Attending one of Los Hermanos de Oro’s performances is like witnessing something magical. Hours pass by as they play without pause and you see their laughs and smiles as they captivate the crowd. Song after song after song, an audience gathers, dancing and singing along with occasional whoops and cheers.
M-A’s highlight, the Mexican regional-style, music ensemble, Los Hermanos de Oro, was created in the fall of 2021. It consists of senior Noel Duarte, the bassist, alum Adrian Medina, the guitarist, and junior Angel Lombera, the lead singer and guitarist.
Although it has only been a year since their debut, Los Hermanos de Oro has already signed to a record label, and they released their first album on December 19, 2022. They won M-A’s Battle of the Bands last year and play regularly at house parties, quinceañeras, and school events. They will perform at a wedding this July.
It all started on the first day of guitar class when then-junior Duarte wanted to start a band but didn’t know anyone. He spotted Medina, a senior at the time, who was skilled and popular in the class.
Duarte wanted to talk to him, but it was Medina who approached him first.
Coincidentally, Medina already knew about Duarte’s band. He had met Duarte’s father, an accordionist, who played at Medina’s aunt’s birthday party. Duarte’s father told Medina about his son’s band, and Medina decided to join.
Duarte and Medina began practicing in the courtyard during class and after school, eventually performing together as a duo at a concert held in the PAC by Mr. Ruelison, the former M-A guitar teacher.
Lombera soon joined the duo, becoming a member while they practiced outside during class. “We heard a little voice,” Duarte said. “Angel sang a song for us, and I liked how he sang. That’s when I asked him to join our group.”
They began practicing on Tuesdays and Thursdays at each others’ houses.
The band’s first performance was at Lombera’s home. Lombera’s father bought them their first set of equipment. “We didn’t have the money, but he did,” Lombera said. “Because he worked hard and wanted us to pursue our dreams.”
Duarte remembers getting his first paycheck but claims that they could have done better. “We needed more practice, but it went well for the first time,” he said.
Student Activities Director Michael Amoroso and former Spanish teacher Salvadora Calonje was the first to invite them to play on Feel Good Friday. Soon, they were playing for clubs, and they eventually won the 2022 Battle of the Bands.
“I didn’t think we were going to win,” Medina said. “We had people dancing, but I didn’t know if that was going to get us to the top.”
“We were so happy when they announced our name,” Duarte said, beaming. “That’s when we knew our dreams were coming true.”
“From there, it just kept going up. We started getting offers from records but didn’t take them because we had just started and wanted to do our thing,” Duarte said.
After Battle of the Bands, the group decided to compose their own music.
“We didn’t want to write about violence,” Duarte said. Rather, they wanted to compose lyrics about their feelings and emotions and music that made people dance.
“We can go through sad things, happy things,” Lombera said. “If we feel enough about it, if we feel a certain way, then we just pick up a pencil and write it down.”
Their first song was a dancing melody about a young man who was heartbroken, but eventually found love and was happy again.
Now, they’ve created a full-length, seven-track album, El Juego de Amor, which they released last December.
“I honestly feel proud of accomplishing this, looking at how much time we’ve had together,” Medina said. “I’ve been focusing on making more music, but still appreciating all our success at the moment.”
Los Hermanos de Oro’s songs are a combination of rhythmic guitar with upbeat melodies and smooth vocals. Even without percussion, the resonant, swaying bass and guitar harmonies make their songs easy to listen to and dance along to.
Perhaps their success lies in the energy that they share with the crowd, but it could also be their authenticity. The members find passion and solace in their music, as well as a sense of connection, togetherness, and brotherhood.
“Music is a part of me,” Medina said. “It’s a part of my life. I feel like they’re family now.”
“For me, it’s hard because my mom is in Mexico and she’s not able to come back,” Duarte said. At the time of the interview, he hadn’t seen her in a year.
“Their parents make me feel like she’s here,” Duarte said. “They give me the love she gives me.”
Despite the heavy demands—sometimes playing four to six hours straight—the band finds motivation in the crowd. “The best part is when people sing along to what you’re saying,” Lombera said.
Medina said, “When I look up and I see people dancing, it makes me happy and motivates me to play more.”
They originally chose their band name, Los Hermanos de Oro—the Brothers of Gold—on a whim, but now, it’s part of their lives.
“It’s the unity we have,” Medina said. “Even from the beginning, we just played together automatically. After only two days of practicing, we understood each other. Our name carries more weight than it did before.”
If you want to support Los Hermanos de Oro, you can stream their music or follow them on social media here.