Alumni

Adrian Rodriguez Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Graduation Year:
2018

 

Adrian was a member of Wiess College and majored in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He joined Mariachi Luna Llena unable to play any instruments, but did not let that stop him from learning about his Mexican heritage and about the joy of creating music. Having taken classical guitar lessons for a few months, Adrian felt that the plucking style of the guitarrón was fascinating and studied it for a year under Mauricio Arreola-Garcia.
Alberto Rodriguez Major: Civil Engineering
Graduation Year:
2015

 

 

Alberto graduated from Rice University in 2015. He is the founder of Mariachi Luna Llena. He was a part of Baker College and studied Civil Engineering. In Mariachi Luna Llena he sang and played the Vihuela. Alberto will be moving to Michigan where he will be working for General Motors in their Global Purchasing and Supply Chain function. Alberto was raised in Monterrey, Mexico, and later moved to Laredo, Texas at the age of 9 years old. His passion is Mariachi Music, and he founded Mariachi Luna Llena at Rice University. He has been playing in Mariachi Bands since 2003 in Laredo, Texas. He is happy to be part of the Familia Mariachi Luna Llena!
Alex Clouse  Major: Music Composition
Graduation Year:
2015
Alex graduated Rice University in 2015 in Music Composition at the Shepherd School of Music. In Mariachi Luna Llena Alex played the violin and arranged different songs. He is moving to Los Angeles to follow his dream in becoming a composer for the movie industry. Born in Los Angeles, he played the violin in orchestras for many years before joining Mariachi Luna Llena. Although it’s quite different from Alex’s Classical background, he enjoys Mariachi music immensely.
Amanda Zhao Major: Cognitive Sciences
Graduation Year: 
2018
Amanda was a member of Duncan College and is a born and bred Houston native. She majored in Cognitive Sciences and is pursuing medicine after graduation. While Amanda has played violin classically for 11 years prior to joining Mariachi Luna Llena, she has developed a passion for mariachi music as well and hopes to continue to play for many years to come.
Bowie Lin Major: Cognitive Sciences
Graduation Year:
2018
Bowie (pronounced like the singer, not the Texas Independence hero) was a member of Hanszen College majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in Business and Neuroscience. A Houston native, Bowie grew up surrounded by Mexican culture and wanted to learn more about it. Prior to joining Mariachi Luna Llena, he was classically trained on the violin for 15 years. He loved being a part of the mariachi and being able to play a different style of music!
Irene Hwang Major: Material Science and Nanoengineering
Graduation Year:
2018
Irene was a member of Sid Richardson College studying Materials Science and Nanoengineering. Irene has been playing the violin in symphonies and smaller ensembles since elementary school, but tried mariachi for the first time in college. Passionate about the Latin American culture and comfortable with the Spanish language, Irene fell in love with everything Yucateco over her numerous stays in Yucatan, Mexico throughout high school and college. She enjoyed to growing closer to her mariachi family through music and culture.
Itzak Hinojosa Major: Computer Sciences 
Graduation Year:
2016
Itzak was at Martel College and earned a degree in Computer Science. While he still considers Miami, Florida his home town, his heritage is mostly South American with his parents originally from Venezuela and Colombia. Itzak has been playing guitar since his freshman year of high school and was very excited to be part of his first Mariachi group!
Janie Rios Major: Political Science and History 
Graduation Year:
2014
Janie graduated from Rice University in 2014. She was a member of Will Rice College. She is a Political Science and History double major planning on attending law school after serving as a Teach for America Corps member in the Dallas/Fort Worth region for the next two years. She is from Arlington, TX and has played violin for 12 years and has been involved in mariachi groups for the past 8 years. She was part of the original and founding members of Mariachi Luna Llena.
Jin Hee Park Major: Kinesiology 
Graduation Year:
2018
Jin Hee was a member of Jones College who played violin in piano trios and classical symphonies but never in a band – until Mariachi Luna Llena! Once she learned that Rice had a mariachi group that could combine her love for singing, violin, and Spanish, her curiosity got the best of her. She played with the mariachi to learn about the culture and make music with her fellow members!
Jorge Quintero Major: Electrical Engineering
Graduation Year:
2017
  Jorge was from Duncan College (WOO!) majoring in Electrical Engineering. He is from Houston, TX but with roots that trace all the way back to Guadalajara, Mexico. He played with the Mariachi because it allowed him to feel at home while having a good time with other students! 
Juan Sebastian Cruz Major: Visual and Dramatic Arts
Graduation Year:
2016

 

Juan Sebastian Cruz A.K.A. “Romeo” hails from Bogotá, Colombia and was a member of McMurtry College. He graduated with a Visual and Dramatic Arts major, studying Theater here at Rice. He hopes to become a multi-faceted phenomena in the entertainment world. He has been playing guitar since 6th grade, and having had no prior experience with mariachi music, was incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this group!
Mario Bencomo Major: Ph.D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics
Graduation Year:
2015
Mario was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, and raised in El Paso, Texas. He began playing mariachi music since the 6th grade. Since then, he has been a member of many school and professional mariachi groups performing throughout mariachi conferences and competitions. He received his B.S. in physics and applied mathematics from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2010 and his Ph.D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics from Rice University in 2017.
Mauricio “Maui” Arreola-Garcia Major: Math and Economics
Graduation Year:
2015
Maui graduated from Rice University in 2015 with a bachelors in Math and Economics. In Mariachi Luna Llena, Maui played the guitarron. He will be moving to Dallas where he will be working for a bank. He started playing guitar with Los Tigres of A&M Consolidated High School but first fell in love with the bass beat of the guitarrón in 10th grade. Music has been an integral part of his life alongside his studies and he enjoys every chance to perform. He hopes to go on to get a Ph.D in Economics and let no stone be unturned for the rest of his life.
Phillip Haddad Major: Studio Art, Hispanic Studies and Business
Graduation Year:
2016
Phillip was at Duncan College and pursued a degree in Studio Art, Hispanic Studies and Business. He has played classical guitar since 10th grade, and has developed a love for singing ever since helping to start the first all-male a capella group at Rice in 2013. He has had a deep interest in Mexican culture ever since he began studying Spanish in elementary school and was extremely excited to be a member of the Mariachi Luna Llena family!
Sonia Torres Major: Biochemistry and Cell Biology; Hispanic Studies
Graduation Year:
2019
Sonia is a senior from Hanszen College majoring in Mathematical Economic Analysis and Applied Math. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Sonia has always been musically involved, playing flute since sixth grade, being a drum major in the Soaring Eagle Marching Band and picking up violin as a hobby. She gained a love for mariachi music from the telenovelas she watched with her mother and loved to perform the genre of music for happy occasions with awesome people!
Spencer Seballos Major: Biochemistry and Cell Biology; Hispanic Studies
Graduation Year:
2016
Spencer was a member of Brown College. A Biochemistry and Cell Biology/Hispanic Studies double major, he will begin medical school at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in 2017. Growing up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Spencer began playing trumpet since he was in fifth grade, but never played mariachi music until he came to Rice. Elsewhere on campus, he played intramural soccer and was a small group leader in Cornerstone Christian Fellowship.