Nimia Marquez

Degree: Master of Music in Choral Conducting

College/School: College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts

A professional singer and choral conductor in her native Cuba, Nimia Marquez arrived in Mexico as part of a musical tour of the country. At the time, her choral career was blossoming, but she knew that the freedom she craved for herself and her family was within close reach. So after she completed the tour, Nimia made a leap of faith and crossed over into the United States without a word to her husband, Fernando, or parents, Nubia and Paulo, back on the island.

At first, Nimia found work in a bakery, next a sandwich shop and then an optical store. At night she took English classes, determined to find a better job. Finally, Nimia was able to return to her chosen field of music, this time as a private school music teacher.

Nimia’s husband joined her in Miami, and their family grew to include two children, Pablo and Fernando. After eight years in her new homeland, Nimia still missed studying music. A friend told her about the music program at FIU. Her impressive audition for professors Kathleen Wilson and Robert B. Dundas got Nimia accepted to the FIU School of Music on the spot.

Later, there was more good news when Nimia received word that she was awarded a full scholarship to pursue her bachelor’s in music. This semester, Nimia graduates with her master’s in choral conducting.