Students choose to do many different things with their precious summer break. Liliana Hernandez used hers to sing competitively on international television.
Hernandez, a junior kinesiology major at Stanislaus State, competed this summer on the Univision Spanish-language singing competition “Va Por Ti,” translated as “All for You.” The show, similar to “American Idol” and “The Voice,” joins aspiring singers with established musicians to train and compete to produce the best team of vocalists. Judges vote each week on their favorites and the winning performer earns a recording contract and a cash prize.
Hernandez grew up singing—mainly ranchera and mariachi music—and music has always been important to her family. Her father Mario, who is also an employee at Stanislaus State, is also a singer. The two have often performed at parties and various formal events. In fact, they sang together on stage at the Gallo Center for the Arts “Talento Vivo en el Valle!” this past May.
Of her love of singing, Hernandez said “I perform at a lot of events. I do a lot of singing locally, and I always enjoy a chance to sing for people. I share my interpretation of the music so that the audience can feel it and be joyful.”
When the chance to perform on television appeared, she didn’t hesitate to accept the challenge. The opportunity came with a risk, however.
“I had to make a call and take a chance,” Hernandez said. “I didn’t know how this was all going to go, and there was no guarantee about the outcome.”
A few short weeks later she was at the studio taping for the show. Hernandez was featured for two episodes, but was voted off before the end of the competition. The loss came as a disappointment, but she resolved to learn a positive lesson from the experience.
“I wish I hadn’t been so intimidated,” Hernandez said. “If I had been more stern and resolute, I would probably still be on the show. I would absolutely do it all over again.”
As for what comes next, Hernandez wants to turn her attention back to her education. Her goal is to finish her undergraduate work and pursue a teaching credential. She aspires to become a physical education and health teacher at the middle school level.
“My parents really pushed my siblings and me to get a good education,” she said. “Learning is one of my core values, and I want to encourage that in others.”