Choral Arts Initiative News
Join the discussion on our blog! Weekly posts on musical musings, updates on our events and performances, and much more! Want to stay in the loop? Subscribe to our e-Newsletter!
Meet Vic De La Cruz!
Vic is in his second season with Choral Arts Initiative and sings in the tenor section.
So, tells us more about you!
I am currently in my fourth year as the choral director an San Juan Hills High School and in my third year as the choir director at Palisades United Methodist Church. Before entering my career, I attended California State University, Fullerton where received my Bachelor of Arts in Music Education in 2009 and my Single Subject Teaching Credential in music the following year.
What is your most marked characteristic?
One of my most marked characteristics (and probably my worst) is my overwhelming sarcasm. Often mistaken for cynicism, it most likely came about due to my family's "survival of the fittest" mentality in regards to wit. I apologize in advance to those who may not immediately understand its humorous intent.
If you could have dinner with any composer (dead or alive), who would it be?
What does passion mean to you?
Passion is an individual's love of something that never allows them to settle for mediocrity.
What is your best or most inspiring memory (musical or otherwise)?
There is a group of students at SJHHS who volunteer their time to participate in San Juan Hills Singers, a small ensemble that prepares advanced repertoire for concerts. Aside from the dedication of their time, these students are also fully committed to musicianship - I almost never need to review notes and rhythms with them because their proficiency allows them to quickly master complex harmonies. I am inspired by their devotion to music and commitment to excellence every time I rehearse with them, and am truly blessed to be their teacher.
When did you begin your musical training? Why do you believe that music education is so important?
I began my musical training as an instrumentalists in sixth grade (about 16 years ago). Unfortunately, I did not become a singer until ninth grade, though my mother would embarrassingly beg to differ. As a music educator, I have a plethora of reasons why music education is important, probably too much to list at this moment. With that said, in regards to my personal life, I feel my most responsible qualities came from my involvement in music and sports, all of which I try to instill in my own students. These qualities include, but are not limited, affinity for working with others, problem solving, ability to work independently, timeliness, and taking pride in everything I do.
Who or what inspired you to make singing a part of your life?
My high school choir director, David Montoya, inspired to me to make singing a part of my life. As a role model in most avenues in my life, I strove to make my life as musically fulfilled as his seemed to be. He demonstrated his passion in the classroom everyday and when someone spent time with outside of class, they quickly found that passion continued in various outlets.
Which author or poet touches you deeply?
J.D. Salinger and Christina Rossetti - the former for sarcasm and the latter for beauty.
Outside of music, what brings you great joy?
Though probably still considered to be a part of music, teaching brings me a great deal of joy. Sometimes they may be few and far between but those few students that I manage to inspire a love and passion in what I do easily makes every moment of my career worth while.
What achievement(s) are you most proud of at this point in your life?
My most rewarding accomplishments have come from my time spent as a music educator, as I feel their impact extended beyond myself and have positively influenced the lives of my students. The choirs at San Juan Hills High School have received superior markings at festivals, the program has more than tripled in size, and my students are currently preparing for a performance this spring at Carnegie Hall. I certainly have benefited from these accomplishments, but my sense of pride comes from knowing that my students love to sing, the highlight of which is the few who plan to make their careers in music.
Lorraine Joy Welling