TAMPA - The Patel Conservatory helps young dancers and musicians flourish. All students involved with the program are talented, however, one family stands out in a number of ways.
The bond between the Quixtan brothers is impossible to break.
Kevin is 14, Christian is 16, Francisco is 18, and Luis is 19. All can sing, but the brothers also play a number of instruments.
Kevin plays the french horn, Christian the bassoon, Francisco plays the trumpet, saxophone, and clarinet, and Luis plays the oboe, trumpet, and alto saxophone.
"I want to be unlimited, I want to hear a song and be able to play it with a trumpet, or play the saxophone, and a piece that requires the saxophone," Luis Quixtan said.
Stephen P. Brown, the conductor of the youth orchestra, was blown away when the family auditioned.
"It was very interesting when we started seeing the same name appear," Brown said. "This could be very interesting, and it turns out this family is very talented."
In order to understand how the brothers got to The Patel Conservatory, you have to meet their proud parents, Sandra and Angel. Both were doctors in Guatemala who fled the country because it was too dangerous.
"When something happened, the problems happened, somebody tried to kidnap my kids," Angel Quixtan said.
Kidnapping for ransom was common.
"We used to go to private school, we had two nice cars, three houses," Luis said.
Others wanted what they had. One day, Sandra heard a voice that she could not ignore.
"I listened to the words in my ear, the Lord words were 'take your kids and go,'" Sandra said.
However, going would mean they would give up everything.
The family first lived in Ft. Lauderdale, and eventually ended up in Brandon. Where a widower named Ismael Ramos came into their lives and welcomed them into his home for five years.
"He's a wonderful wonderful person," Sandra said.
"He just took us in and everything and was like a grandfather to us," Francisco said.
He also encouraged the boys to listen and play music. In fact, he bought them a few of their first instruments. Sadly, he died this year, but the Quixtan's say he is always on their minds.
"Me and my brothers dedicate our concerts to him just to remember him and the love he had for us," Francisco said.
Now that the brothers are talented musicians, they plan to keep playing in college or even professionally.
"Opportunites come and go and we'll always take them," Kevin said.
The brothers know Ramos as well as their parents are proud.
To learn more about the Patel Conservatory Youth Orchestra program, go to: http://www.patelconservatory.org
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