Instructor harmonize to help

By Brandon Morgan / Staff Writer

Success (Brandon Morgan / Staff Photographer)

By Brandon Morgan / Staff Writer

What happens when you combine an equal amount of dedication and motivation? Nine times out of 10, the answer is success.

Juliana Quinones, a student musician here at Riverside City College, is nothing short of a perfect example.

Quinones, 24, has always had a passion for music.

Debbie Eyer, her middle school band director, was the one who motivated her at a young age to pursue music.

It was that same motivation that contributed to the two awards she received: The John Phillip Sousa Music Award, and later, The High School Directors Award.

But, the road to becoming a successful French horn player and earning more awards would not nearly be as smooth as the first.

Her life took an unexpected turn when she began attending RCC.

Not only did she lose her job, but she also fell into a substantial amount of credit card debt.

“I was using my credit card for everything but what I was supposed to be using it for,” she said.

“I was using it for everyday things like groceries and gas instead of saving it for the occasional need or emergency,” Quinones said. “Credit bureaus kept calling me and I just didn’t know what to do anymore.”

As a result of the depression and hardship that followed, she suffered a nervous breakdown. She said this was the lowest point in her life.

It’s darkest before the dawn, and in her case, times had to get worse before they got better.
“Marty Rhees, my private horn instructor, always encouraged me to stop making excuses and hold myself accountable,” she said.

Once she had that motivation to coincide with her love for music, she never looked back.
Monica Delgadillo-Flores, the dean of Student Services at RCC, provided her with scholarship funds and directed her to a counselor.

She received another big surprise when Kevin Mayse, one of her band instructors, credited her with the Brass Quintet scholarship along with the Jazz Scholarship.

 Both of which helped her with funds for school and the essentials she would need to succeed in music.

During this bumpy road to success, there was still one thing missing: employment.

It was the most generous Mayse to her rescue once again. He offered her a position as the Music program’s librarian to help her get back on her feet financially.

He knew she had the potential, but she just needed the motivation from all the right sources.

His goal was to help her succeed in any way he could.

Quinones is now succeeding more than ever.

She is a great player and a member of  five different ensembles on campus, which can be a very difficult task.

“If you view everything as a performance, you’ll always be prepared,” Quinones said.
Her love for music is enlightening.

“I love Strauss and I admire Chet Baker, but nothing puts me in the mood like Miles Davis,” Quiuones said.

“I don’t know where I’d be without music,” she said. “I’d probably be in a mental institution. We can say so much in music that we can’t say verbally.”

If she could change one attribute to improve her skills, it would be to practice more.
Regardless of how she felt about her own talent or success, Richards knew that she was the student who deserved to be recognized.

Quinones, who graduated from Valley View High School in 2003, plans on transferring to the California State University in either Long Beach or Fullerton in the near future.

She looks forward to receiving her bachelors’ degree in Music Education and returning to school to earn her teaching credentials.