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Inspiring musician, hard worker

We’d say that Krum High School student Valeria Ibarra is an inspiration in more ways than one.

It was recently announced that Ibarra, an incoming junior, has been selected to play with the Macy’s Great American Marching Band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

That’s quite an honor, and we congratulate her on the achievement.

District officials said Ibarra is the first student from Krum invited to perform with the band, which has more than 220 top high school performers from across the country.

Her performances at previous band contests earned her the invitation to play with the Great American Marching Band, Ibarra said, adding that she received the news from her band director.

Ibarra is the first-chair trumpet, trumpet section leader and an officer with the Krum High marching band, which was established only two years ago. She performs with the school’s jazz band and wind ensemble, and she’s attended the Mariachi Aguilitas Summer Camp at the University of North Texas since she was in seventh grade.

Last school year, Ibarra made the all-state band for the Association of Texas Small School Bands and received a first-division rating with a trumpet trio and as a solo performer at a recent state competition.

Carol Turner, Krum’s head band director, said that after Ibarra’s solo at the state contest, the judge offered her a scholarship to his music camp and gave her a 15-minute private lesson.

“She’s fearless,” Turner said. “You put anything in front of her, and she’s going to go for it. She’s like that in every aspect of her life. She’s going to go for it.”

You’ve got to admire this young lady for her talent and drive, but that’s just the beginning. We also like her independent attitude. The 16-year-old said she doesn’t want her parents to pay her way to New York — expenses for Ibarra’s participation, minus airfare, total more than $1,500 — she wants to earn money herself and plans to do so by selling homemade salsa.

“My mom has always been a really hardworking woman, and I’ve always wanted to be half the woman she is because she does everything. She works for everything and she does so many things,” Ibarra told us. “If I want to be like my mom, I’m going to have to be hardworking like she is, and I’m going to have to earn stuff that I want and not just be greedy.”

Ibarra said it feels good knowing she’s doing something for herself, and earning her own way is nothing new for this young woman. Since sixth grade, she’s sold homemade salsa to fund her participation in church youth camp and a recent mission trip to New Mexico.

Her parents have provided her with a loan for ingredients, and Ibarra plans to repay the loan and save money for her trip to New York. At $5 a jar, she is accepting orders for salsa now through mid-October. She’s offering a $1 discount to people who bring back the same jar for a refill.

Those who would like to support Ibarra’s effort to fund the trip can place an order by e-mailing People can also support her by making a donation to an account established in her name at Northstar Bank.

According to parade organizers, 3 million spectators are expected to line the parade route Nov. 28 in New York City. About 50 million are expected to watch on TV, and we’ll wager that quite a few area residents will tune in to cheer on Krum’s hometown favorite.

Way to go, Valeria. You’ve made us all proud.