Also featured at the Alabama Music Educators Association (AMEA) conference in 2011 as a performer and guest artist, Act of Congress has gained recognition and invaluable experience in music education. In 2011, Act of Congress performed their original music with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra with orchestrations by Grammy-nominated composer Don Hart. Act of Congress was voted one of the “must see acts” of Alabama, and was featured in the prestigious 2011 Year of Alabama Music.
The band’s visit to the Philippines is part of the American Music Abroad program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Association of American Voices. American Music Abroad is a people-to-people exchange that features a wide variety of American musical genres through international cultural exchange initiatives that will reach more than 40 countries around the world during 2012 and 2013. American Music Abroad builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power” diplomacy, which embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools - in this case music - to bring people together and foster greater understanding. It also builds on the historic legacy of the Department of State’s Jazz Ambassadors, who first traveled the world in the 1950s to connect with people through music.
American Music Abroad features a series of month-long, multi-country exchange programs. During the exchange, 10-12 ensembles representing American music will conduct public concerts, interactive performances with local musicians, lecture demonstrations, workshops, and jam sessions with diverse audiences. American Music Abroad activities focuses on younger and underserved audiences in approximately 40 countries with little or no access to live American performances. American Music Abroad ensembles will be selected on the basis of artistic quality and commitment to education and cultural engagement through an open competition.
The Philippine Tour of Act of Congress is jointly implemented by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Cultural Exchange Department and the US Embassy Manila and its local partner organizations, the Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation of Bulacan, The Podium, 70s Bistro and the National Parks Development Committee. Act of Congress will perform in three concerts on September 14, 7 PM in Marilao, Bulacan; September 15, 6 PM at The Podium, Ortigas Center, Pasig; and September 16, 5PM, at the Concert at the Park in Rizal Park, Manila. A jamming session with Filipino artists Bayang Barrios and Kalayo Band is slated on September 15, 9PM at 70s Bistro in Anonas, Quezon City. The band will conduct masterclasses on September 12, 2-5 PM at the CCP MKP Hall; and September 13, 2-5PM in Marilao, Bulacan.