Where did you grow up?  When did you start piano lessons?  Was it tough sticking with it?

I was born in McAllen, Texas, but I grew up in México.  I moved to back to Texas when I started 7th grade.  I started piano lessons when I was in fourth grade, I fell in love with the piano since I heard my kindergarten director play it for us.  I remember asking my parents to take me to lessons since then.  It wasn’t tough at all.  I loved going to my lessons!

On that note (haha), what is your best advice for students who might think of stopping lessons?

You know, when I moved to Texas, I stopped taking piano lessons because I was focusing on playing basketball, but I wish I hadn’t stopped.  I know I could have done both, but I chose not to.  I picked piano again when I started composing in high school.  I had to work harder to get into music school since I had taken a couple of years off from playing piano, and even though everything worked out at the end, there’s a part of me that always wonders what other things I could have accomplished if I hadn’t taken a break from it.  So my advice for students who are thinking of stopping – I say this – if you are stopping because you really don’t enjoy it, then go for it, but if you enjoy lessons and are stopping because you are too busy, or like playing sports, don’t quit!  Manage your time better.  It’s doable and it will be worth it. Don’t regret it – like I did!

What would you be doing if you weren’t teaching piano and composing – and teaching composition?

I have no idea… I’ve been in love with music since I was little that I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing.  Perhaps a pediatrician?  I enjoy being around kids and helping people… My last year of basketball in high school, I tore my ACL during a game and I had to have surgery which meant my basketball years were over – so I kind of got a little depressed after surgery because of not being able to finish my last year and because I was at home in bed all day recovering.  One day I decided to bring my keyboard on the bed and I started composing.  I think I was getting all my feelings out and that’s when I decided I loved composing!

Your upcoming Italy trip – wow!  Can you please share more about it?  (i.e. how you were selected, what you’ll be doing there, etc.)

Thank you!  Yes, I’m very thankful and excited for this opportunity.  I saw the call for scores online and I decided to apply to it.  I sent 2 of my compositions along with my resume.  14 composers from around the world who applied got selected and I was one of the lucky ones!  We will be taking master classes with world known musicians.  I’m currently writing a piece for the occasion which will be premiered by the ensemble in residency, I also get to workshop my piece with them and prepare it for a concert at the end of the program.  I’m just very excited that I will get the opportunity to keep learning from amazing musicians!

What hobbies do you have?  What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t at a piano?­

I love watching sports!  (Go Spurs Go!)  I think that’s my number one hobby!  I also enjoy watching shows and eating a lot!

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I was born with a tooth!  Also, my great grandpa was a composer as well!  (I didn’t know this until after I began composing music).  I was recently given some of his compositions by a family member, and that was an amazing feeling!  A full inspiration boost!

What’s your proudest accomplishment?
Giving back to the city where I grew up in México.  I have had the pleasure to go back several times to collaborate with the youth orchestra and wind ensembles there.  The city pays for the lessons and instruments, so it gives me joy that I am able to contribute to this great project with what I love to do most!  It’s an honor to have my music played in the city I grew up in by young musicians!
Many musicians are often modest… Do you have a philosophy that resonates with how you face success that has worked for you?
My philosophy is to always work hard no matter what! There’s always space for growth.  And when I think I have worked very hard, I remind myself that someone else out there is working harder than me, and that gives me the energy/inspiration to keep at it!  Also, I didn’t get accepted into music school the first time because I hadn’t had lessons for 6 years and they thought I was way behind.  But instead of giving up, I took lessons for a semester and learned the proper repertoire they asked for and I got in my second time.  So basically never give up – even if some doors are closed, you never know what amazing things can happen if you keep trying!
What is your impression of the music scene in the Alamo City?

I moved back to San Antonio a couple of years ago after I finished my master’s degree at the Bob Cole Conservatory in Long Beach, California.  I lived in the valley and Katy for a while after I moved back, but now I’m back in San Antonio!  I do wish more people were more interested in going to the San Antonio Symphony concerts!  But I think we are doing a great job teaching music to our youth!  We have MACSA, YOSA, CMI (which I have had the pleasure to collaborate with), great music directors at schools, etc.  All these kids are learning to appreciate music from the early stages of their lives, so that’s great!

Edna Longoria’s premiere of her piece “Danzas Cautivas” (Captivating Dances) for string ensemble is set for Sunday, Feb. 17, in New York.  The North/South Consonance Ensemble will perform it.  To read her full bio, click here.