Luther Burbank Center for the Arts Expands Education and Community Engagement

LBC Summer Camps Concert B

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts expands Education and Community Engagement Department with hiring of José Soto as Music Specialist

Santa Rosa, CA (September 26, 2018) — Luther Burbank Center for the Arts announced today an expansion to their Education and Community Engagement Department with the addition of José Soto as Music Specialist, effective immediately.

“It is so gratifying to welcome José Soto as a permanent member of the LBC family,” says Luther Burbank Center for the Arts CEO Rick Nowlin. “José has been a creative and visionary lead teaching artist for the Center’s Mariachi Summer Camp Programs for the past four years. The program he has built which began at Cook Middle School in Santa Rosa and extended to Cloverdale, has now developed into our new year-round after-school Mariachi Ensemble. His work is truly representative of our integrated arts education programming and we look forward to the work we will do together as he takes on this permanent role.”

“I care passionately about the Santa Rosa community, which has been my home since I moved here from Mexico when I was 16,” says Soto. ”Music and culture is a rewarding way to motivate and inspire the youth of Sonoma County, and I am honored to be able share my talents and knowledge with them. Luther Burbank Center for the Arts exemplifies the highest commitment to arts education and I am proud to join the team and make my contribution.”

Music has always been important part of José’s life. He gained early recognition at the age of 12, winning a prestigious national singing competition in Jalisco, Mexico, which provided him with a scholarship for singing lessons. Performing alongside family members, José plays the violin and has directed Mariachi Barragan Band since 2010. An award-winning local musician, he was honored as Student of the Year at Elsie Allen High School in 2012 and graduated from Sonoma State University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. In addition to composing, arranging, and recording original songs, José has also worked with the Santa Rosa City School District as their Mariachi Teacher and been a guest teacher at SSU instructing a music class in Mariachi. He attended Chacala Mariachi Institute in Mexico for professional development instruction in 2016 and 2018 to deepen his knowledge of teaching Mariachi in the Santa Rosa community.

For more information about Luther Burbank Center for the Arts’ Mariachi Ensemble which José oversees, visit lutherburbankcenter.org/mariachi-ensemble/, and for additional information on the Center’s education programs, visit lutherburbankcenter.org/education/

About Luther Burbank Center for the Arts

A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is home to world-class performances, nationally recognized education programs, contemporary visual art, and many popular events. The Arts Center is located in the heart of the Sonoma wine country and ranked among California’s top performing arts presenters. Together with its resident companies, the Center presents more than 230 performances in music, dance, theater, renowned speakers, and comedy; provides education programs serving 40,000 children and adults; and hosts more than 1,000 community events a year. Owned and operated by the Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation, the Center relies on charitable community donations to achieve its mission – to enrich, educate, and entertain.

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