A Perfect Night Under the Stars
The military vehicles rumbled slowly through the neighborhood. No one could confuse the hollow humming of the engines and the crunching sound of the heavy-duty tires on the dirt road. People were peering through their windows or looking out of their doors trying to figure out what was happening. Was it a military raid on a stash house? Was a powerful cartel member about to be apprehended? No one in Volcanes knew what was going on. No one except our music students.
The vehicles all stopped at our school and everyone gave a sigh of relief when they saw our music band happily climbing on the bus in their tidy uniforms while the Mexican Marines loaded the trucks with instruments and musical stands. The look of pride and satisfaction on the faces of our students was priceless.
“Music can change the world because it can change people.”
The Marines had invited our band to play at the Malecon. Every last Saturday of the month the Marines have a “Noche de Museo” (Museum Night) where they give tours of the marine Museum a few yards away from the Arches of the Malecon. On this night, they were celebrating the great Lieutenant Sebastian Jose Holzinger, a German national who had joined the Mexican Marines and became a war hero during the Mexican-American war (1846-848). It was a very special occasion and our band was honored to have been chosen to perform on such a special night.
The Malecon, as always, was packed. The weather seemed to sense the importance of the night and remained perfect throughout the performance. Not a drop of sweat could be seen on anyone. The sounds of the waves crashing on the rocks only enhanced the music coming from our students’ instruments. It was a perfect night under the stars. Our students played flawlessly. For weeks they had been preparing for this moment and it showed. They were more than prepared. After each piece the crowd roared their approval. Hundreds of people had their eyes and ears pointed to the stage. People who were passing by stopped and stayed for the whole show. It really was a special night for everyone involved.
Our band is the pride of our school right now. It has amazed us to see the progress they have made as a group but also as individuals. In our last newsletter you read the story of Moises and how music has transformed him completely. Music does have that power and we are witnessing it. A lot of these students have had low self-esteem issues due to their poverty and/or because of the miserable conditions at home. But music has made them believe in themselves. It has given them a new lens from which to view themselves. Now they are musicians and no one can take that away from them.