What started as occasional coaching in school music outreach programs from 2000-2006, turned into the 'Latin American Music Project' with two all-age ensembles: a Mariachi and an Afro-Cuban Ensemble (ACE). In 2010, the LAMP became the 'City Heights Music School' as more instruments and levels were required to meet the demand for music education in City Heights. In 2016, CHMS was adopted by the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and continues to flourish under the direction of Victoria Eicher.
I grew up in Minneapolis and studied at MacPhail Center for the Arts, starting at the early age of 3 in its Musical Trolley program and continuing to the age of 14 as a student of Suzuki Violin. With three siblings also enrolled at MacPhail, I spent a lot of time in its huge lobby area surrounded by musicians and dancers coming and going to class, and in the upper floor hallways outside of the studios of private lesson teachers. My mother, a small-town girl from northern Minnesota, played piano and always loved the violin. So there I was, at the age of 4, with a chopstick for a bow and a ruler taped to a tissue box for a violin! That’s how it all began...
Violin, Piano, City Strings, Mariachi Victoria
Victoria Eicher grew up in Minneapolis and began playing violin at the age of 4 in the Suzuki program at MacPhail Center for the Arts. She has performed with the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, Orquestra de Baja California, Mariachi Champana Nevin, Caprice Strings, and in chamber ensemble programs throughout San Diego. In 2010, Ms. Victoria founded the City Heights Music School and opened her home studio for private lessons in violin and piano.
Click on Ms. Victoria's picture for a short video!
Guitar, Trumpet, Mariachi Victoria
Mario Eguia teaches in the Sweetwater Unified School District and serves as a Curriculum Consultant for the Visual and Performing Arts Program. In 2020, he joined the faculty of Classics4Kids, sharing his passion for Mariachi music in schools throughout San Diego. Mr. Eguia began playing mariachi under the tutelage of Ruben Baldenegro and, at a young age, was performing with professional mariachi ensembles in Mexicali, Imperial Valley, Coachella Valley, San Diego, and Los Angeles.
Click on Mr. Mario's picture for a short video!
MARILYN LOPEZ-EGUIA - Program Development Specialist
LINDA HERNANDEZ - Program Assistant
ARMANDO CASTILLO - Program Assistant
EXPERIENCED TEACHERS and TALENTED MUSICIANS BRINGING MUSIC TO SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES!
Voice, Piano, and Ukulele
Lorelei Isidro-Garner studied Voice Performance at SDSU and has taught music enrichment programs for over 20 years. Lorelei is the new Choir Teacher at Mission Bay High, a Music Enrichment teacher at Hickman Elementary School and a private instructor for voice, piano, and ukulele.
Lorelei is a composer and creator of the “ZipZapZoogle Music Enrichment Program”.
Click on her picture for a short video!
Violin and Music 123
An award-winning educator (2020 Master-Apprentice Award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arizona Commission on the Arts), Mr. Gill has performed with the Grammy nominated Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez and has been teaching the violin master class at the Tucson International Mariachi Conference since 1998. He attended the Dorothy Delay Symposium at the Juilliard School in 2019. Click on his picture for a short video!
Drums - Artists in Schools
Ruben Hernandez's training includes a wide range of styles and genres. He teaches Percussion and Composition at the San Diego Youth Symphony, the Tijuana Youth Symphony, San Diego Unified School District, and the San Diego Symphony. He also serves as the Percussion Specialist every year for the LA Philharmonic's YOLA National Festival.
World Music - Artists in Schools
Analia is a classical and Afro-Latin vocalist based in Los Angeles, California. As a researcher, she is interested in mariachi music direction and education, Afro-Cuban vocal styles in the 1930’s and Afro-Peruvian jazz music of the 1970’s. Her M.A. in Afro-Latin vocal performance at Cal State LA is currently in progress. She is also co-founder of Mariachi Mar y Sol and was a Spanish and Music educator for the Montessori Charter Schools of Flagstaff Arizona.
Juan began his Latin percussion studies at SDSU under the direction of Mark Lamson. In 2004, he founded the longest running Afro-Cuban Drumming program in San Diego at the World Beat Cultural Center. In 2006, Sanchez travelled to Cuba where he was formally introduced to Afro-Cuban music with Pepito Fernandez, a local rumbero from the Calljon de Jamel. Juan returned to work with various high and middle school drumlines in the South Bay.
Guitar and Drums
Alejandro Tapia holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from San Diego State University and is proficient on several instruments including strings, percussion, brass, woodwinds, piano, voice, and classical guitar. He performed with ‘Jarabe Mexicano’ and toured throughout the U.S. and internationally to Los Cabos, La Paz, and Mexico City. Mr. Tapia currently teaches Guitar, Mariachi, and Choir at Bonita Vista Middle School.
Guitar, Vihuela, Trumpet, Guitarron, Violin
With a Masters in Music Education, Carlos brings an amazing foundation and resource to the MVSD program and CHMS. An award-winning teacher and performer, he has directed several performing arts competitions and talent shows, and is certified in Kodaly, Orff, and Paul Rolland String Pedagogy