School Standouts: The sound of mariachi is making its mark thanks to AUSD music director

At the base of the Foothill Mountains, music is filling the air. The sound of mariachi is making its mark in the Azusa Unified School District and it’s all because of its talented music director, Carlos Rios. 

Music runs deep in Mr. Rios’ heart and soul. He is a third-generation trumpet player and brings so much passion to his work every single day.

For almost five years, he has been passing down his love of music to his students at Foothill Middle School. To him, teaching music is not a job, but rather a gift that he is honored to do every single day.

One of the best parts about Mr. Rios' mariachi team is that you don’t have to know anything about music to be a part of it. Mr. Rios accepts all levels of players. If you are eager to learn, he is eager to teach you! And you name it, he definitely teaches it. From violins and guitars to trumpets and singing, there is nothing Mr. Rios can’t and won’t teach his kids.  

But teaching mariachi is more than just mastering the musical notes. Azusa is primarily a Latino community and Mr. Rios is using mariachi music to teach his students about their culture and better understand their heritage. He not only inspires them to be proud of who they are, but he is also teaching them to be proud of their musical accomplishments.

Mr. Rios is truly passionate about music and his students. He believes in them and so do we!

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