Maya Enriquez: A Story of Community Leadership

“I’ll hold out for the oboe,” Maya Enriquez recalls saying when she decided to switch instruments (from flute) to play in her elementary school’s band. She added that although she does not sing, she feels that playing the oboe is an extension of her voice.

Maya has studied oboe for ten years, six of those at Community Music Center in the Mission District, near her home. “Kathleen Connor, my music teacher at CMC, is amazing. She taught me how to sing out with expression and imbue my music with meaning. And even as I mastered this, she encouraged me to respect the piano passages and the silences.”

Music study at CMC has both tracked and guided Maya’s academic career. When she was accepted at both Lowell and School of the Arts (SOTA) high schools, she held out once again — this time, in favor of music education: She enrolled in SOTA. She’s now a senior at Vassar, and the first in her family to attend college. Maya makes sure to incorporate her music into her curriculum. Although she is pursuing rigorous undergraduate science courses and planning to enter medical school, Maya rehearses and performs in the orchestra.

To practice successfully, she advises, “Take it slowly. Don’t rush through – give it time. Break it up into small parts, and then add the parts together. And always keep in mind that an audience will be listening.”

Maya is leading the way among a growing number of CMC’s young musicians to practice leadership and give back to the community. Recently, she has become the newest—and youngest—member of Community Music Center’s Advisory Board. “Maya is a remarkable CMC success story,” said Executive Director, Chris Borg, when announcing Maya’s acceptance to join CMC’s Advisory Board.