The conjunto group La Tradicion from Palmview HS presents their song produced with Bobby Pulido – Progress Times

Two months after the opportunity arose to collaborate with Tejano music icon and Latin Grammy winner Bobby Pulido, Palmview High School conjunto group La Tradicion debuted a song last Saturday.

The conjunto group La Tradicion from Palmview HS presents their song produced with Bobby Pulido – Progress Times

“Thank God we won the competition,” said Javier Loya, assistant director of PVHS Conjunto, as he reflected on the group’s victory at the Edinburg Corafest Conjunto competition in April.

The first of three song debuts released last Saturday morning is What agony by Yuridia and Angela Aguilar.

Palmview HS graduate Rosa Vasquez and 12th grader Merari Uribe provide vocals, while 12th grader Fernanda Sanchez plays bass and 11th grader Giovani Guerrero drums on his accordion.

Aside from the music produced by Pulido, the video was shot by the La Joya ISD media and television team itself. In just four days, the music video garnered 20,000 views.

Dedication to craftsmanship

Loya attributes La Tradicion’s success to hard work and dedication, qualities that have secured the group’s title as an award-winning ensemble.

“They invested a lot of time,” said the deputy principal. “They practiced at school from Monday to Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Two hours every day. On Fridays I gave them a break.”

The conjunto music group is no stranger to musical success, having made headlines from Dallas to the Rio Grande Valley and taking back-to-back first place in the annual Texas Best Conjunto Competition in Brownsville, Texas in 2023 and 2024.

The group spontaneously participated in Edinburg’s second annual Corafest after being asked to compete against conjunto, norteño and Tejano groups across the valley.

“My teaching method is that I always say yes before I say no,” said Loya, taking the opportunity to send his children into the competition.

The possibility of a professional recording gave his students remarkable self-confidence.

“It was an honor for me and the kids,” Loya said, recalling the students’ reactions when they entered Pulido’s recording studio in McAllen. “They were excited that morning when they found out we were going to record and go into the studio.”

How a school district change gave a student the chance of a lifetime

Because of the group’s reputation and influence, some students from neighboring school districts participate in the Conjunto program.

One student, rising Junior Guerrero, transferred from Mission CISD to La Joya ISD in 2021 to join La Tradicion.

“I had auditioned before I made the transfer and luckily they invited me to the school,” Guerrero said. “I was on my own, but I also had my conjunto friends… they helped me a lot.”

As a freshman, Guerrero’s talents led him to the Texas Folklife Conjunto Championship title in the 16 and Under category at the 2023 Texas Big Squeeze competition.

“I’m very lucky,” Guerrero said.

Loya expects the second song to be released in the fall, with a final and original song to be released at a later date – which is when Guerrero will step into the spotlight.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to work with a Tejano star that most people know,” Guerrero said. “Bobby’s team and our team – we all put our heart and soul into it.”

As Loya and assistant Zambrano prepare for a new school year, they continue to search for members to fill the spots previously occupied by graduates.

Loya, who has been an educator for 18 years, also looks forward to the increasing recognition of the Conjunto program in the valley and its school districts.

“My goal was to get them noticed by the state,” Loya said. “I think I succeeded. I accomplished that.”

He hopes to set higher goals and compete outside of the state level.

“My next goal before I retire is to make it national,” he said, thanking La Joya ISD for giving students the opportunity to achieve the unimaginable. “People just want to be a part of it and I just hope it continues.”