School of Music presents Latin music on the Square

By: 

Lifestyle Reporter
David Huerta and Gloria Puente dance April 24 at Stonewall Warehouse during Salsa Night.

The Square is typically home to club music, but the sounds of salsa took over on Friday night.  

The Stonewall Warehouse hosted the second Salsa on the Square presented by the Latin Music Department in the School of Music. Chris Rue, general manager of Stonewall Warehouse, said two musical groups within the community performed. 

“We have Texas State’s Salsa del Rio and Orquesta del Rio, and the San Marcos High School salsa band is also playing a couple of songs,” Rue said.

The event brings diverse music and supporters to the bar, Rue said.

“Traditionally there is just a lot of late-night club music on the Square,” Rue said. “It’s fun to change things up and experience different cultures.”

Juan Carlos Cavazos, assistant band director at San Marcos High School, said he directed the Orquesta Cascabel student group that played at the event.

Cavazos said the event was exciting for his students and allowed them to perform in a non-traditional environment.

“Playing at the salsa nights is a great opportunity for the high school students,” Cavazos said. “They get the real live music experience of playing in a club-type setting rather than just a formal concert.”

Cavazos said the band is comprised of 13 students.

“We play songs from traditional salsa to more modern salsa like Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez and Gloria Estefan,” Cavazos said. “It’s a good mix of traditional and also pop/modern salsa.”

Cavazos said the crowd and staff encouraged and motivated his students.

“My favorite thing about performing here is the crowd,” Cavazos said. “The crowd really wants us to do well. The students are usually focused on competitions. Here they get to play for fun for a change.”

Alisandra Perez, San Marcos High School student, said she attended the event to show support for the band.

“I probably won’t dance this time, just watch, but it is a really fun and lively atmosphere,” Perez said.

Derek Thigpen, music performance senior and saxophone player for Orquesta del Rio, said the group’s exhibition featured a wide variety of Latin music styles.

“Tonight Orquesta del Rio will play some merengue, a lot of straight-ahead salsa, a couple cumbia songs and we’re even delving into some Puerto Rican salsa—a lot of variety,” Thigpen said.

Thigpen said performing with the band and seeing the crowd’s excitement creates an enjoyable atmosphere.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” Thigpen said. “The groove is great. It’s nice to look out into the crowd and see a lot of people dancing.”

Thigpen has been playing salsa music on the Square with Texas State for three years and said he enjoys performing at Stonewall Warehouse the most.

“I like having Salsa on the Square here at Stonewall because they don’t charge the music department anything to play here,” Thigpen said. “At other venues on the Square, the music department had to pay up to $500 a show.”

Stonewall provides ideal acoustics and atmosphere for the event, Thigpen said.

“The sound at Stonewall is fantastic compared to other venues we’ve played,” Thigpen said. “The layout is perfect. It’s nice, small and intimate and great for salsa music.”

Rue hopes Stonewall Warehouse will be the permanent home for Salsa on the Square. The manager would like to continue supporting the Latin arts and musicians of San Marcos.

“Seeing different age groups of kids come in and get to experience their time on the stage has been neat,” Rue said. “It really is very complicated music, and it’s really impressive.”