Give A Note recently hosted a donor event in Los Angeles and had the pleasure of meeting Haydee Vazquez, a senior at Ramona High School in Riverside, CA. Give A Note invested in Mariachi Dinastia de Ramona during our first round of the Music Education Innovator Award, granting Director Brian Gallagher funds to add instruments to the program, fulfilling his vision of increased engagement in music of students through the program.
Haydee is one of the students who was able to participate in a school music program, thanks to the development of the Mariachi program. Here is her story:
I joined the Mariachi Dinastia de Ramona earlier this year and it was a new experience for me. Mariachi music has always been part of my family’s culture but I was never a big fan of it until I joined the group.
Previous to Mariachi Dinastia de Ramona, I had been a part of various musical groups, including Wind Ensemble and Dynasty Marching Band as a trumpet player, and Madrigals as an alto singer. These groups all gave me amazing experiences but I wasn’t able to find a balance to do everything. If I had joined band, then I couldn’t do choir, and if I joined choir, then I couldn’t do band. I just couldn’t find time in my life to do two extracurricular activities involving music. Finally, during my junior year of high school, a friend of mine introduced me to the mariachi class…The environment was slightly altered but still familiar, but the experience was completely different.
The mariachi group and class has taught me to appreciate music through a different perspective, learn from the experiences I had as a single individual and as part of the ensemble, as well as provide me with a safe haven from the outside world in which I can enjoy playing music with the wonderful people I’ve developed great friendships with.
About Mariachi Dinastia de Ramona
This program was inspired by the desire to create the only Mariachi program in the district in an effort to reach more students, including them in instrumental music. Mariachi dinastía de Ramona provides an opportunity for students to work with local professionals to perform and hone their music-making and music business skills. Additionally, the program provides an opportunity to work within the community through performance and engagement opportunities.
About Ramona High School Arts Magnet
Ramona Arts Magnet mentors aspiring young artists in singing, dancing, acting, visual arts, piano, guitar, strings, and instrumental music. Ramona’s magnet arts program builds and strengthens each student’s creative talents, imagination and character while providing them both the traditional high school and arts conservatory experiences they need to compete globally both in college and in their chosen career.