Auto Tech & Music

Edder Gonzalez

“I was just skateboarding every day of my life, and I thought, ‘Well, that’s just it. I’ll just get some kind of job and keep skating.’ ”

The dual paths of Edder Gonzalez might, on the face of it, seem to be at odds with each other. But then, you could also view symphony musicians as ‘mechanics’ of sorts, the primary difference being that they get to wear tuxedos. “I’ve always played music, starting with violin when I was a little kid. Then it was all about piano and drums. And now, at SMC, I’m studying Music Fundamentals and Intro to Woodwinds,” says Edder. “But I’m about to become an auto mechanic through SMC’s program at Santa Monica High School. And I think that’s going to give me the stability I need.”

Edder came to SMC from another local college where, he says, “I didn’t understand one bit of what they were trying to teach me. But I’m taking some of the very same classes at SMC, and I completely get it. The teachers here are just very smart and nice, and I have some great ones. They’re all extremely supportive, and they keep pushing me to do all I gotta do to keep on improving and learning.”

Edder is simply a very determined guy. So when life threw him a major curve, he just bore down hard. “My dad passed away when I was 16, and I had to work my butt off for my finals—all in the middle of a pretty terrible time for me. But I managed to get over and through it.” Edder adds, “I’ve seen a lot of very positive changes in myself at SMC, including feeling like I’m just a much better person. And I’ve become very serious about my education.” And in a few years, you might expect to find Edder in one sort of ‘pit’ or another. One beneath the chassis of a Pontiac GTO. Or the other in the orchestra pit of a philharmonic orchestra.

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.​