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Richard N. Mata

Program Director/Armonia & Vocal Instructor



            Richard N. Mata has been professionally performing mariachi music for over 20 years.  He began his mariachi career while attending Belvedere Middle School and due to an overwhelming desire to learn he self-taught himself the guitarron, vihuela and guitar.  Today, his experience and expertise in the rhythm instruments has been held as impeccable throughout the mariachi circuit.  Richard Mata has also demonstrated a successful career as a composer and arranger winning an international competition for original mariachi compositions in El Encuentro Internacional de Mariachi en Guadalajara.  His compositions have also been featured in music documentaries, independent films, and the HBO network and have been performed in venues throughout France’s Festival of Pyrenees, The San Gabriel Civic Auditorium, The Conga Room, The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Los Angeles), and El Teatro Degollado (Guadalajara, Mexico).  He has also served as a Mariachi Music Specialist for several local public schools such as Roosevelt High School, Garfield High School, Belvedere Middle School, Montclair High School, and non-profit organizations such as the Mariachi Heritage Society and The Miraculous Medal Music Conservatory. 

            Richard Mata received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from California State University Los Angeles in 2009 with an instrument emphasis in violin performance.  His violin instruction has been guided by Professor Jay Zhong, from California State University Los Angeles.  He will soon be pursuing a Masters degree in music education with a directed study in mariachi music education. He is currently working on method books for mariachi guitar, vihuela and guitarron.  He has received private vocal instruction from vocalist Heriberto Molina former member of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan as well as Susan Roe from California State University Los Angeles.  He is currently serving as Music Director for Salesian High School in Los Angeles as well as pursuing his Masters degree from Loyola Marymount University.  



Esperanza Juarez

Assitant Director/ Violin Instructor




           Esperanza Juarez started her violin career at Belvedere Jr. High School’s Mariachi Olimpico Program.  She performed with several professional mariachi groups such as Mariachi Alma de Mi Tierra, Mariachi Juvenil “Sol de Mexico” and is currently serving as violin director for Mariachi “Voz de America”.   She has taught violin for The Mariachi Heritage Society and coached various mariachi ensembles throughout the Los Angeles and San Fernando area.  She has been performing professionally for over 18 years not only as a violinist but as a vocalist as well.  Esperanza received voice lessons from renowned mariachi vocalist Heriberto Molina former member of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan.  Her voice has captivated audiences throughout Southern California, and Jalisco Mexico.  She was also given the honor in singing alongside Guadalupe Pineda, and has performed in venues such as The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, El Teatro Degollado, The San Gabriel Playhouse, The Cerritos Performing Arts Center, The Conga Room and The Getty Center.  Esperanza has also participated in various recording productions such as the soundtrack to the motion picture Bandits at Capital Records, Juanita Ulloa’s Album (Mariachi, Mujeres y Mexico), Mariachi Voz de America’s Album Volume I, Suzie Glaze's Album (Home on the Hill) and several independent short films and documentaries.

            Esperanza Juarez received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mexican American Studies with honors in 2008 from California State University Los Angeles. and currently teaches for the Los Angeles Unified School District.  She will soon pursue her Masters degree in Mexican American studies to research the historical and social implications of mariachi music and the current impact the idiom has had in Southern California.




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