Workshop 2

“Plucked String Music: Evolutions”
Day 3 – 8:30am-4:30pm

Rondalla instrument-making and care

Facilitator: Luthier Jay Sarita (Philippines)


Workshop description
The workshop is designed for educators, students, and music practitioners. It provides basic understanding on the process of instrument making and proper instrument maintenance, care and repair in the Philippine context. It aims to identify the problems of rondalla instruments today and suggest possible solutions; understand the physics as well as the anatomy of the rondalla instruments; and to impart knowledge of basic adjustment, setup and repair.


Jay D. Sarita is a rondalla conductor, public school teacher, luthier and entrepreneur based in Dipolog City. He started his career as a conductor in 2002 and currently handling the Dipolog Community Rondalla. Under his leadership, the group actively participated in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Strings of Unity International Rondalla Festivals in the Philippines and Taiwan. They had a successful solo concert performed in Milan, Italy during the 117th Philippine Independence Day Celebration in 2015.
With years of experience on playing and teaching, he strongly believes that there is a need to improve rondalla instruments. Through his desire of addressing those needs, he depended on his personal experiences, fact-finding, and analysis. Multiple experimentations had helped him develop a new approach in instrument making by understanding the history and local practices of the makers, strength of material and acoustics. Later, Sarita String Artisan was established in 2014.
Mr. Sarita also learned from great flamenco guitar performer and luthier Maestro Adolfo Timuat who supplies soundboards from his company called the Dancing Wood. In 2014, he was invited as a resource person for the project proposal entitled Gitara ni Juan by the Department of Science and Technology and University of the Philippines. In 2015, he conducted a workshop showing the process of making the Philippine Banduria as part of the Strings of Unity 4th International Rondalla Festival Conference and Workshop in Chinese Culture University in Taipei. He collaborated with Professor Michael Dadap in making a new breed of rondalla instruments for Children’s Orchestra Society in New York. In addition to rondalla instruments, he also studies bamboo xylophone making and learned from workshops conducted by Dr. Shin-Yin Wu of National Ilan University.
He aims to preserve and promote Philippine Rondalla through local developments and innovations.