Meet Our Directors
Josue Lopez, High School Director
Josue Eduardo "Eddy" Lopez, a native of Monclova, Mexico, is an instructor, arranger, composer, multi-instrumentalist and Mariachi Strand Director at GPFAA. In 2010 he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.M. in Professional Music from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
As a conference instructor, he has taught violin, trumpet, guitarrón, and armonía and arranged for almost all of the large mariachi conferences in the US, including: FESTIBA Mariachi Festival in Edinburg, TX, Tucson International Mariachi Conference in Tucson, AZ, Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, TX, International Mariachi Festival in National City, CA, Mariachi Espectacular in Albuquerque, NM, New York City Mariachi Conference in Brooklyn, NY and more.
As a clinician, he has traveled across the country and Mexico to offer instrumental and arranging clinics to both student and professional groups. As a freelance arranger, he has written hundreds of original arrangements for mariachi groups and symphony orchestras across the USA and México as well, including: Mariachi Internacional Los Perez, Mariachi Aztlán from UTRGV, Mariachi Herencia De México, The San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, The Tucson Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa among many others.
As a recording artist, he has arranged and recorded for many professional and Grammy Award-winning producers and artists including: Natalia Jimenez, Lupillo Rivera, Carlos Rivera, Maluma, Bacilos, CNCO, Paulina Rubio, Camilo, Pipe Bueno, Alex Campos, Ricardo Montaner, Turizo, Becky G among others.
He currently resides in Grand Prairie, TX, and continues to be in high demand as a guest clinician, arranger, and recording artist
Maria Nereida Sandoval - Middle School Director
Maria Nereida Sandoval, a native of Durango, Mexico, is a seasoned performer, music educator, instructor, clinician, and the middle school director at GPFAA. She is an alumnus from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas and a graduate from Houston Baptist University with a Bachelors in Music Education.
As an instructor, she has taught at the University of Texas in Austin and University of North Texas summer camp as the lead violin instructor. She recently clinician for Region 20 in Dallas, TX 20222 for the Middle School All Region Ensemble.
She has been a mariachi performer for 20 years. She has been a pioneer to several groups, lead and organized the groups to travel and perform. The highlight of her career was performing in Beijing, China for the Mexican Consulate; Guadalajara, Mexico for the Mariachi Internacional del Mariachi; and the Mariachi Festival in Vancouver, Canada. She has also accompanied artist such as Jenny Rivera & Paquita la del Barrio on their La Gran Senora Tour in Texas, Diego and Amanda Verdaguel, Intocable, Pablo Montero, Graciela Beltran, and Vanessa Alonso. Her most recent stage performance was her debut with Dallas Theater Center as Tia Carmen in American Mariachi.
She currently is the Middle School Mariachi Director for the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy in Grand Prairie ISD and the Historian for Texas Association of Mariachi Educators (TAME). and a Texas public schools music educator for 10 years. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.