Engineering Associate finds harmony in showband

The Pride of San Antonio Showband (POSA) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this June, during Pride Month. The showband started in 2013 when some musicians had a vision of performing in the San Antonio Pride Parade. The showband humorously encourages musicians to join them by saying, “Don’t let your instruments stay in the closet, come play with us.”

That’s exactly what James Moreno, a CPS Energy Engineering Associate with the Downtown Network Engineering team, decided to do.

James was already playing his clarinet in one band when a friend suggested he also join POSA. 

On Saturday, June 10, the showband held its 10th anniversary concert, “A Decade of Pride,” at Woodlawn Pointe.

In a Q&A, we asked James to tell us a bit more about his role with CPS Energy and finding harmony with the community of POSA musicians.

Question: How long have you been with CPS Energy and what do you enjoy most?

James: I started working for CPS Energy in September 2020, so about two-and-a-half years! What I enjoy most about my job is the people I get to work with. I am grateful to have coworkers/crews who are so willing to share their knowledge and help me become a better, smarter person every day.

Question: When did you first become interested in music?

James Moreno plays at "A Decade of Pride" concert.
James Moreno plays at “A Decade of Pride” concert.

James: I suppose I have been interested in music from a very early age. My all-time favorite Merrie Melodies short is “What’s Opera, Doc?” I remember watching it as a kid and being captivated by the music. I think most people my age played the recorder in the 5th grade, but it wasn’t until I joined the band in the 6th grade that my interest in music really took off.

Question: Why did you decide to join the Pride of San Antonio (POSA) Showband?

James: When I moved back to San Antonio in 2020, I joined a group called the San Antonio Community Wind Ensemble (SACWE). It was during one of the rehearsals with SACWE that one of the other clarinet players came up to me and asked if I wanted to join POSA and told me they were playing “Molly on the Shore” by Percy Grainger. I would wager that 99.99% of clarinet players know “Molly on the Shore.” It’s a song that mainly features clarinets and one that I’ve always wanted to play.

The opportunity to play “Molly on the Shore” was why I joined, but I ended up really enjoying the group dynamic, and how welcoming the group is to anyone and everyone who joins (LGBTQIA+ or not).

James Moreno enjoys playing clarinet with the POSA Showband.
James Moreno enjoys playing clarinet with the POSA Showband.

Question: Do you have some work/ life balance with engineering duties and music?

James: Thankfully, I do not find balancing work and music too difficult.

For POSA, we rehearse on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., so that is when I get most of my practice in. Occasionally, I’ll practice for about an hour after work or on weekends if I am able to make time for it. But, during the work week, I mainly devote that 2-hour period on Wednesdays to focus on getting the music down. Same thing for SACWE (Sundays from 3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m).

Question: Why are you sharing your story during Pride Month?

James: I want to share my story with everyone to give groups like POSA more exposure. It’s a group that has had a positive impact in my life and that shines a light on a community I feel society has learned to welcome and celebrate with.

Thank you, James, for sharing your personal story with us.

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