Villalobos brothers shine, engage and inspire local students
The Villalobos Brothers put on an incredible performance at the Numerica Performing Arts Center Thursday night, showing off their violin virtuosity and performing with the students from Mariachi Huenachi to finish off the performance.
Not only was this one of the best concerts I’ve seen at PAC, but I greatly appreciated the way that the brothers and the rest of the band engaged with our local students. Mariachi Huenachi director Ramon Rivera told me after the show that his students had the opportunity to jam with band during the sound check before the concert. The band invited the local students to come play with them in New York.
The students opened the concert and showcased their talents before giving way to the Villalobos Brothers. Having the local students perform turned out to have a silver lining. Ernesto Villalobos broke a string on his violin early in the concert and borrowed one of the student violins to finish the program.
The brothers, from Xalapa, Mexico, now live in New York and this was the first stop of a tour of West Coast cities. They’ve played with the Yakima Symphony and in other cities in Washington.
The Villalobos Brothers brought a message of the value of family, community and social justice. One piece evoked the pain of the 43 students who were kidnapped by police and gunmen in 2014 and have not been seen since.
Students from around North Central Washington had a chance to listen to the band Thursday morning as part of the Every Kid at the PAC (EKAP) program to make sure that all children are exposed to great performances.
It would be great to bring this group back to the valley again to share their unique talents as well as their commitment to nurturing young musicians in the valley.