers Kyla, KZ Tandingan, and Yeng Constantino.

Come August 11, they will also be on hand at Madela’s 20th Anniversary concert billed Timeless Twenty.

So far, their lone record has given listeners a bright idea of what the group is offering. Their follow-up, titled “A Moment Like This,” and set to be released in music streaming platforms by Starlink Music, will take the public deeper into their sense of synergy.

Laurente, who has quite carved a name for himself with already six singles to his name, elaborated on their musicality: “Fil-Trio’s sound is all about combining operatic and classical techniques with a unique twist. We love pushing boundaries and exploring pop and rock fusion, which gives our music an incredible variety of styles.”

Rebada’s classical training from Silliman University, Apostol’s Broadway experience (having played roles including that of Chino from West Side Story and Minsik Lee from Comfort Women, and Laurente’s background as a soloist and member of various choirs (in particular, the Saint John Bosco Chorale Makati which toured Canada and Singapore) came together well to imbue their overall appeal with dynamism and confidence.

“It’s clear that classical music still has a special place in people’s hearts even in today’s diverse music landscape,” said Rebada. “We’re thrilled to see the love and support for our genre, and it only fuels our confidence to continue delivering.”

Stressing the importance of merging authentic talents in an era where artists are somewhat forced to upstage others to get ahead, like in reality TV contests, or on social media where more often the merely daring beats the quietly skilled, Apostol noted, “Fil-Trio’s strength comes from the fact that each member individually stands as their own artist. We happen to enjoy the art we make and we hope to do so as we grow together.”

That is short of saying we’re bound to see a tight group created overnight for a good reason, and may actually last long.

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