Gina Ann Duran was born on August 24, 1983 in San José, California. At the age of five, she began studying the piano. When Gina was nine, she moved to Tucson, Arizona. In sixth grade she joined the school band playing the trumpet. She was a very dedicated student and progressed quickly on her instrument. Gina was in the Honor Band from 6th grade to 9th grade. When Gina went to high school she left the band and joined the mariachi class. She was invited to join Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles in 1999. She has served as the group’s First Trumpet since then. She also teaches for the Mariachi Heritage Society and attends Cerritos College. She hopes to major in Music Education.
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Linda Uhila was born and raised in Chula Vista, California. The First in her Family to begin playing a musical instrument. It began with the Violin in a young orchestra class, then in Junior High she decided she wanted to play the Trumpet instead. In High School Linda was an active member in Mariachi also her High school’s “Steel Drum Band.” Then she arrived to “The Home of the Spartans,” known as Chula Vista High School. There she became an essential member of Mariachi Chula Vista directed by Mark Fogelquist. Linda moved on to play with a mariachi group in Los Angeles prior to joining Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles. Became a member of Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles de Jose Hernandez at the age of 19. A full-time student, worker, and musician, Linda is thrilled about the opportunity to work with Jose and all the beautiful, talented woman of Mariachi Reyna.
When Julissa Murrillo was 7 years old she was given the opportunity to learn how to play the violin as an elective course at elementary school. She enjoyed music so much she continued learning classical music, finding herself auditioning for scholarships in order to pay for her music lessons. Her parents were supportive and recommended she learn something traditional that was in their culture. Growing up she remembered hearing Mariachi music and with the encouragement of her parents decided to learn the music, making this meaningful for she did not come from a family of musicians.
The first group she participated in was Mariachi Olimpico in junior high school. This was her first stepping-stone that launched the beginning of her musical career. She traveled throughout the country participating in conferences and learning from musicians she admired. They’ve had a great impact in helping her become what she is today. Later, she found herself playing in concerts where she was looked up to as a female musician. This gave her the passion to continue and with the support of her mentors and instructors she helped other music teachers implement Mariachi programs in local schools as a part of the curriculum. This was her way of giving back to the community with hopes that the new generation would take advantage of the opportunities available.
Patricia Martin was born and raised in East Los Angeles and is the only female daughter of seven children. By the age of 13, she was performing with the mariachi group at Belvedere Junior High School. In high school, she performed with Mariachi Júvenil Sol de México, a youth group sponsored by José Hernandez. She was later handpicked by Hernandez to become a member of Mariachi Reyna de Los Ángeles and remains one of the groups’ few original members. Over her years as a mariachi musician, she has enjoyed the privilege of traveling throughout the United States and Mexico where she has shared the stage with many of the greatest Latin performers and mariachis of our time, including Lola Beltran, Lucha Villa, Mariachi Sól de México, and Vargas de Tecalitlan.
Patricia is also an accomplished vocalist and soloist in her own right. Her solo performances include opening the concerts of the icon of Mexican Ranchera music, Vicente Fernandez, and the beloved late Celia Cruz, La Reyna de la Salsa. Patricia will also be releasing her first solo album, arranged and produced by Jose Hernandez, in December of 2007.
Apart from her musical career, Patricia is dedicated to youth, especially those challenged by mental and physical disabilities. For the last nine years, Patricia has worked as a para-professional working closely with elementary and middle school students afflicted with down-syndrome and autism. She is currently attending Azuza Pacific University where she plans to complete her master’s degree in Human Development. Ultimately, Patricia endeavors to become a special education teacher for middle school youth.
Patricia is married and has two sons.
Full name: Sylvia N. Hinojosa
I was part of the Mariachi Heritage Society Program when Mr. Jose L. Hernandez decided to form a mariachi group of all women. It was said that only girls 16 yrs of age and older could audition for the group. A teacher in the Heritage program encouraged me to try out anyway for experience purposes. Mr. Hernandez saw the potential I had to become a good musician and he decided to make an exception for me. I was the youngest member to ever join Mariachi Reyna, at 13 yrs old I made my debut with Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Auditorium, performing along side with some of the most famous musicians like Director and founder of Mariachi Reyna, Jose L. Hernandez, and Mariachi Sol de Mexico. I come from a family of musicians, my father and Grandfather were mariachi musicians as well as some uncles. My brother, sister, and I have followed the tradition and will continue to move forward.
Monica Fogelquist was born on July 9, 1983. She began studying the violin when she was 7. When Monica was 12, she began studying mariachi music. Monica played with Mariachi Huenachi, a student mariachi from Wenatchee, WA, until she graduated from high school. Aside from participating in her school’s mariachi program, she was an active member of the school choir and vocal quartet. Monica joined Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles in August of 2001. She graduated from Whittier College in May of 2005. She currently teaches mariachi music at the public schools of Chula Vista, CA. She hopes to return to school soon and pursue a Master’s Degree and Teaching Credential in the area of Spanish.
I am a student in Westwood College studying Interior Design for my Bachelors Degree and my expected grad date is August 1st of 2007. Yay! When I am not in school I am working with Reynas which has been such a big part of my life. I have a sister who also plays in Reynas and who is the reason why I got into Reynas in the first place. I was only meant to substitute in for my sister who was pregnant at the time and taking a couple months off of the group. As it turns out, Sr. Jose Hernandez liked my performance in the group and decided to keep me in the group for good. Therefore, I started my Reyna career at the age of 14. It was one of the best things that happened to me. I have now been in the group for 7 years and I have grown to love Reynas more and more. I can only thank my dad for having forced my older brothers and myself to learn how to play the violin. I was only about 7 years old when it all started and even though I didn’t like it to begin with, I grew to like it more and more to the point where I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I am simply a better person for having this music and Reynas in my life.
Maria Luisa Fregoso was born in Montery Park, California on October 16,1981.
Carmen Hernandez was born in East Los Angeles.
The daughter of a single, working mother, she graduated high school early in order to work to help support her family. She attended East Los Angeles College where she was the first female president of Eastside Spirit and Pride. She was also an Inter-Club Presidential Board scholarship recipient.
She attended the University of California at Riverside as an English Literature major. Despite keeping busy throughout her studies, she found time to volunteer for campaigns, register voters, and organize at the grass-roots level. She also received a Mayor’s Commendation for her volunteer work.
Carmen’s music career began in Mariachi Olimpico, one of the first mariachi programs that took place during a student’s regular curriculum. Through the program, she was able to attend nationwide conferences and learn directly from such mariachis as Mariachi Sol de Mexico, Mariachi Vargas and Mariachi Cobre .
In 1996, she traveled to the 4th Encuentro Del Mariachi in Guadalajara, Jalisco representing the United States on a grant given by the City of Los Angeles.
Carmen Hernandez has been with Mariachi Reyna for four years as the vihuelista. She currently works for the City of Monterey Park and is the proud mother of a baby boy.
My name is Karina Hernandez and I am a sixth generation mariachi. My father, Jose Hernandez introduced me to the violin at the age of five. I guess you can say I fell into it. I began to study classical music and then it was when I turned fourteen that my dad started to teach me mariachi music. Two years later he asked if I would join Mariachi Reyna and it was then that I realized what it felt like to share the stage with my family.