Cuautemoc Ramirez: Confidence Through Composing, Conducting

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Photo by Tori Burris

Cuauhtemoc Rameriez, 12, solos on his piccolo during the bands halftime performance. The band played “Skyrush” at the last football game.

Colin Nguyen, Staff Writer

Senior Cuauhtemoc Ramirez slips on white gloves and stands in front of his friends, ready to conduct his song. 

Last year, band director Andrew Nance tasked Ramirez with composing a song for the band to play. During the last football game, after many delays, the band played it for the first time.

“We were going back and forth with different pieces that he’s written for a while. This is the one that felt pretty good,” Mr. Nance said. “It was something that worked for our ensemble at that time.”

After seeing his brother in band for years, Ramirez joined the band in intermediate school hoping to get a new experience. Ramirez started to compose his sophomore year. Wanting to get his ideas on paper, he began with an arrangement “Great Fairy Fountain” from The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. Rameriez took this passion and put it into making songs including Skyrush.

“I work with a lot of talented musicians, and I wanted to create something kind of challenging but at the same time simple and easy, just to not overwhelm them. I found that good balance in between,” Ramirez said. “It definitely showed me the ins and outs of people’s instruments, to be able to write what’s different.”

Ramirez showed the song to his peers. With their feedback, he tweaked the song and sent it to his directors who worked with him to help make it fit the ability of the band. Ramirez felt the hardest part of the process was making the percussion part, for he had to learn how to make music for them.

It was just pure joy. I enjoyed it so much. Someone took a video, and in that video, you can just see me with a huge smile on my face. It was really fun.”

“They were actually really excited about it, which wasn’t the reaction I was expecting,” Ramirez said. “Once we finally played it, they were all really happy and genuinely enjoyed it.”

The band played Skyrush at the last football game. Ramirez conducted the performance.

“It was just pure joy. I enjoyed it so much,” Ramirez said. “Someone took a video, and in that video, you can just see me with a huge smile on my face. It was really fun.”

Ramirez has been accepted into many colleges for composing. Right now, he has his eyes on Oklahoma City University.

“I think Cuau can be an excellent composer. Once he learns a little bit more in college and through his understanding of music theory, that he can take off because he has a natural skill and talent for it,” Mr. Nance said. “Cuau has a great effect on the people that are around him. He can motivate others, while not saying a whole lot. He has definitely become a role model that others look up to. He has been a great influence just on his peers and [I’m] pleased that he’s going about it the right way.”