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Residents get chance to play musical instruments

By Camille Doty
April 26, 2012 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated April 25, 2012 at 11:26 p.m.

Victoria East sophomore Mona Castillo, 16, helps Xavier Flores, 3, play the cello at the musical petting zoo Thursday evening during Downtown Rhythms at DeLeon Plaza. The "petting zoo" gave children and  adults the chance to try  different musical instruments.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Master Series Concert with Clara-Jumi Kang WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday WHERE: Victoria Fine Arts Center, 1002 Sam Houston Drive, Victoria HOW MUCH: Adults start at $27; students start at $5 TO PURCHASE TICKETS: Visit the Symphony Office, 2112 N. Navarro St., Victoria, call 361-576-4500, or visit victoriasymphony.com.

Jaime Valdivia was more into track and field than music in high school.

But the 33-year-old Victoria native went to Downtown Rhythms to bond with his son Wednesday evening.

Valdivia was in for a pleasant surprise when he attempted to learn how to play music.

"I played the trumpet and trombone, at least I think I did," he said jokingly.

The father of one took advantage of the musical petting zoo offered at the Victoria Symphony's event.

The Victoria High School graduate toyed with the buttons to make a faint sound.

One of his friends nodded in disappointment. "At least I'm trying it," he said, smiling from ear-to-ear.

Crossroads residents could relax and listen to area bands or even start their own musical careers, like Valdivia.

A couple hundred people tapped their feet and nodded their heads while gathered on the plaza's lawn.

The crowd picked up as the sun began to set. There was a mix of upbeat and soothing music to suit a variety of musical tastes.

"Everyone was bobbing to the (Victoria College) Commercial Band," said Michelle Hall, the symphony's executive director. She added that all of the student bands did a great job performing.

The father/son duo played music simultaneously. While Valdivia was intrigued by the horned instruments, his three-year-old son, Luke Valdivia played the xylophone and drums.

After the inquisitive toddler had a musical sample, he wanted to try some more.

"I want that one," Luke said while pointing to the trumpet.

His little lungs were strong enough to make a noise. "He's showing me a few things," his proud father said.

Bryce Sparkman, Valdivia's teacher, said that the first-timer should give himself more credit and has potential.

"He can make it with a little practice and be better than most people. I think he had fun," said Sparkman, a Victoria East High School Band member.

Valdivia may not sell his Blue Lagoon Aquariums store to play, but he appreciates the talent and discipline of musicians. He hopes his son will play some tunes in the future.

"He (Luke) sure is a natural. I hope he puts his talents towards music," he said.

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