ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Hispanic Heritage Month is a month that not only celebrates traditions and culture, but also the people who have gone above and beyond.
“I’m very proud of being the new Director of Bands at Odessa High School,” said Sonia Campos.
Campos is the first female band director, but that’s not the only first.
“I am the first female Latina in this position,” said Campos.
This Midland native is the first female Latina Band Director for the Odessa High School Broncho Band. She now leads a division one ratings marching band.
“We do have the longest streak in the whole state of Texas in 82 consecutive years in first division ratings at the region marching UIL marching contest,” said Campos.
In other words, it’s a pretty big role she’s taking on. Music has been a part of her life for more than 20 years.
She pours her heart and soul into music and when she’s not in the office, Campos is almost always on the field overseeing more than 170 band students.
“I do it all!”
Her duties don’t stop there. She’s been in band for many years.
“I became part of a band program at 11 years old and I never stopped. I actually went on to do college band at the University of Texas at Austin,” said Campos.
She then worked as a band director for two middle schools in Odessa, Bowie and Crockett.
“I led a band of 300 plus students throughout my career at Crockett Middle School and we found a lot of success,” she said.
With much success, Campos has also gone through difficulties, but said music helper her get past the hard times.
“My father passed away when I was 15 years old, and I really grasped on to band as a way to express my emotions,” shared Campos.
She said emotional hardships motivated her to make a career out of music and inspire other students to be proud of their beginning.
“My roots go way back my mother grew up in Ojinaga, Mexico in a ranch,” Campos said. “There’s so many different genres of music in the Hispanic culture that we all should really explore it’ such a beautiful heritage and I’m so proud to be a Mexican-American Latina woman in this position and ensuring that it lives on.”
She truly appreciates working with people who embrace the Hispanic culture as well.
“Especially working here at Odessa High our population is a lot of Hispanic students,” said Assistant Band Director Jimmy Olague.
Olague of Mexican descent said he’s excited to have Campos on board and be part of such an integral moment for the group.
“It’s a great example to let the younger generation know that everything is possible…si se puede,” expressed Olague.
Yes. You. Can.
Both Olague and Campos believe music knows no boundaries. Instead, it’s an opportunity to bring people together from different backgrounds.
“Music is such universal language it’s all over the world [and] anybody can pick up a piece of paper of music and perform with anybody around the world,” said Campos.
Campos hopes she can continue to provide her students at Odessa High a place filled with hope, value and acceptance. No matter where they come from.
“And that’s something we need to grow in the Hispanic heritage…we need to value ourselves [and] we need to ensure that we mean something to this society and that we bring a lot to the table,” Campos said.
Campos mentioned that the band will continue practicing for their marching show that will be showcased in October. The show will focus on all different types of Latin music.
People can also attend football games and watch the band perform during half-time.
To learn more about the Odessa High School Broncho Band and its legacy, click here.