Gables’ New Groove

Gables' alumni Crystal Espada takes on the role of music director at the school

Apr 13, 2020

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  • Krystal Espada pictured in Coral Gables Senior High yearbook as a student.

  • Krystal Espada teaches her students mouth exercises to prepare for singing.

Teacher by day, opera singer by night, Krystal Espada is a woman of many talents. Although  it is her first-year teaching in the public school system, it is definitely not her first time at Gables.  Espada is a Gables alumna and is now tackling the role of high school music director. Gables is second nature to her, allowing her to offer her own perspective and knowledge about the experiences she faced with music at the school. 

While many may appreciate a visual and performing arts students’ talent when displayed in an event, the teacher  who is behind the scenes is not often considered for the work and training they have put their students’ through. Espada’s  interest in music began at an early age of four when she began learning to play the piano, slowly growing closer to achieving her dream of becoming a professional pianist. However, her aspirations took a turn when she entered high school. Having no idea that she could sing or even had a passion for it, she met Marry Morrow, her old music teacher.

“[Morrow] asked me if I could sing the birthday song which then caused me to join the chorus… That got me thinking that I wanted to pursue singing.” said Espada.

From that point on, she took chorus beginning in her sophomore year. Gables became the reason she fell in love with music and became the first step to so many other opportunities in her life.

When Espada graduated high school, she decided to continue her passion for music by studying at Miami-Dade College. While she still loved to sing, she now began dreaming of being part of Broadway while at the same time starting  to devote herself to teaching.Sure enough, she fell in love with teaching and seeing the effect that she had on an individual through music, she sought an education degree at Florida International University. She always had an underlying feeling that she wanted to teach at Gables one day in order to give the same inspiration that she once felt with Morrow among the rest of the student body.

“She helped me invest more time into what I enjoy. Espada has  taught me to be a better student in the aspect of doing my work on time. She lets us learn the songs she teaches at our own pace and focuses on our doubts when it comes to a certain part we do not  understand,” junior Shannon Maldonado said.

In school, she carries the responsibility of handling the chorus, band and Divisi students. Her students compete at district competitions as well as caroling competitions. Considering her various roles in the music department, she tries to take every genre one step at a time as she believes that all music is interconnected one way or another, thus allowing her to handle many of these roles at once while keeping true to her motto of further ensuring growth among her students.

“Espada has made an impact on my senior year because she has assisted me the most with my voice and knowing how to control it. The environment she has made within the band room is so comforting and I can always go to her if I ever need to talk to somebody. I’ve enjoyed chorus so much with her presence,” senior Denise Cuevas said.

When she is not in Gables, she teaches students at a local church as the lead music director. As her time at Gables continues, she is continuously inspiring positivity and individuality which she hopes to continue for many years to come.

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