My Musical Journey: Nancy Castillo
My musical Journey has been exactly that “A Journey.” Growing up, I don’t remember there ever being a moment where there was an absence of music in my house or anywhere I would go. You see I grew up in a family who had a natural ear for music in fact, my dad and most of my aunts and uncles had their own conjunto bands or played and sang with mariachi groups even before I was born. Although I did belong to a family where music was the center of their lives, I didn’t personally fall in love with it until I was about 7 years old. I remember my Dad was playing the guitar and singing that day and I was so captivated by the one thing that still has me captivated today, the voice. My Dad must have seen the expression on my face because He immediately called me over, handed me the microphone and said, “Do you want to help me sing?” I remember that day singing my little heart out in front of a crowd I barley even knew. After that occasion it was virtually impossible to keep me quite to the point where I would make up my own lyrics and sing at the top of my lungs.
At the age of 9, we moved to the Rio Grande Valley after living in Houston for 10 years. It was a huge change for me but once again I found my refuge in music. My elementary music teacher quickly discovered My ability to match pitch and chose me to be a part of His music memory group and All State Choir. It was here where I heard for the first time full Opera and symphony pieces from great composer like Mozart and Beethoven. This opened up a new style and form of music for me that really amazed me.
I wish I could say that I stayed in the path of music but with the coming of my teenage years came also something called rebellion. If you are a parent with a teenager you might know what I am talking about. I refused to listen to my Dad who almost begged me to stay in Choir and just to show him that I was in control, I chose to be in art. It wasn’t until my Senior year in High School that I finally signed up to be in Choir and once again without a shadow of a doubt I new that this was where I was meant to be. That same year, I also began to learn how to play the guitar through a friend from church and from seeing YouTube videos.
When I graduated from High School, I enrolled at the University of Texas Pan American and my original plan was to pursue a degree in Architectural Engineering and I did for almost a year and a half but still something didn’t seem right. It was at that point where I got on my knees and really prayed for Gods direction in my life and once again that pull was towards music. I ended up switching my degree from Architectural Engineering to Music Education.
The years that followed after that were filled with a lot of challenging moments but hard work pays off. I had the privilege to work under great voice teachers like Dr. Vivian Munn and Dr. Cobberly who always encouraged me to keep on going. Through the music program I learned a lot of different skills like aural skills, piano proficiency skills, and stage presence.
Today I am proud to say that I graduated this past December with a Bachelors degree in Music Education. I have no regrets what so ever rather I am grateful to have pursed something that I truly love. I know that my Journey with music doesn’t end here and I am excited to see what the future brings.