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Busy finding her voice
by Garrett Valenzuela
Nov 12, 2012 | 2965 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Julie Espina Garcia
Julie Espina Garcia
SPARKS — Julie Espina Garcia admitted she was “really shy” when she first began singing in public. Coming from a very musical family, Espina Garcia was not very fond of being up onstage alone to sing for her grandmother.

The truth is she needed a supporting cast, and the Reed High School junior found several after joining the Intermezzo, and eventually the Women’s Ensemble, choir class at the school.

“I can only perform with a group that makes me comfortable,” Espina Garcia said. “With singing, it’s the group of people I meet and I am with because they are people who have the same interest that I do. And the music we sing is incredible. I am definitely not one of those people who needs the stage. I don’t sing because I like performing.”

Espina Garcia began singing at age 2 surrounded by a mother and grandparents who were vocally talented and musically inclined. The family would gather around the piano, an instrument that Espina Garcia now plays, and sing each time the family was together.  

Nowadays, Espina Garcia sings Soprano in the school’s choir classes and has participated in the Honor Choir as well. As a child, she said it was customary for someone in the house to be singing throughout the day.

“I started singing very young and my mom’s side is Filipino so everyone has to have a karaoke machine in every house,” she said laughing. “My mom and my uncle got into piano playing as kids and that developed into vocal performances and they both spoke very highly of Intermezzo from when they were in high school. So that is why I got started in it.”

Espina Garcia stays close by her family outside of the musical aspect by working alongside her mother, a social worker focused on helping women through the Community to Aid Abused Women (CAAW). Espina Garcia began helping her mother at a very young age and said she has grown accustomed to a lifestyle of helping people.

“I grew up around helping abused women and children in that kind of environment. I grew up with the whole aspect that helping people is the way to go, and so that is all I really know,” she said. “I would like to be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and be a therapist to the children and families affected by abuse.”

As Espina Garcia looks forward to a future career in social work, she said she would much rather work with children, who have been abused than with adults. She cited her patience as the deciding factor.

“I had a great childhood, but when it came to issues with my dad I feel everything I have been through with him, even to this day, that I can relate to a lot of kids,” she said. “I can’t relate to being beat, I can’t do that, but I am one of those people who can put myself in that position and think about it hard enough to where I would be able to sit there and tell these children; it is going to be OK.”

Espina Garcia said she is preparing for college, most likely at the University of Nevada, Reno, by working diligently on her school work. After a couple disappointing years in the classroom, she said she has awakened to a new outlook on academics.

“I won’t lie, my last two years of high school I have kind of slacked. I am not doing that this year. I am focusing 200 percent on my school work,” Espina Garcia said. “I realized it is not going to get me anywhere. I slacked off because I decided to rebel against my mother because I couldn’t go out or anything because of my grades, and in my little teenager mind it wasn’t fair. I have good grades now and I don’t really go out anyway because I would rather spend that time with my family or I have studying to do. It benefits me in my future and I would rather benefit my future than my party life in four years of high school.”
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