Dr. Catalina Barraza
Violin and Viola; String Area Coordinator
Dr. Barraza's orchestral and chamber experiences encompass the United States, Chile, Israel, Spain, and Colombia, including with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra in Michigan, the World Orchestra, and the Colombia National Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Barraza is also an orchestra conductor and has served as the Mason Youth Philharmonic Conductor in the mid-Michigan area as well as the orchestra conductor of the New Horizons chapter in East Lansing, Michigan. In past summers, Dr. Barraza has been a violin faculty and orchestra conductor at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.
An active pedagogue and scholar, Dr. Barraza is passionate about bringing music to students from diverse backgrounds. She has served as a lead violin teacher in the Overture program at the Sphinx Organization and taught in Jackson Community Music School. Additionally, she has been a guest artist in the Conservatory of Music in Valdivia, Chile as part of the Global Leaders Program. Dr. Barraza's scholarly interests include Latin American folk and popular music and its incorporation in current compositions. She has explored this fusion of folk, popular and contemporary music in her article on Colombian composer Juan Antonio Cuéllar, published in College Music Symposium in 2019. She has also given lecture recitals on Heitor Villa-Lobos and Joaquin Turina, most recently at Albion College.
Dr. Barraza holds a doctorate in violin performance from Michigan State University. Her mentors include Dr. Walter Verdehr, Dr. Er-Gene Kahng, and Francisco Iragorri. She pursued her Master in Music at the University of Arkansas and her bachelor in music at Javeriana University in her home city of Bogota, Colombia.