Music, MAO, and the Berklee College of Music- Miss Coachella Valley

Hello! My name is Tanya Nuñez, and I’m your 2015 Miss Coachella Valley. I take so much pride in my first title. This is also my first blog, so I just want to share a little bit about what I’ve been through in the past year and how I got introduced to the Miss America Organization.

PhotoGrid_1433915289292 (1)Finishing the music program at College of the Desert Community College left me with valuable information. Between general education, core music curriculum, and rehearsals, I learned to make the most out of 24 hours. I learned discipline. I learned that practice makes perfect- but no one is perfect, so don’t stress.

I also know a LOT about music. I know how Western music developed from the 1600s to the 20th century. As a vocal major, I learned to sing in English, Italian, German, and French. I dabble in a few instruments like piano and guitar. And while I don’t consider myself a composer, I am more than capable of writing my own music, both instrumental and vocal.

aAfter finishing the music program, I auditioned for and got accepted into the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. I WAS ECSTATIC! I did so many things to prepare. I saved money, I started to develop my own musical style, I said my goodbyes, and in the Spring of 2015, I flew straight to the East Coast. It was my independent and goal-oriented nature at work.

My parents were a little shocked- especially my father. My parents grew up in Mexico and immigrated to the United States where they had me as their first child. In Latin culture, women typically live with their family. They do not move away on their own. Also, my parents do not have the financial means to support such a big move. These things made my plans unbelievable. I just did what I thought was the right thing, and I got a loan. A BIG loan.

Let me make one thing clear. I am not afraid of debt. I am not afraid to invest in myself and my education. However, it was a lot of money, and it would only cover one semester’s tuition. It was a sum of money I could not even borrow on my own. My parents co-signed, potentially putting their assets in jeopardy. I was stubborn in my plans, and it was at the last minute of orientation week that I really discussed everything with my dad. I decided to do things a different way and deferred to the Spring of 2016.

Things happen for a reason. I believe there is a better way to achieve my dream of an education. Within the first month of my return, I saw a page on Facebook with a sparkly crown. It was the Miss Coachella Valley Scholarship Pageant Program, an official prelim to Miss America! I researched Miss America and read it gives scholarship and assistance to young women at the local and state level. It was when I saw all the titleholders that I became inspired. I wanted to be like these women! By February, I was practicing for my first pageant (Remember, practice makes perfect!), and I was crowned Miss Coachella Valley early in March.

This is an amazing journey. Already I have grown so much, and I am motivated to improve in multiple areas of my life including fitness, public speaking, and music. It’s a really good feeling, and it came out of my torn down plans. I am thankful to my parents who raised me. Finally, everything that I am, I owe to God.

I made a quick cover of a Bossa piece called Chega de Suadade (No More Blues) by Antonio Carlos Jobim. I’d like to thank my accompanist Juan Espino. He goes by the stage name Razor J, and he’s one of the few musicians I can count on to play anything on guitar or piano in any genre.