SoniaDeVega1By Pauline France

Hispanic Lifestyle held a Latinas of Influence reception in Ontario, Calif., on April 3, where it recognized accomplished women of Hispanic descent.

One of the influencers was music director, educator, conductor and community advocate Sonia Marie De Leon de Vega – the only woman in history to conduct a symphony orchestra at a Vatican Papal Mass.

De Leon de Vega is also praised for creating “Discovering Music” in 1998, a music education program that takes orchestra members into elementary schools in underserved Latino neighborhoods.

She is most closely associated with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, and is the producer and music director for the annual Opera Under the Stars concert in Los Angeles.

Learn more about De Leon de Vega here.