"I don't know much about history; don't know much about biology, but" what I do know is I find writing about music appealing.
I have organized talent shows for Arbol Medina ICP, Oktoberfest, Fiesta Mexicana, Knights of Columbus, RISD and sundry organizations. In addition, I have shared activities with many talented church choirs in Robstown. My duties included being an organizer, guitarist, vocalist and choir director for well over 25 years.
I have worked with band and choir directors with college music degrees. I have also worked with many noble and proficient church choir directors and dazzling musicians that have not had the luxury of formal music education. Clearly, the lack of formal music training does not diminish the wondrous musical skills of these people.
Today, I want us to be on familiar terms with some incomparable musicians that are not generally acknowledged for their musical talents. These volunteers should be accepted as Music All-Stars.
These terrific musicians give their talents, time, energy and many times their pocket money as free community service to the music ministry.
Every church usually has many talented and giving musicians who help with their respective musical programs. I write about what I live and what I know as an area of expertise because of my familiarity with these musicians. I have been fortunate to interact and live among them for at least a couple of decades of observation and sometimes music participation.
Music uplifts the human spirit and adds beauty, palatability and elegance to the praising that is led by the clergy. The mood and ambiance is set by the almost magical, mystical musical notes to encourage congregational participation and interaction. Most choirs will sound good or sometimes great, but there will always be members who are all-stars that make the choir sound better.
Who are these local musical prodigies? Before I start with the choir that has the biggest representation of all-star musicians, let me identify Pedro Herrera, extraordinary lead guitarist and vocalist-9 a.m. choir; Ofelia Chapa, awesome and inspiring soprano-10:30 choir; Jessie Garza and Marcelo Mata, astonishing guitarists and wonderful distinctive vocalists with dreamland harmonies-11 a.m. choir at St. Mary's.
The Mother Lode has surely been at St. Anthony's 7:30 a.m. Sunday Mass for years. That service has had the good fortune to have a family-directed choir for well over 20 years.
Their leader was called by our Almighty this past month of July. Not only did they have a great spiritual choir director, they still have two of the best instrumentalists in South Texas still playing in that choir. One of them plays inspiring lead guitar (Genaro Medrano) and the other (Lionicio "Niro" Martinez) plays ultra-expert melodious accordion.
When I say that they play their instruments well, I must add that words give little justice to their colossal musical abilities. If they wanted to be session musicians for recording artists, these gentlemen would be very successful. The nuances and quality of their gifted tones with single-note melodies are just so worthy of a listen.
Why is it important to know these great musicians? It is important because they decided years ago to give back to our local community and our local church music ministries. These loyal American citizens have been consistently giving of themselves to practice their craft for 20 to 30 years.
Many people are proud to call them good friends or acquaintances.
What about vocal talents? Two ladies stand out for their longevity of service and dedication (Maria Medrano and Elisa Longoria). They sing in that same family choir. These ladies have strong gorgeous powerful angelic harmonious voices. They both sing soprano or alto parts with the same ease.
Maria is the wife of one of my best friends, Enrique Lopez Medrano, who is now looking over us as an Angel of God. I believe that he still provides guidance to their choir.
Join a choir with your favorite place of worship. Enjoy the wonderful people in your congregation that participate in spiritual or religious music ministries.
You will find that the sacrifices of all these choir members contribute to your quality of life. They will make you feel and sound like an all-star in the eyes of the Almighty.
Joe-Santos Medina is a resident of Robstown. Readers may contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.