Former students to honor high school band leader

2014-04-04T12:01:00Z 2014-04-04T15:53:10Z Former students to honor high school band leaderJohanna Willett Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 04, 2014 12:01 pm  • 

Some teachers strike a chord in the lives of their students.

Hector Espinoza, a former band director at Pueblo Magnet High School, certainly did.

When alum David Membrila, a tenor saxophonist for the school band, decided to hunt down his high school teacher, he discovered he wasn’t the only one with fond memories of the teacher.

The high school’s alumni association heard about the search for the retired band director, and a quiet dinner Membrila planned at Chili’s with several other classmates became a full-fledged event to honor 70-something Espinoza, who taught at the high school for about 20 years, according to Membrila. The dinner moved to the Fraternal Order of the Eagles building, 1530 N. Stone Ave.

Now, they are expecting 80 to 100 participants at the Sunday dinner, including one alum from California and another from San Antonio. Many of the nostalgic alumni now have careers as band directors or professional musicians, Membrila said.

“I went on a mission to find the people who helped pave my life and mentored me, and he’s at the top of my list,” Membrila, 54, said. “I became a band director in his footsteps, because he helped me find my talent and pursue it and explore it.”

Alumni who remember Espinoza can get tickets for the dinner by calling Membrila at 331-2749.

The event goes from 3 to 7 p.m. A $20 donation is suggested on the event Facebook page. For more information, check out the Hector Espinoza Appreciation Event on Facebook.

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