Taos High School student sings at The Pit Arena

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Originally published in Taos News

Nick Gonzalez is a senior at Taos High School. He has been singing since he was three years old. On March 13th he got to sing the national anthem at The Pit Arena, in Albuquerque.

“I got really nervous at first,” Gonzalez said. “But afterwards, it was the most amazing feeling and I was really happy and proud. Singing is my passion and I know this is one great thing I can do that people love me for.”

An early start in music

Gonzalez said he “had never put himself out there before.”

However, he started singing early in life. The first time he performed in public was to sing “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger” when he was eight years, for a church event.

“Everybody told me I did really well,” he recalls. “This is one of my fondest memories, together with the first time I sang the national anthem here in Taos High, when I was fifteen years old, for a football game.”

He said he used to be quite shy, but all that changed when he started high school.

“I understood that I needed to show people what I could do and what God gave me,” he said. “I have this musical talent because He gave it to me and I definitely want to share it with others.”

Gonzalez had taken piano lessons before, but never had any vocal coaching until he joined the TaosHigh School chorus.

“This is my first year in the chorus, though I had been singing the national anthem at volleyball, football and baseball games since I was a sophomore,” he said. “And I sing all the time at my house.”

His family moved from Questa to Taos five years ago. They have always encouraged him to pursue his dreams, Gonzalez said.

“They tell me to do what I love doing,” he said. “I can always count on my parents for support.”

Gonzalez said that Selena was his first inspiration. “I used to sing all her songs when I was a little boy,” he said. “I also love Christina Aguilera because her voice is so powerful and she is such a great performer. Just her presence on the stage tells you that she was born to sing.”

Gonzalez participated in his first national event in 2011. It was a Fine Arts Festival sponsored by the Assemblies of God’s youth ministries that took place in Phoenix, Arizona.

“That was a great competition that included photography, music, drama, visual arts… everybody there had a specific talent,” he said. “Though I didn’t win, it was an honor to participate and get to know kids from many other states. I also thought it was a great way to be recognized.”

Singing to the future

After he graduates from Taos High, Gonzalez plans to start college here and take basic classes at UNM-Taos.

“Then I may go to Adams State College in Alamosa and major in music, maybe in the performing arts area,” he said. “One thing I know for sure, I want to perform. Later on my life I would like to tackle Juilliard because this is one of the most prestigious music schools in the world. I want to get the best training I can, and sing for everybody!”

He also wants to stay close to the church. “I’d like to help sponsor a youth retreat for the Catholic Church,” he said. “They always have music there and music is a way to get closer to God.”

Gonzalez currently belongs to the St. Michael’s Youth Group that meets at Guadalupe Church and he is very active in it.

“I definitely want to give my talent to God,” he said. “And I want to sing in His name.”

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About dovalpage

Teresa Dovalpage was born in Havana and now lives in Taos, New Mexico. She has a Ph.D. in Spanish literature and teaches at UNM Taos. She also freelances for Taos News, Profile, Hispanic Executive and other publications. A bilingual author, she has published eight novels, six in Spanish and two in English, two collections of short stories in Spanish and one in English. Her English-language novels are A Girl like Che Guevara (Soho Press, 2004) and Habanera, a Portrait of a Cuban Family (Floricanto Press, 2010). Her collection of short stories The Astral Plane, Stories of Cuba, the Southwest and Beyond was published by the University of New Orleans Press in 2012. In her native Spanish she has authored the novels Muerte de un murciano en La Habana (Death of a Murcian in Havana, Anagrama, 2006, a runner-up for the Herralde Award in Spain), El difunto Fidel (The late Fidel, Renacimiento, 2011, that won the Rincon de la Victoria Award in Spain in 2009), Posesas de La Habana (Haunted Ladies of Havana, PurePlay Press, 2004), La Regenta en La Habana (Edebe Group, Spain, 2012,) Orfeo en el Caribe(Atmósfera Literaria, Spain, 2013) and El retorno de la expatriada (The expat’s return, Egales, Spain, 2014). Her short novel Las Muertas de la West Mesa (The West Mesa Murders, based on a real event) is currently being published in serialized format by Taos News.
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