Mr. Gonzales serves as music director in North Carolina
For most of us, free time is a chance to rest, relax and maybe pursue a hobby. But for music teacher Mr. Gonzales, it was an opportunity to serve as a music director on a production for the Children’s Theatre of Charlottte, in North Carolina.
The show, “Tomás and the Library Lady,” just finished its monthlong run earlier this week, and the effort involved is inspiring. In essence, he rehearsed, transcribed music and performed in the show during time off from school.
His work on the show began right after Keystone went out for Winter Break, beginning with rehearsals and working on the music. He became involved through his wife, Alicia Tafoya, an assistant professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, who was hired to direct the show.
“I said yes, due to the nature of the story and how my life and family has been impacted with similar themes this particular play brings out,” he said.
He traveled to Charlotte during the week between Christmas and New Year’s to work with the professional actors. Even more challenging — the theater didn’t have any sheet music, only recorded music tracks. So Mr. Gonzales transcribed the music for the show.
He even recorded a speaking role of one of the characters in the play.
The musical, based on the book by the same name, tells of Tomás Rivera, a child of migrant farmworkers who travels to Iowa with his family for work and befriends a librarian who teaches him to read in English. The young Rivera grows up to become the first person of color to serve as chancellor in the University of California system.
And in stories about the show, his bio included that he taught music at Keystone.