Los Angeles has a long history of producing iconic musical acts, from the Beach Boys in 1961 to The Black Eyed Peas in 1988, to Maroon 5 in 1994. Now it's 2014 and in keeping with this illustrious tradition, it now presents you with The Filharmonic, a boy band unique in their musical talent and cultural diversity. The group consists of six members: Vocalists VJ, Joe, Trace and Barry, Vocal Bass Jules, and Beatboxer Niko. Their melodic vocal style exemplifies an urbanesque hip hop sound with 90's nostalgia.
What started as friendly chance encounters at singing competitions eventually solidified into a harmonious group as the boys discovered their shared genuine chemistry, unparalleled love of music, and undeniable musical talents. Through social network and a strong kinship to their Filipino culture they have found their niche in the musical community. Though their passion for great music is on par, their combined talents come from a wide variety of backgrounds in the performing arts industry, including pop, a capella, jazz, opera, theater, classical, etc. Together they honor their Filipino heritage through incredibly nuanced musical performances that are both moving and fun to experience.
When not forging their place in musical history, the boys can be found attending school, hard at work on their music and videos, and doing what they love most: simply performing. Ultimately the group aspires to work with the greatest in the music industry for the greatest audience in the world: you. To this end, they invite you to join them on this amazing journey they’ve embarked on as they work joyfully and tirelessly at their art.
" We would like to give a special thanks to Sam Danan, Theresa Tibayan, Aja Vo, our friends, family and last but not least to our God. Thank you for all your love and support!" - The Filharmonic
Name: Barry Fortgang
Birthdate: April 1993
Favorite Food: In-N-Out Burger
Parents Originally From: Southern Leyte
Our Broadway inspired tenor, Barry Fortgang, is the youngest and most energetic in the group. He is constantly singing and practicing his music, but when he does decide to take a short break he usually uses his time polishing his dance skills. These practice rituals might be traced back to his time studying at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where he is hoping to graduate from sometime in 2014. In the rare chance he takes a full day off from rehearsing, he likes to spend his time reading books and hanging out at Disneyland with Joe and Niko. Sometimes both at the same time! Although Barry spends a lot of his time perfecting his craft, he always has time for a FUNNY pun cause he loves to joke around and have a good time!
Name: Joe Caigoy
Birthdate: April 1989
Favorite Food: Lumpia & Pancit Bihon
Parents Originally From: Iloilo & Manila
Joe Caigoy is the big cuddly bear of the group! He is nicknamed that because his voice has so much power that can only be matched by his cute and colorful personality, not to mention his adorable smile. Not many people know that he was a part of the 2009 ICCA championship team, Mt. Sac's Fermata Nowhere, alongside with Sing Off champion Avi Kaplan. Joe was recently studying Music Education at Michigan State University prior to competing on The #Singoff.
Name: Jules Cruz
Birthdate: November 1991
Favorite Food: Sushi
Parents Originally From: Manila
Every great team has an even greater captain. The Lakers have Kobe Bryant, the Avengers have Captain America, and The Filharmonic have Julian "The Carnival" Cruz a.k.a. "The Bass Man". He is currently a DOUBLE major at Mt. San Antonio College, studying both Music and Biology. He too, alongside with Joe Caigoy, has performed with Pentatonix's Avi Kaplan while singing for Mt. Sac's Chamber Choir... The Filharmonic and their performances have been described as "Charismatic and Hilarious", these attributes could be accredited to Jules and his prior experience as a stand up comedian. Some even say his skills as an entertainer are drawn from his upbringing in Henderson, Nevada, which is a stone's throw away from the the western hemisphere's biggest stage, Las Vegas.
Name: VJ Rosales
Birthdate: June 1987
Favorite Food: Pepperoni Pizza
Parents Originally From: Bataan & Cavite
VJ is a young aspiring musician with a degree in music from Cal State, Long Beach. Before The #SingOff , VJ was a contestant on Season 3 of NBC's The Voice. When VJ isn't singing one of his favorite things to do is chill out and watch his favorite show, Friends. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He started singing at the age of 3. Vj currently performs all over the greater Los Angeles area as a freelance musician and singer/songwriter. He teaches voice and piano at the renowned Silverlake Conservatory of Music, owned by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Name: Niko Del Rey
Birthdate: October 1990
Favorite Food: Carne Asada Fries
Parents Originally From: Manila & Cavite
The Filharmonic's very own beatboxer, Niko Del Rey. Niko recently graduated class of 2013 from the University of California, Riverside, with a degree in Political Science. Similar to Trace, Niko is a jack of all trades as well. Not only does he beatbox but he dances, sings, bartends, and is a photographer for the online fashion magazine Swagsyndicate.com. In addition to that, he also is the president of his sister's charity Danika Cares, which he runs with the help of his family. Although Niko is part of the "Cute and Charismatic" Filharmonic, he is considered the Badboy of the group who marches to the beat of his own drum (Pun intended). But his "own beat" is thought of as a more swaggy attitude than the traditional cute demeanor portrayed by the group, hence giving him the title of "Swag Master".
Name: Trace Gaynor
Birthdate: May 1992
Favorite Food: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Parents Originally From: Bacarra
Trace Gaynor is currently finishing out his last semester at the University of Southern California with a degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism. Prior to singing with The Filharmonic, he was holding the esteemed title of Musical Director for his a cappella group, the USC Troy Tones. Trace is also The Filharmonic's resident renaissance man, not only being an excellent a cappella singer but a violinist, skateboarder, and eagle scout as well. Although he illustrates a goofy demeanor onstage, he is the most proper and business minded in the group. He is a USC tour guide by day and The Filharmonic lead media consultant by night.