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Gabriela Garza Canales is a Mexican conductor and percussionist living in the United States of America. Currently in her third year of doctoral studies at the University of Washington’s School of Music, Ms. Garza studies under the mentorship of David Alexander Rahbee. She is co-conductor of the UW Campus Philharmonia Orchestras and assistant conductor of the UW Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Ms. Garza serves as a guest conductor for the UW Modern Ensemble. In November 2018, Ms. Garza was appointed assistant conductor of the Whidbey Island Orchestra.

Music was ingrained in Ms. Garza from early childhood. For her, the act of listening is at once both physical and practical. Storytelling through music has been a crucial element of her academic and professional work. As such, Ms. Garza’s conducting is rooted in a deep respect for working with people. Her praxis seeks to unite individual members of an ensemble through a professional appreciation for and understanding of their unique strengths and specialties. 

Prior to her Doctoral studies, Ms. Garza earned a Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of New Mexico (UNM) under the mentorship of Dr. Jorge Pérez-Gómez. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance with an emphasis in percussion from UNM under the direct instruction of Professor Scott Ney.

Over the summer of 2019 Ms. Garza was selected to participate in Spazio Musica; a four-week opera conducting workshop in Orvierto, Italy, under the instruction of maestro Vittorio Parisi. In June 2019, she attended the Cascade Conducting Masterclass in Tacoma Washington, studying with maestro Sarah Ioannides. Over the spring of 2019, Ms. Garza traveled to Guanajuato, Mexico as a guest conductor for the “Proyecto Silvestre Revueltas”, a project by the Associazione Italiana Silvestre Revueltas (AISiR). A concert was presented on May of the same year at Teatro Juárez.

In July 2018, Ms. Garza served as a returning guest conductor with the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra in New Mexico as well as guest conductor with the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León Philharmonic Orchestra (UANL) in Monterrey, Mexico. At UANL, she taught two masterclasses on conducting technique and posture. In the spring of the same year, she was granted a conducting fellowship with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, assisting maestro Ludovic Morlot in the development of a suite of compositions inspired by the sea, featuring works by Sibelius and Britten. Additionally, she has participated in masterclasses and workshops with Ludovic Morlot, Victor Yampolsky, Ajtony Csaba and Erin Freeman. 

Upcoming commitments for Ms. Garza include concerts with the Sammamish Symphony Orchestra, the Poulsbo Community Orchestra, the Whidbey Island Orchestra, [R]evolve, University of Washington Campus Philharmonia Orchestra and more.

Ms. Garza began her percussion studies at UANL in 2009 under the instruction of professor Noel Savón Favier and has toured extensively as a percussionist in a wide variety of ensembles throughout North America.