Santa Barbara Native, Xóchitl Tafoya, Returns as Director of iCAN Music Program

(Santa Barbara, February 6, 2013) The Incredible Children’s Art Network (iCAN) is please to announce, Xóchitl Tafoya as director of the iCAN Music Program. Tafoya, who previously served as associate music program director, will oversee the program at Franklin Elementary School, including six teaching artists and 125 elementary students who participate five days a week.

Tafoya, a graduate of Santa Barbara High School, learned of iCAN in 2011 when she joined the Music Program as a teaching artist. Compelled by the palatable results of iCAN’s el-Sistema model, Tafoya was accepted into the New England Conservatory’s esteemed Sistema Fellowship program, in the fall of 2012. The professional training program was designed for postgraduate musicians and music educators, passionate about creating careers that connect music, youth and social change. As a fellow, Tafoya held residencies with several Sistema-inspired programs including those in Boston, New York, Chicago, Portland and Los Angeles as well as throughout Venezuela. She is one of fifty graduates, to date.

Tafoya graduated from Scripps College with a bachelors of arts degree in music, concentrated in violin and viola. She attended the University of Maryland, College Park, earning a masters of arts degree in ethnomusicology and researched the native music of Bali. Tafoya received her teaching credential in music from California State University, Northridge.

Upon graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park, Tafoya served as an active educator and musician, performing chamber and world music throughout the Mid-Atlantic.  In Washington, DC, she taught string orchestra at the nationally acclaimed KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) School’s Academy Introduction Mission (AIM) Academy in Washington D.C. She then went on to work with the Los Angeles Unified School District and Santa Barbara Unified School. Tafoya participated as a strings coach for Bravo!, Santa Barbara Unified School District’s music program, and Santa Barbara Youth Mariachi Ensemble.

She has served as an advisor to the Santa Barbara Unified and will continue to work closely with the District in navigating the growth of iCAN Music. Tafoya performs with various classical and non-classical groups throughout Santa Barbara.

In addition, Xóchitl served as visiting lecturer at Trinity Washington University and University of Maryland, College Park teaching various ethnomusicology classes.

Family: comes from a family of educators

About iCAN

The Incredible Children’s Art Network (iCAN) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2005 on the belief that all young people should have access to quality arts learning opportunities and that the arts are essential to the social, emotional and intellectual development of every child. The mission of iCAN is to bring high quality arts programs to children in Santa Barbara County, particularly those least likely to receive them. Through sustained creative learning opportunities that emphasize both artistic excellence and access, iCAN seeks to affect positive social change in the communities it serves.

About the Music Program

The Music Program is an after-school program at Franklin Elementary Schools. Currently, 125 students are enrolled and meet five days a week, for three hours a day. The progam focuses on the hollistic development of ceach child through exemplifying a healthy model of community through the collaborative nature of an orchestra and intensive practice of musical excellence. All students participate in group lessons, orchestra rehersal and recieve tutoring support, daily. Students frequently perform in the community and

For more information on iCAN


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