Thundering drums, cheers and applause filled the hallways at Ray High School this afternoon as they celebrated freshman Rachel Perez. 14-year-old Perez is the only student in CCISD to earn a spot in the All-State Band.
She left for San Antonio Wednesday afternoon to begin her all day rehearsals.
The school came together to wish Perez luck on her well-earned achievement.
"I feel honored. I didn't expect this type of reaction from everyone so it's very nice," Perez said.
She was told there would be a pep rally in her honor right after they heard of her accomplishment. Perez will join other All-Staters with all day rehearsals the rest of the week until the big performance on Saturday.
"I'm excited and nervous. I'm excited to meet new people and get the experience. I'm also nervous because the music is really hard so I hope I do good on it," Perez told us.
She isn't the only one excited for what's to come. Her mother, Debra Oliva-Perez, is thankful that the school recognizes her daughters hard work. She tells us that Rachel is a very structured student and balances her school work and music well.
"I think this accomplishment is just going to motivate her to continue on and to reach the next goals she sets in front of her. She knows now that it's possible with hard work," Oliva-Perez said.
Her mother hopes that her daughter will find what she loves to do in life and pursue what makes her happy.
Family and faculty give credit to Perez for her dedication. Felix Hernandez, the Head Band Director tells us that the band staff works well together in supporting Perez in her endeavors. He appreciates the support of the school.
"Anytime us as a school or community get a chance to celebrate a students success I think we should do it," Hernandez said.
Hernandez feels that music teaches students teamwork and collaboration, values that grow an individual.
"She's a hard worker, she's very determined. It takes an inner strength and big commitment to get to the level of All-State," Hernandez finished.
The All-State Band concert is Saturday. Perez hopes to make the All-State Band the next three years, making it a tradition.