Mariachi Aztlan director receives Governors Arts Award - AZEdNews
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Mariachi Aztlan director receives Governors Arts Award


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  • Karla Escamilla   |   Tucson Unified School District

Mariachi Aztlan Director

Tucson Unified is so proud to announce that John Contreras, Mariachi Aztlan Director at Pueblo Magnet High School is the 2021 Recipient of the Governors Arts Award in Arts in Education. Well known for his professional musicianship, John’s resume also includes a private and public music education career spanning 30 years. Additionally, he has served on TUSD’s Music Leadership Team developing curriculum. As well as supporting remote instruction, and recording students’ performance via sophisticated technology programs.

As director of the award-winning Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo Magnet High School for the last 18 years, his mission is to inspire young minds through music. He also strives to build responsible individuals who realize that hard work and dedication are avenues to attaining any goal. His Mariachi programs motivate his students to do well, remain in school, and continue their education at the collegiate level.

“The reward of seeing my students grasp and perform concepts that I have taught them is immeasurable,” Contreras said. “Mariachi education bridges culture and entertainment personified through hours of dedicated rehearsal and high-quality performance. I consider it a privilege and an honor to pass on the tradition of Mexico’s folkloric music.”