Paul Fontelo of Potomac, Maryland shares his music expertise with aspiring young musicians in the Philippines.

A Filipino-American Fulbright scholar from Potomac, Maryland is currently in the Philippines fulfilling his grant purpose of working and teaching abroad for the academic year 2013-14 and help further his academic and professional career.

Paul Fontelo, a recent music and history double major graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, became a Fulbrighter to study classical music composition from leading Filipino composers and musicians at the University of the Philippines’ College of Music.

“By gaining a deeper understanding on the process by which Filipino composers use heterogeneous culture to write music, my project aims to examine the manner in which music shapes and expresses everyday life in a multicultural Philippines,” Fontelo stated.

He also wants to form youth orchestras in the Philippines modeled after the famous Venezuelan El Sistema youth orchestra system.

Fontelo is considering graduate school for music or a career in the foreign service, and hopes his Fulbright experience helps discern his vocation.

At Holy Cross, he was involved in the jazz ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, symphonic band, student-run Alternate College Theatre, college choir, and Schola Cantorum.

He was also the co-founder and co-chair of the recreational water polo club.

This is not Fontelo’s first time in the Philippines representing Holy Cross.

Last summer, he interned for the U.S. Embassy in Manila’s cultural affairs section.

Under the mentorship of U.S. ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas, Fontelo said he learned the value of cultural exchange and understanding the importance of engaging in global dialogue.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and is widely recognized as the most prestigious international exchange program in the world.

Each year approximately 1,700 U.S. college students are awarded grants through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

As the U.S. Government’s flagship program in international educational exchange, it awards grants to U.S. citizens and nationals of other countries for a variety of educational activities, primarily university lecturing, advanced research, graduate study and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.

Since the program’s inception in 1946, more than 300,000 participants — selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential — have had the opportunity to observe each other’s political, economic and cultural institutions.

The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

This year’s recipients headed to Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

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