How we work

Music | Dance | Performing Arts | Visual Arts

The Riverside Arts Academy engages youth in the creative process through the visual arts. Visual Arts is an exploratory program designed for youth who have an artistic interest and enthusiasm in the areas of visual arts, poetry and theater.

Donations provide funding to support Riverside Arts Academy, enabling the program to contribute to the cultural life of the community by providing artistic and cultural activities for the diverse youth of Riverside.

Riverside Arts Academy is made possible by sponsorship and donations from the community.

“As a long time teacher, I appreciate the positive impact music and art have on learning and brain development. In fact, my son works in the music business, an interest that started when he was very young and fostered by teachers and family. Unfortunately, not all schools can provide broad arts and music programming, which makes organizations like the Riverside Arts Academy invaluable to our communities and deserving of our support.”

Jose Medina — California State Assembly Member, 61st District

Our Instructors

Maestro Gene Moon

Conducting all around the world, maestro Gene Moon has graced the podium of orchestras on four continents over the course of his career. Beginning the fall of 2018, Dr. Moon joined the Riverside Arts Academy as Music Director. In addition to his responsibilities with the Academy, he is also on the faculty of California Baptist University serving as Director of Orchestral Studies. His recent posts have included Director of Orchestral Activities at Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, TX), Artistic Director of the East Texas Youth Orchestras (Tyler, TX) and Music Director and Conductor of the Longview Symphony Orchestra (Longview, TX).

Dr. Moon’s career has led him conducting appearances throughout the United States and overseas in Asia and South America. An avid champion of music education, he dedicates his work to inspire and train future musicians, seen through his countless work with school instrumental programs and youth orchestras, such as the East Texas Youth Orchestra program, which grew from 22 members to 120 members over the course of three years under his artistic direction.

Sought after, nationally and internationally, maestro Moon has led performances with orchestras including Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín, Gangnam Symphony Orchestra and All-State orchestras in Arkansas and Louisiana along with orchestras of the University of Macau Orchestra and Hong Kong Baptist University and many region honor orchestras and festivals throughout the United States. He is on faculty with the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and work with hundreds of young musicians from all around the world each summer.

Dr. Moon’s previous posts include the faculties at the University of Central Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma, the Mid-Del school district and as music director and conductor of the Oklahoma Youth Symphonies.

An avid instrumentalist, Moon actively performs as pianist and violist in the collaborative settings of chamber and orchestral music. He holds degrees from the University of Central Oklahoma, New York University and the University of Oklahoma. The list of distinguished conductors Moon has studied with include Jonathan Shames, John Jeter, and, in masterclass, with world-renown conductor, Sergiu Comissiona. His piano studies have been guided by Jan Pokorny Steele, Lee Dai Wook, Dierdre O’Donohue, Ed Gates and noted Van Cliburn medalist, Valery Kuleshov while his viola studies have been with Ralph Morris and Matthew Dane.

Strings

  • Ruth Noemy Wheeler
  • Ellie Bunker
  • Kybra Minisee
  • Jay Casillas
  • Elisa Laraway
  • Hannah Jones
  • Efren Diaz
  • Jerusha Lumley
  • Katelyn Azevedo
  • Anna Crabtree
  • Melissa Blanco

Band

  • Mario Gutierezz
  • Ryan Gross
  • Alex Richards
  • Stephan Layton
  • Greg Trujillo

Choir

  • Dawn Gilmore
  • Melody Leon
  • Carissa Waite