When Keoni Vega, a McAllen resident, heard about the opening of the Harlingen Performing Arts Conservatory, he enrolled at HCISD.
“I joined my sophomore year,” Vega said. “I came because I learned about the opening of the fine arts program during the summer when I was going into my sophomore year. I applied and I got accepted. Last year, I got to learn about what HCISD does with One-Act and what the conservatory was planning to do. So that is how I made the jump.”
Vega is now a junior at Harlingen High School South. Although this year he is currently a virtual student due to the pandemic, he makes the 45–50-minute drive to attend the conservatory.
“My passion for the arts began when I was very young,” Vega said. “It started simply from watching Disney Channel and wanting to do what they were doing.”
He is currently involved in One-Act Play and other conservatory events and activities.
“Right now, we don’t have a lot going on because of COVID, but we are going full-on out with One-Act Play, Vega said. “We just advanced to regionals. That has been where all of our attention and work has been applied.”
What Vega appreciates the most about the school district is the support for the arts.
“I really enjoy seeing the support that is given to the fine arts,” he said. “Every time we have a performance, the superintendents and assistant superintendents come out and they will often come and see the show twice or three times. So, just the support and the appreciation for the arts, makes me appreciative of the Harlingen school district. I have spoken to a number of friends from different schools and feeder programs, and I just tell them about what makes the program different. Obviously, Mrs. Ince runs it, and she does a phenomenal job, but support is truly what it’s all about. We are given a lot.”
Vega is looking forward to his senior year at HCISD.
“Hopefully we have some resemblance of normalcy, so we can get back to our very busy schedule at the conservatory,” he said.
After high school, Vega hopes to either go into the arts or pursue a career in political science and journalism.