Lone Star College-Montgomery student, Katherine Vasquez, knows the power of song. She was volunteering at Lone Star Expo Center’s shelter in Conroe after Hurricane Harvey when a worship group formed and Victoria White broke out in song. Vasquez, who knew the songs because she sings on the worship team at Gracia Abundante, joined in.
“We were singing to people who lost everything and as soon as we started many dropped what they were doing,” said Vasquez. “It was a beautiful moment. People began to listen and tried to sing along, even when we sang songs in languages they were unfamiliar with.”
The group knew they were being recorded, but none of them imagined the videos would go viral landing them performances on the “Hand in Hand Telethon" singing alongside Stevie Wonder and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” when he announced the show’s $1 million donation to J.J. Watt’s YouCaring Houston Flood Relief Fund.
“I met Jimmy Fallon,” said Vasquez. “He was very down to earth. When he met us, he told us he was very happy and honored to have us there. He said he would get chills when he listened to us sing thinking about what was going on in Houston.”
Vasquez was nervous, but she is a true performer.
“I enjoyed singing “Lean on Me” so much that once we were actually recording, I forgot I was on television and millions of people were going to see it,” said Vasquez. “I was really surprised and humbled to get a standing ovation at the end.”
The group, who sang on “The Tonight Show”, were from different choirs. Producers from the show called the singers on a Sunday and the group performed in New York City on a Tuesday, so they had two days to pack and learn the song together.
“It was a wonderful experience,” said Vasquez who started singing at Gracia Abundante four years ago. “I am so proud of the fact that the group is made up of different races. We showed the world that people representing different backgrounds and cultures can come together for a common cause.”
Vasquez is a Chancellor’s Fellow in her second year at LSC-Montgomery. She is in the Honors College and is the vice president of Fellowship in Phi Theta Kappa (a prestigious international honors society for two-year college students).
“I enjoyed being able to see a musicians’ life and I would not trade that experience for anything, but soon enough I will have to make a very tough decision,” said Vasquez. “If another opportunity to perform comes up, I probably will not be able to take it because I love school a lot and I do not want to miss anymore class time."
Right now, Vasquez thinks she wants to go on to major in psychology, but she is taking physics and calculus this semester and is open to changing to astrophysics.
“I chose LSC-Montgomery because when I graduated high school because I still did not know what I wanted to do,” said Vasquez. “LSC-Montgomery has given me more time to figure out what truly interests and inspires me.”
Vasquez has done much more volunteering for Hurricane Harvey relief. She volunteered at Lone Star Expo Center’s shelter in Conroe for three days, another day she helped sort clothes and on another helped demolish and restore one of the group member’s home, which had been completely damaged by the floods.
Watch The “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” performance here.
Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 95,000 students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of $3.1 billion. LSC consists of six colleges, eight centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.