Sosa-Hernandez: Singing Since Speaking


Skylar Schultz, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Monica Sosa-Hernandez has long been sharing her voice with the world. From her childhood home to the stage of UW-Milwaukee, many have been lucky enough to hear it, wherever she may perform.

“I started singing when I was able to speak,” she said. “When I was a baby, my mom would put Mozart on, and I was caught up in classical music. I loved the way they expressed their emotions with loud high-pitched singing. I was later introduced to rock by my father, Latin music by my mother, and pop from the radio. I enjoyed all sorts of languages, the music spoke to me and I got even more excited when I could understand them.”

While her parents may have started her love for music, they can’t quite take credit for her singing skills.

“There is no one in my family that I have met that knows how to sing,” said Sosa-Hernandez. “My family continues to say that I got my talent from my great grandfather since he had his own mariachi band and would sing rancheras.” 

Born from the ranches and farms of olden Mexico, rancheras are traditional Mexican ballads, often used to express the musician’s love and loyalty towards his country. 

“I love singing rancheras because it makes me feel much more connected to my family, especially my great grandfather.”

“Music is so important because that is the way I express my feelings,” she said. “Music is a universal language. No matter what you play, just by the voice and instruments alone, you are able to understand what the song is trying to portray. It is an escape from my reality. It is a way to breathe and relax after a long and busy day.”

Perhaps her love for the art stems from her experience of it, which is a bit different than the average Joe. “I can see certain songs with certain colors, to an extent,” said Monica. “I use music to focus. I tend to sing while reading, writing, or doing math homework because it helps me remember the things I was writing. My mind works in mysterious ways, and this is just one of them.”

Recently, Monica was able to share her vision and voice in a state-wide choir down at UW-Milwaukee.

“I got involved because of Mrs. Salerno,” she explained. “Since I was not doing the musical this year, she wanted to keep my talent busy. She always says that the best way to learn is through experience, and so I took the chance to create my own memories. We ended up having a little over 50 students around the state representing different schools across the state.”

Soon, Sosa-Hernandez will find herself on a new stage, right at home at De Pere’s St. Norbert College.

“St. Norbert College is practically a block away from my house,” she explained. “My family is very traditional, and so moving out before you’re married isn’t an easy thing to do. If I had chosen a school out of state or an hour away, my parents would encourage me, but would still not be super happy about the thought. It is also way cheaper since I will not be paying for food nor dorm.” 

Monica is also eager for a chance to continue her Catholic education throughout her secondary studies.

“I loved that it is close to home and a Catholic school, so my faith can continue to grow throughout my new milestone,” she said. “I love the programs that they have within the school, I love the classes and the campus is beautiful. I am excited to go next year!” 

Looking towards the future, Sosa-Hernandez will always hold music dear.

“Although I may not consider a major in music, I still would like to extend my knowledge in the field since it is such a big part of my life,” she said.

As for right now, Monica is just excited to finish this semester, her senior year, and high school as a whole.

“I am so done with high school!” she said. “It’s nice, I loved my experiences, but I’m hungry for more. I want to find out what God has planned for me because I know it’s going to be good. I’m excited to go to college, graduate, start my dream job, get married, have a family of my own, and die in peace.” 

“I know that life is a roller coaster, and I feel as though I’m still in line,” said Sosa-Hernandez. “I want to give my ticket to God and ride, making it my own experience, good or bad. I’m ready!”