Welcoming New Leaders

LAMusArt Music Ensembles Welcome New Leaders for the Upcoming Season 


The Los Angeles Music and Art School is proud to announce a brand new slate of lauded Teaching Artists to helm the five ensembles within the Tuition-Free Music Ensembles program. The ensembles, which include the Choir, the Jazz Ensemble, the Mariachi Ensemble, the Orchestra and the Strings program, serve nearly 150 students between the ages of 7 and 21 monthly, and are offered free of tuition payments for any student who wishes to join.

“It’s an exciting time for our Music department as we innovate and expand. We are extremely pleased to be bringing these talented artists onto our team for the benefit of our students and our community. I can’t wait to see what’s in store,”  says Executive Director, Manuel Prieto.

The youngest of the ensembles, both in student age and years established, is the Mariachi Ensemble, which will be taken over by Claudia Garcia of Harvard University, where she founded Mariachi Veritas, the first university mariachi established on the East Coast. After graduating, Garcia was selected to perform on Univision’s Festival de Mariachi and she began teaching mariachi in her hometown of San Diego the following year.  In 2018, Claudia was featured in the “Trailblazing Women of Mariachi” exhibit accompanying the play “American Mariachi” at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.

The Strings program, which provides free instruction in violin throughout the school year, will still be taught by LAMusArt veteran, Timothy Maloof. The program offers four (1 beginner, 2 intermediate and 1 advanced) free string lessons on Tuesdays and Saturdays each week (which includes a free violin for each student) at LAMusArt.

One of our largest ensembles, the LAMusArt Choir, has transformed in recent years. In addition to rearranging the ensemble by varying levels of skill including beginner and advanced, the Choir will now be led by vocalist Lori Pasqualino. Pasqualino will not only teach the group of crooners, but perform as a guest artist at LAMusArt’s annual gala, Stars for the Arts.

The Jazz Ensemble, which is modeled as a professional musician’s group with full commitment from student participants and frequent public performances at events, concerts, and private functions, will be headed by classical/jazz saxophonist, Isaac Lopez. Lopez recently completed his Masters in Performance and is currently finishing his Doctorate at the University of Southern California studying under LA Philharmonic saxophonists James Rotter and Douglas Masek among others. Outside of his studies, Isaac has performed and managed his avant-garde/rock band, “Ship of Foolz,” with whom he recorded and distributed an album.

The latest addition to our roster is award-winning and Fulbright-grantee composer Antoni M. March, who will take on the tuition-free Orchestra at the end of the summer. His educational background includes a degree in Composition at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid and the world-renowned “Screen Scoring” Masters Degree offered by University of Southern California. He has conducted and recorded his music at institutions such as Warner Brothers Studios and 20th Century Fox Studios.

With the introduction of these new instructors, LAMusArt will see current Ensembles Director, Austin Chanu, shift into a Consulting Music Director role as he takes a recess to complete his Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting at Eastman School of Music in New York.

“I feel so lucky to be able to reposition myself into a Teaching Artist at large at the school because being a part of my students’ musical lives is so important to me. It’s been an honor and a pleasure to teach these young musicians for nearly five years, and I’m excited to take on this new role while I pursue my Master’s,” says Chanu.


Join us for Mr. Chanu’s final concerts at the School

Experience the enchantment of renowned composers John Williams and Felix Mendelssohn at the FREE Summer Orchestra Recital on Saturday, August 3.  Don’t miss your opportunity to witness East LA’s only youth orchestra perform under the setting summer sun! This will be orchestra conductor, Austin Chanu’s final orchestral performance on the LAMusArt campus.