Sonia Marie de Leon de Vega

Jun 30, 11 Sonia Marie de Leon de Vega

City you live in:
Los Angeles.

Occupation and why?
I am a symphony orchestra conductor. I started studying music at the age of 5 and knew form a very young age that I would dedicate my life to music. I am the founder and conductor of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra.

A regular day consists of?
I wake up at 5:00am and walk for 3 miles. After a shower I study music and then off to the kitchen to make breakfast, lunch and dinner. I then go to the orchestra office where I may be working on music, or fundraising, overseeing our educational program or a number of other things that it takes to run the Santa Cecilia Orchestra. I have a husband and young son so I am always sure to make time for them. As with most women who have a career and family it is a juggling act and not always easy.

How do you define success?
Success to me is when you have touched others lives in a significant way and have inspired them to be better people. Last year after conducting a Brahms symphony I got an email from a 16 year old girl who said she was a gang member and that nothing had ever touched her heart before and that this music had touched her soul. That is success for me.

What has been your biggest challenge?
Being accepted into a field that was once exclusively only for men. It is still a challenge.

What advice would you give a Latina who wants to follow in your footsteps?
To start studying and learning all you can and be prepared for lots of obstacles!

What’s on your bucket list?
To travel as much of the world as possible with my husband and son. I love discovering other cultures.

I am proud to be Latina because:
I love our culture, the foods, the traditions, all of it! Even as a fifth generation American everyone in my family speaks Spanish and follows all our traditions.

How do you get your Latin fix?
Food! And music of course. Once in a while I will watch a telenovela and get hooked on it. I think I watch one every other year.

Spanglish, English, Spanish?
English and Spanish, but never Spanglish for me. Each language is much too beautiful on it’s own without having to stick other words in there.

My favorite Latina stereotype is:
None, I don’t like stereotypes.

Best advice from mami and/or abuelita:
“I can be anything I want in life and to always aim for the highest possible.”

Favorite home remedy:
I make my own green drinks daily with spinach and grapes and a bit of any other fruit I have on hand. It keeps us healthy!

Favorite Quote
A Chinese Proverb “Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it”.

[fun]♦ I enjoy studying languages. I am fluent in English, Spanish, Italian could understand and speak a lot of French and am presently learning Mandarin Chinese. I am a Hawaii expert and am Hawaii obsessed, I go every year![/fun]

[career]♦ Conducting at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II.[/career]

[description]“I can be anything I want in life and to always aim for the highest possible.”[/description]

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