Alfredo S. Buenaventura (b.1929)
A rondalla composer, arranger and conductor, he became famous for his rondalla arrangements of Philippine folk songs: the Philippine Medley Series. The Philippine Medley No.2 particularly has become the “national anthem” of the rondalla groups in the Philippines.
Teodorico Cosejo (1946-2009)
He was co-founder of the Pambansang Samahan ng Rondalla (PASARON) formed in 1985, the premiere organization of rondalla groups in the Philippines.
Jerry A. Dadap (b. 1935)
A musician and composer, he wrote music for rondalla that accompanied various performances of opera and dance. His work Philippine Symphonic Medley won the first prize of the National Symphonic Rondalla Composition Contest sponsored by the Manila Times Publishing Company in 1967.
Michael A. Dadap (b. 1944)
A New York-based classical guitarist, composer and conductor, he is the founding music director of the Iskwelang Pilipino Rondalla, a rondalla group of Filipino-Americans in Boston, Massachusetts (USA). He wrote the book “A Complete Method for the Virtuoso Bandurria” published in 2007. He is engaged in research on the development of rondalla instruments.
Bayani de Leon (1942-2013)
A writer, teacher, musician, composer, arranger and conductor, mainly based in the USA, he directed many rondalla groups such as the University of the Philippines Alumni and Friends Rondalla, the Alay Philippines Performing Arts Rondalla, the Foundation for Filipino Artists Rondalla, and the Philippine Chamber Rondalla of New Jersey. Batong-Buhay, a symphonic poem he composed for rondalla, was his attempt to give the rondalla a symphonic status.
Celso O. Espejo (b. 1936)
He is a long-time school teacher of rondalla in Parañaque and Las Piñas (Metro Manila), where he organized school rondallas. These groups became several time awardees of the National Music Competition for Young Artists’ competitions. His dedication and experience in teaching and playing the rondalla instruments have been put into a Manual for teachers and students entitled Espejo Rondalla Method, launched in 2016. His rondalla group (Celso Espejo Rondalla) which he had formed in 2002, grew to be the country’s best known rondalla performing classical music because of its virtuosity and exceptional playing techniques.
Nitoy Gonzales (Juanito Gonzales Angos) (1911– 2004)
He was the former rondalla maestro of the Bayanihan Dance Troupe (from the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company). As a musician he played the octavina for the Troupe’s music ensemble, during the 1950s and 1960s. He co-founded the Rondalla Club of Los Angeles (in Los Angeles, California) in 1991, and was its music director. He composed and arranged more than fifty pieces for rondalla which were performed by his own group, Nitoy Gonzales and His Rondalla.
Antonio J. Molina (1894-1980)
As a composer he is regarded as one of the three most prominent figures in Philippine music (together with Nicanor Abelardo and Francisco Santiago). He is also a music educator. He was the first musician in the Philippines to be conferred the National Artist for Music Award in 1973. Among rondalla groups that he conducted/founded are: Comparza Joaquin (1905-1913), The Manila Symphonic Rondalla (circa 1910), Rondalla Ideal (1909-1912), and Rondalla Filarmonica Juvenal (1913). He is known in the Philippine Rondalla world as the conductor and music director of the Yellow Taxi Rondalla (formed in 1940), an ensemble composed of the Yellow Taxicab Company’s taxi drivers. One of his known compositions for rondalla is The evolution of paru-parong bukid, a variation on the popular Philippine folk song Paru-parong bukid.
Juan Lorenzo Silos, Jr. (1898-1988)
He is a composer and arranger considered as the “Father of Rondalla” in the Philippines. A number of school rondallas, namely those of St. Anthony’s Institution, of Centro Escolar University, Assumption College, Stella Maris College, the College of the Holy Spirit, the University of Santo Tomas and of the Far Eastern University, were all of his making. He also founded or conducted the Comparza Gumamela, the Rondalla Apolo (1909), as well as his very own Juan Silos Rondalla in the early 1900s.