Gloria and Sylvia Alarcon

Age: 66 & 64
Location: Alamogordo

Written by: Ilissa Gilmore    Roswell Daily Record

For most of their lives, Gloria Alarcon and her sister Sylvia have been making music together.

This year, the duo will bring their blue-ribbon winning act to NM’s Senior Olympics and will perform a clarinet duet in the instrumental talent competition of the games.

This will be their fifth year competing and they’ve placed first every year, said Gloria, 66.

Born in Laredo, Texas, the sisters were raised in a family of musicians. Their grandmother played the mandolin and their father’s great uncle was the first band director in Mexico.

“There was music on both sides of the family,” she said. “We just knew when we went to junior high we would start playing.”

Gloria started playing in the seventh grade: she and Sylvia played all through school, college and master’s programs. Sylvia also is a retired band director.

“We play anytime we have an opportunity,” said Gloria, a retired kindergarten teacher. “We really enjoy our music, I would never give up on our music.”

To prepare, the pair decides which pieces they want to perform. Then, they start practicing and learning the notes, Gloria said, to determine the speed. The sisters picked out songs earlier this year and have been practicing everyday, Gloria said, “to get the notes down pat.”

They’ve performed a lot of Mozart duets, but this year, Gloria said they will perform selections from composers Pleyel and Berr.

Aside from music, another passion the sisters share is for bowling. They usually bowl from September to April, Gloria said.

“We practice so that we don’t get out of practice,” she said.

They have participated in city, state and national bowling competitions. In their first years as participants of the Senior Olympics, their sport was bowling.

They have a familial connection to the sport, as their parents were frequent bowlers – and outstanding ones, Gloria said.

“We were with them all the time,” she said, noting that she and Sylvia started league bowling in the 1970s.

“We just enjoy our bowling and our music,” Gloria said.

Contact Information

New Mexico Senior Olympics
PO Box 2690
Roswell, NM 88202
575-623-5777 Telephone
1-888-623-NMSO (6676) Toll-free
575-622-9244 Fax
Email: [email protected]