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Special music lesson: La Santa Cecilia visits Schoenbar Middle School, will perform at Ted Ferry Wednesday
Jose “Pepe” Carlos plays the accordian next to Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez, the lead singer of La Santa Cecilia. Staff photos by Alaina Bartel

Daily News Staff Writer

More than 40 music and Spanish-speaking students at Schoenbar Middle School were given a different music lesson than they’re accustomed to. The band La Santa Cecilia visited the school on Tuesday to perform and give advice to the young musicians.

La Santa Cecilia, from Los Angeles, is in Ketchikan as a part of the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council’s Torch Night concert series. They will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Ted Ferry Civic Center, but before that, they did an outreach program at both Schoenbar and Ketchikan High School.

“We are very honored to bring La Santa Cecilia to Ketchikan again,” Kathleen Light, the director of the KAAHC, said to the students. “These guys are really special, but what’s really special about them is they love Ketchikan and young people.”

Students at Schoenbar were given a taste of their bicultural music, and were given a free ticket to attend the concert. Light said they have to be accompanied by a guardian, who will have to pay for a ticket if they wish to attend.

The band performed in the First City in 2015, and won a Grammy Award that same year. Their newest album, “Amar Y Vivir,” or “Love and Live,” is now nominated for a Grammy Award, according to Cameo McRoberts, KAAHC program coordinator.

The album was recorded live in different culturally historic locations around Mexico City — such as The Plaza Santo Domingo, Parque México, the Zócalo and others, according to their website.

“We just fell in love with your city,” Miguel “Oso” Ramirez, the percussionist of La Santa Cecilia, told the students. “We’re so happy to be here again today, even though the landing in the airplane was a little rough and scary.”

Ramirez said the band, which just celebrated its 10-year-anniversary, plays music in English, Spanish, traditional rock and roll, funk, jazz, traditional Latin American music and more.

Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez, the lead singer, added their music has many influences — including hip hop and punk rock.

“I always wanted to be in a band where I could rock out, or sing anything,” Hernandez said. “We wanted to make a band with no musical borders.”

She told the students they started playing at coffee shops, open mics, fundraisers and museums, and the band just took off from there.

“Later on we got invited to go and play in Northern California, or in Arizona, or Texas,” Hernandez said. “We’ve been all over the country; we’ve been to South America, and it’s always been a dream for us to be able to play music.”

Hernandez asked the group of students if they were studying music, and a few of them replied with an enthusiastic “yes!” She told them starting a band seemed like a crazy dream, but they’ve come as far as winning a Grammy and traveling the world.

La Santa Cecilia is also featured on the soundtrack of the Disney movie “The Book of Life.” Additionally, they’ve played at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in front of 18,000 people, and have performed for a group of 150,000 people in Washington, D.C.

“If you guys have any dreams of performing, of being musicians, of traveling, of touring — it’s not a crazy dream,” she said. “It’s a true dream; it’s a real dream. I think you just gotta stick (to) it. I’m sure we’ll see some of you guys on the road sometime.”