Boys Choir from Mexico Warms Hearts in Texas

It’s not every day that two boys serenade you for your 13th birthday in a foreign language.

But that’s what happened Thursday at the White Settlement home of Christina Nicholson, a member of the Texas Girls’ Choir.

“Amazing,” Nicholson said, with a slight blush. “Last night at midnight, they serenaded me.”

The young men doing the serenading are part of the Mexico Boys Choir, which travels to Fort Worth every summer in a musical and cultural exchange with the Texas Girls’ Choir.

In their homeland, the boys are known as the Estudiantina Guadalupana Potosina. The youngsters have been involved in the exchange for more than two decades. The boys are in Fort Worth until Tuesday.

They have appeared in Spanish-language television programs and traveled all over north and central Mexico. They have also been in cities throughout Texas, including Hidalgo, McAllen, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.

In order to be in the choir, the boys must have excellent grades, said Cesar Cervantes, who started the choir more than 40 years ago.

It’s something that 14-year-old Maximiliano Sanchez understands.

“For most of us, we are the role models of our schools,” said Sanchez, who has been in the choir for six years. “And we value that.”

Cervantes said he wants to educate young men about music and to teach them about honor, integrity and a love for God and humanity.

Cervantes was 18 when he arrived at the University of San Luis Potosi to obtain a degree in engineering. After he graduated as a civil engineer, he became a math professor at the university in the accounting department. He also taught math in primary and secondary schools in San Luis Potosi, where the choir was born.

“It’s a privilege for me to work with these boys,” Cervantes said.

Tami Owsley, a spokeswoman for the Texas Girls’ Choir, said the families of the girls look forward to a joint performance each year. Cervantes is a role model to the boys and young men, she said.

“He takes these kids that are very poor and he is a father figure to them,” Owsley said. “When you hear them, you’ll just be amazed.”

Each year, the two groups join voices in a free concert, planned this year for 4 p.m. today at the headquarters of the Texas Girls’ Choir, 4449 Camp Bowie Blvd.

The girls’ choir is made up of more than 200 girls. The boys, which range in age from 4 to 21, number about 40.

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