Looking at the risks from the players’ points of view

By Arianna Garcia (Staff Writer) -11/1/16

Kennedy Cougars in their football uniforms and protection fear
Kennedy Cougars in their football uniforms and protection fear

There are many talented individuals that attend John F. Kennedy High School, but junior student Ignacio Guillen is one amongst this category who besides participating in the school’s marching band, currently plays clarinet for “La Arrazadora Banda el Refugio” outside of school.

Banda is a brass-based musical group that plays Mexican songs and is generally a form of dance music. This banda is a group that is quite active and consists mainly of adults. Guillen plays gigs with his group on Fridays and Saturdays; they perform at events such as weddings, quinceañeras, night clubs, theaters, festivals, and sometimes even restaurants.

It was nerve-racking at first, but overtime it became natural, reflected Guillen. “When I am on stage, no matter how big or small the crowd is, I give it my all.”

Since joining this band in 2012, he has done many extraordinary things besides playing local gigs. That same year he joined “La Arrazadora Banda el Refugio,” they were given the opportunity to perform at the Nokia Theatre with the famous mexican artist Gerardo Ortiz. Even more recently, they traveled all the way to Tijuana, Baja California this past April and performed at Las Pulgas, a popular club in Mexico.

“We went on tour with Gerardo Ortiz for two years, and I got to go perform in Chicago, Arizona, Oregon, Las Vegas, and California,” informed Guillen.

Guillen was very young when he began getting into the music scene. His father was a musician himself and inspired him to want to learn how to play an instrument at the age of seven. Guillen’s father would attempt to show him how to play when he was young; he ended up contacting a friend of his, a teacher, to properly teach Guillen.

This teacher was interested in forming a banda full of young kids willing to play together. For six months, Guillen learned all the basics such as reading and writing music, and by the end, he was given his first song.

Guillen added that he was in that banda for about four years but left once his father suggested he be exposed to new people, music, bandas, and teachers.

Although he currently only considers this a hobby, Guillen sees himself doing something similar in the future. He enjoys performing and never wants to leave the stage.

He finds motivation in many things, but the most motivating is the fact that with his talent he’s experienced so much for a young sixteen year old. Guillen also finds motivation in his parents who have sacrificed so much to provide him and his brothers with what they need. As a way to spoil his parents and family, he often takes them out to eat, buys them gifts, and helps out with the phone bill using the money he earns from gigs he plays with current banda.

Guillen stated, “I like performing for people and making them feel my music. I love to see them dance and sing and enjoy life because that’s what music does to someone. It makes them happy.”