Through Her Voice: Songs by Women Composers

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Program Type:

Featured, Music, Performance

Age Group:

Adult, Senior
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Program Description

Event Details

Soprano Dr. Maribel Ruiz-Velasco and pianist Gema García Grijalva will perform works by female composers from Europe, the United States, and Latin America. This intimate concert will give a closer look at the lives of these women artists through the lens of history and culture.


Dr. Maribel Ruiz-Velasco began her musical studies at a young age with Krzsystof Brzuza. She holds a BA degree in vocal performance and composition from UCSD, where she graduated cum laude. She studied voice with Mary Mackenzie, with whom she continued her graduate study receiving her MM degree in Vocal Performance from SDSU. She then had the opportunity to enrich her vocal pedagogy in Valencia, Spain where she studied with Susanna Puig while attending the Joaquín Rodrigo Superior Conservatory of Music. Upon her return to California, she received a DMA degree in Vocal Performance from Claremont Graduate University under the tutelage of Dr. Camelia Voin. Dr. Ruiz-Velasco has sung operatic roles with Riverside Lyric Opera and the Opera Street Festival in Tijuana, and has performed at the Spanish Music Festival in Granada, Spain; Museo Iconográfico del Quijote in Guanajuato, Mexico; and at the Villa Medici Giulini in Milan, Italy. Currently she teaches voice at USD and enjoys performing locally.

Gema García Grijalva is a pianist with a broad range of professional experience as a performer, teacher, and community-outreach entrepreneur. Originally from Tijuana, Gema started her training as a collaborative pianist in 2006 and since then has been an active performer in the San Diego-Baja California region. One of her recent projects is Duo Lebhaft. Garcia Grijalva's performance experience extends from being a classical performer to a vocal and instrumental collaborative pianist. As a soloist she has participated in numerous recitals in Tijuana and San Diego since 2005. Her soloist experience also includes competitions such as “IV Bi-annual International Piano Competition” in Mexicali, Baja California, where she placed second on two occasions. She was also selected to perform at the Schlern International Music Festival in Völs am Schlern, Italy, where she had the opportunity to play in master classes given by internationally renowned piano professors, such as Erna Gulabyan, Tatiana Gerasimova, and Mark Fouxman. Garcia Grijalva's main areas of interest are educational philosophy, critical pedagogy, and collaborative performance. Her future projects include research in those areas, and the practical adaptation of critical educational theories in music education and music performance. She holds a BM in Piano Performance from the University of Baja California where she studied with Ella Korobtchenko, and a MM in Piano Performance from San Diego State University, where her mentor was Dr. Karen Follingstad. She resides in San Diego where she is a full-time Adjunct Instructor of Music. She also teaches young children at San Diego State University’s Community Music Program.

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