By Lauren Greenleaf, Talon staff reporter
Since childhood, Miguel Vasquez has been making music, even if it was just banging a stick on the ground with his father’s mariachi band. Who knew that he would be the great musician and performer he is now?
You probably know Vasquez from his part as the wolf in Into the Woods last year and his constant involvement in the musical groups such as Wind Ensemble, Chamber Singers, Aurora Borealis, and Jazz Band here at HRV. This year he played Roger in the musical, Grease.
Vasquez has been surrounded by music his entire life. His father was in a mariachi band, and he grew up playing with them on the weekends “just banging a stick on the ground.” In sixth grade, he moved to Hood River and started playing the saxophone in band. This was when he “really started to get to know music.” Vasquez describes music as “being able to express myself in another way. I could never just talk to someone about how I felt, they would have to hear it.” Music has never been easy for Vasquez, but he has worked hard because of his passion for it. “It’s something I love and hate at the same time,” he says. He loves music because “it never stops,” and there is always something to improve and work towards. Vasquez has found inspiration in artists such as Usher and Ed Sheeran. His life goal is to be able to play all the basic instruments. So far he can play saxophone, guitar, piano, and the harmonica and will learn how to play the clarinet next.
Surprisingly, Vasquez just started acting last year. He has been in two musicals, and is about to be in his second play. He was always interested in acting, but didn’t think it was something he could do: “[Hannah Simons] kinda encouraged me to try out for [Into The Woods].” Vasquez fell in love with acting “the first time I did it.” He describes it as “you being you, you showing the world that you belong here.”
In addition to music and acting, Vasquez is involved in many other extra- curricular activities. He is a part of the Hood River Valley Leos club, he volunteers at FISH food bank, he is a part of Phoenix Theater, and he “loves to write scripts, like for films.” Vasquez also used to play soccer, and still does so in the summers. Besides all his music classes and theater classes, Vasquez’s favorite class is Writing 121/122 because “it’s such a cool class.” He loves this class because he gets to write about things that he is passionate about, and because it has helped him to really improve his writing. “I love the teacher, Mrs. Noteboom, because she pushes you so hard that it makes you a better student.”
It’s because of Vasquez’s musical interests that he has made some of his closest friends such as Jasper Krehbiel and Blaise Kauffman. Krehbiel and Vasquez have been in many plays together, as well as being involved in many of the same musical groups at HRV. Krehbiel says that Vasquez “goes out of his way to make you feel like you matter,” and that he’s “a super positive person just in general.” Kauffman and Vasquez met through the saxophone in sixth grade. Kauffman describes Vasquez as “really outgoing and easy to talk to.” The three boys also act together. Kauffman say that they are “even goofier backstage.”