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“I wanted to be the very first one in my family to go to college …”

Juan Ramirez Garcia

Meet Juan

I came to UTSA to chase my dream of a career in music. I’ve been studying music since 3rd grade, I’ve always loved it, and I knew it was my calling. When I became a music major and joined the Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, I knew that at some point I wanted to have a leadership role in the marching band.

But in life, there’s all these little obstacles that can affect you. In the fall of my junior year, I was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, which is a temporary paralysis to one side of the face. I couldn’t even play my instrument. It took me months to recover: I was on heavy medication, and I went to therapy to regain my muscle use. I basically had to learn how to play my instrument as if I was a 6th grader again. But I had great support from my faculty and friends here at UTSA.

When I auditioned to be a drum major for the first time, I was able to explain to the committee that, even though I had Bell’s palsy, I was working through it and I was going to keep putting my best foot forward. And that’s when I became an assistant drum major! I fell in love with being a drum major, so I decided to audition one more time and was selected as head drum major, which has been a huge dream of mine. The support from all of my friends and family here made it all possible, and that is why UTSA has such a special place in my heart.

major: Music Studies

year: Senior

hometown: San Antonio, TX