My story started 46 years ago, when I took my mother’s cookware and I put together a drum set. Of course, I wanted to play the drums right then, but it wasn’t my thing. Years went by, I was already in High School and I had a classmate who studied in the Mexico city’s National Music Conservatory. He told me that I had musical skills and encouraged me to enroll in the Conservatory. I got very excited! And I went home with the great news that I wanted to study music. Of course, my father told me to focus in school and after that, we would talk about it.
On my birthday, my sister Juany gave me an album by Waldo de los Ríos, who is an Argentinian composer and whose arrangements left me in awe! In that moment, I knew I wanted to compose and arrange music. Juany told me: “Don’t worry, if God wants you to be a musician, you will”.
When I finished High School I talked to my father and told him: “Please, let me study music”, because he wanted me to study electronics. Actually, my father had already enrolled me in electronics school because I liked repairing radios, televisions and some other devices. But, I knew that music was what I really wanted. Nevertheless, the enrollment for the Conservatory was already closed.
Days passed by and I saw in the newspaper an announcement of the Free School of Music, so I insisted my father to take me there. When we finally were there, I was fascinated! I met two great musicians: David Soulé, who had a master in solfeggio, harmony, musical arrangements and composition, and Luis Guzman, master in violin.
One day, I was replacing Luis Guzmán’s class and a student came with a viola. I wasn’t familiar with the viola’s register, but when I played the fourth string I loved it and I immediately changed my instrument.
David Soulé encouraged me to start composing under his supervision, and by his recommendation, I enrolled in the Mexico city’s National Music Conservatory; where I met another great teacher: Victor Manuel Jiménez. He directed his own chamber orchestra in the UNAM’s National School of Music. One day, Victor asked me to make some musical arrangements for the piano’s part in a viola method. The day of the rehearsal came and I was really nervous, hoping he liked my work. The rehearsal started. I was sitting in the viola section watching the pianist’s face, and as he started playing I saw that he started to smile in approval of what he was hearing. So, teacher Victor, who was directing, put his hands down, looked at me, and with a smile on his face told me: “Not bad, not bad”.
Years went by and I was already playing in different orchestras and chamber orchestras; I was also teaching violin and viola. One day, the director of the Junior Symphony Orchestra, Próspero Reyes, asked me if I would like to direct the junior orchestra. Of course I said yes, but I didn’t expect to have such an opportunity that soon. When suddenly he told me: “Well, next week is the municipality anniversary and I want you to do it”. In that moment I was shocked. I was nervous because of the big responsibility , but I felt excited to have that chance.
Since the beginning I really enjoyed directing. It was my chance to make musical arrangements and to create my own compositions. With the time I started directing my own junior orchestra and I started to take advanced classes in orchestra at CONACULTA. I really enjoyed those years. I learned from teachers like David Flores and Jesús Medina. And, I had the opportunity to see the classes of Gabriela Díaz Alatriste, orchestra’s director. But well, that’s another story.
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