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(Summer - 2019)


Gwendolyn Matias-Ryan

Artistic Director - SA' Festival Internacional de Cuerdas Oaxaca

Gwendolyn is a Mexican-American violist who obtained her Undergraduate and Graduate degrees in viola performance from Baylor University and more recently obtained a post-graduate viola performance degree at the University of Michigan. She acted as principal violist in the Oaxacan Symphony in 2015-2016 and has participated in prestigious chamber music festivals including Bowdin International Music Festival and Center Stage Strings. She was also the concerto competition winner in the Mid-Texas Symphony Concerto Competition 2013. She was invited to take part in the Brancaleoni International Music Festival in Piobbico, Italy, summer of 2018 and was invited as a guest artist on the Rutenberg Chamber Music Series in Tampa, Florida. In addition to her performance experience, she is a certified Suzuki violin/viola teacher and has taught in both Mexico and the U.S.

Lili Urbieta Morales

Facultad de Bellas Artes - UABJO


Lili comes from a musical family that has spearheaded many music events in Oaxaca. A violist herself, she grew up surrounded by music and musicians and aspired to make it her career. Lilí obtained her formal studies in the Centro de Iniciación Musical de Oaxaca and later moved to Mexico City to continue her viola studies. She currently acts as Director of the Fine Arts School in Oaxaca and has a special calling for music pedogogy for infants, children, and young adults. Lilí is also a member of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Oaxaca and runs a studio for young viola students.


Martha Melisa Moreyra García 

Administrator - SA' Oaxaca Strings International Music Festival


Originally from Mexico City, Martha graduated from the Conservatorio Nacional de México with an undergraduate degree in Violin Performance. She has studied under Rosendo Monterrey, Pastor Solís, Arón Bitrán, Mario Lavista and Armando Luna, among others. Her love for chamber music led her to found the Ensamble Cronopios en 2004. She has participated and performed in over 12 theatre productions since 2009 and was a member of the Sinfónica de Oaxaca from 2015 to 2016 under the direction of Juan Trigos. Currently she acts as a member of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río under the direction of Jorge Mester. Martha is also a certified Suzuki teacher and a member of the Suzuki Associations of the Americas and Asociación Suzuki de México (AMMS) and has led various Suzuki coarses in Mexico city and Veracruz. Alongside her music degree, she obtained a degree in Psychology from the UNAM, Campus Ciudad Universitaria.

Luis Omar Santiago Hernández

Facultad de Bellas Artes - UABJO


Luis holds a bachelor's degree in Science Education from the UABJO and has participated in numerous academic events at the Mexican national level including the 13th Encuentro Nacional de estudiantes de Pedagogía y Ciencias de Educación y el Coloquio "Estéstica, arte y conocimiento." He oversees the evaluation and administration of multiple educational programs as well as the music undergraduate degree program at the Facultad de Bellas Artes and acts as academic coordinator for the Cultural Arts Management department.

Ryszard (Ricardo) Rodys

Coordinador - Fonoteca Juan León Mariscal

Born in Varsovia, Poland, Ricardo studied Organ Performance and Gregorian Chant in the Escuela de Música Sacra de la Arquidiócesis de Varsovia. He was the organist for the Iglesia Madre de Dios Auxilio de los Fieles in Varsovia. He teaches music courses in the Seminario de Oaxaca, has directed the Ciudad de los Niños Choir, and worked in the Historic Organ Institute in Oaxaca. He has participated in multiple research projects including MUSICAT and Ritual Sonoro Catedralicio. Ricardo currently acts as coordinador of the Fonoteca Juan León Mariscal, director of the Oaxacan Cathedral Choir and music professor in the Facultad de Bellas Artes - UABJO. He has resided in Oaxaca since 2003. 

José Manuel García Viloria

Facultad de Bellas Artes - UABJO

Promotion and Distribution

José obtained his undergraduate degree in Graphic Design from the Universidad Mesoamericana and a masters degree in Printing Design from the Centro de Estudios Gestalt. He manages and creates numerous designs for commercial businesses and oversees the creation, promotion and cultural distribution for the Facultad de Bellas Artes. José is currently a professor within the Music and Cultural Arts Management departments with an emphasis on the aesthetic design, promotion and distribution of the Visual Arts Culture and Appreciation branch. He is also the graphic designer of the SA' logo and all of the festival events.

María Guadalupe Castañeda Romano

Facultad de Bellas Artes - UABJO


María obtained her undergraduate degree in Science Education and has participated in academic events at the Mexican national level including the Segundo Congreso Internacional "Formación de Profesionales de la Educación: Perspectivas y Desafíos Emergentes" and the 3rd Encuentro Nacional de Gestión Cultural. Throughout her high school years she participated in numerous courses pertaining to the relationship between music education and child development. 

Currently she works with the Facultad de Bellas Artes within the Cultural Management Department. 


Jonatan Flores

Born in Mazatlan, Sinaloa (México) Jonatan began his artistic training at an early age under the tutelage of his father, the sculptor Sergio Flores. At the age of eight he began his violin studies at the CMA (Municipal Arts Center) of Mazatlan, with various teachers and between the ages of 14 and 20 he studied under violist Fernando Montes de Oca.

At 18 he began his work with Laudería in the workshop of the UV (Veracruz University) in the city of Xalapa Veracruz by the bow master, Octavio Aranda. Along with students of the workshop led by Aranda, he founded the Raíces workshop where he worked two more years and before he began working  in maestro Arael Landa's violin workshop, from whom he learned violin construction. He has since set up his own studio where he works as a luthier, mainly focused on the construction of violins and violas. Jonatan moved his workshop and residence to the city of Santiago de Querétaro where he attended courses taught by Luthiers such as Francois Dennis, Cláudio Amighetti, Cristián Rault and Pablo Alfaro.

Jonatan currently resides in the city of Zacatecas, Zacatecas.


Luis Rey Matias Cruz

Translator - SA' Oaxaca Strings International Music Festival

Dr. Luis Rey Matias-Cruz is a Zapotec intelectual from the Sierra Norte in Oaxaca. A graduate of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) in Mexico City, Ohio University in Athens Ohio, and Free University in the Netherlands. He graduated with honors and was recognized as the first Ph.D graduate in the Netherlands who was a member of a pueblo originario of the Americas. Dr. Matias-Cruz has taught at various universities in the United States, including Ohio University in Athens Ohio, Valencia College in Orlando FLorida, The South Carolina Governor' School for Science and Mathematics, Coker College and Baylor University in Waco TX. Currently Dr. Matias-Cruz is a professor of Culture and Sustainable Development at the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca.

Paloma Matias Ryan

Translator - SA' Oaxaca Strings International Music Festival

Paloma Matías Ryan is a recent graduate of La Salle University in Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies. Born and raised in the United States, she has lived intermittently in Oaxaca and Texas. She has internship experience in different libraries and museums such as Biblioteca Infantil BS, Museo Infantil de Oaxaca (MIO), and as an Interpreter Guide with En Vía, a Micro Loan Non-profit organization. She is currently a Spanish teacher at Rapoport Academy's Meyer High School in Waco, TX and has experience in translation. Aside from professional asperations Paloma's passions consistent of photography, music, dance, language, social justice and wildlife conservation.

Alena Miller

Translator - SA' Oaxaca Strings International Music Festival

Alena Miller just graduated from high school in Huntington, Indiana, in the United States and plans to major in Spanish Education with a minor in music (violin) at Goshen College in the fall.  She has studied Spanish four years in high school, and has been playing violin for twelve years.She studied for eight years with Hiromi Ito, concertmaster of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra. She currently studies with Elizabeth Smith, concertmaster of the Manchester Symphony Orchestra. Alena has performed with the Fort Wayne Youth Symphony Orchestra, Huntington Youth Strings, and a community production of Handel’s “Messiah.” She loves working with kids and served as a counselor and violin teacher at Choral Camp in Rosedale, Ohio.