Cecilia Alegre A. Coo-Cruz
Cecilia Coo-Cruz, a prize-winning violinist, distinguished herself as an outstanding musician beginning at age twelve, when she was winner of the National Competition for Young Artists in the Philippines. Six years later, she won the 1994 Outstanding Artist Award.
She was a member in the first violin section and also served as concertmaster of the Philippine Youth Orchestra from 1994 to 2001. In 1996 she was featured as soloist with the group in a performance of movements from Edouard Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole. She also played in the first violin section of the Manila and Philippine Philharmonic orchestras until she emigrated to the U.S. at age 25.
Coo-Cruz is a third-generation Seventh-day Adventist music educator and musician, the granddaughter of Eliseo Paulino Arevalo, a pioneer SDA musician in the Philippines. Her mother, Corazon Arevalo Coo, a daughter of Elizeo, is an educator and pianist who was a music administrator and has taught music lessons for many years; her brothers, Jonathan and Victor, are well known and highly praised performers on piano and cello, respectively. She and her brothers graduated from the Philippine High School for the Arts.
Following her graduation from PHSA in 1994, Cecilia continued study on violin and voice at the University of Philippines-Diliman, where she completed a Diploma in Creative and Performing and Musical Arts (DCPMA) in 2001 and, a year later, a B.Mus, both in violin. From 1994 to 2001, Cecilia taught violin at Adventist University of the Philippines and, from 1995 to 2001, in the UP music extension program.
At that time she joined her family in the U.S., where she earned a performer's certificate in violin at La Sierra University in 2002 and then enrolled for graduate study at Andrews University. She completed an M.Mus. in violin at AU in 2004, giving recitals in 2002 and 2003, and then returned to California, where she married Timothy Cruz.
Coo-Cruz now teaches violin privately and on occasion plays for recording sessions with artists. She serves as Assistant Music Minister at the SDA White Memorial Church, where she also plays in the string ensemble, and assists occasionally at Eagle Rock Presbyterian Church. She enjoys playing chamber music, an activity she has been involved with from her earliest years, and presently plays as needed in chamber music groups.
She is an enthusiastic supporter in the establishment of the Filipino-American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) in Los Angeles County, an orchestra whose members are predominately Filipinos. Coo-Cruz served as concertmaster of this group in its first year, when it gave a highly successful debut performance of classical and Philippine popular music in Beverly Hills in May 2009. She was also one of the soloists in the Antonio Vivaldi Concerto for Four violins in B Minor when it was performed in January 2011.
Sources: Resume provided by Coo-cruz; Cynthia De Castro, "Getting to Know FASO: Cecilia Coo Cruz, " 10 March 2009, Asian Journal Online; Reviews of the FASO May 17 concert; online recording of the performance of the Vivaldi concerto, 22 January 2011.