Music department instructional assistant shares his musical inspirations


Courtesy of Gabriel Rivera

On Sept. 17, CRC Music “In the Studio” held an event with special guest Gabriel Rivera, whose the music department’s instructional assistant. Rivera discussed about his role with the “In the Studio” series and his achievements.

The “In the Studio” series held a Zoom webinar on Friday focusing on Gabriel Rivera, who is the instructional assistant of the music department.
Rivera shared his inspirations, his current responsibilities at Cosumnes River College and some of his own music pieces, during the webinar, which was hosted by Music Professor Lisa Beebe.
“I’ve always been interested in music from an early age,” Rivera said. “I still remember the day I said ‘this is what I wanna do for the rest of my life.’”
Rivera shared that one of his greatest musical inspirations was his father, a piano player who enrolled Rivera in piano classes as a child. It was in one of these classes that Rivera decided to continue studying music.
Rivera majored in composition at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico and went on to complete his master’s degree at the University of Michigan.
“The day after I defended my master’s thesis, I got on a plane and moved to California,” Rivera said. This move eventually led Rivera to his current position at CRC.
As the instructional assistant of the music department, Rivera has a wide range of responsibilities both on and off campus.
Rivera said his on-ground responsibilities included coordinating concerts, renting out instruments, tutoring students and working closely with other faculty members. His responsibilities have changed since the transition to online learning.
“I guess doing concerts turned into editing videos, creating social media advertisements for events,” Rivera said. “I’ve learned a lot of skills, from graphic designing to video editing.”
Rivera took a portion of the meeting to share two pieces he made called “In the Groove” and “II. Recuerdo, III. Florence.” Many of the attendees were impressed with the synthesis of “In the Groove,” as well as the percussion and storytelling of “II. Recuerdo, III. Florence.”
“They were great! They were really fun,” Beebe said about the pieces. “The audience had the chance to really sit with each piece and ask some questions.”
Beebe was very pleased with the event turnout, and said she felt that the event goals were met.
“I wanted this event to be an opportunity for Gabriel to impart some inspiration, some advice, some wisdom to our CRC community,” Beebe said. “And lastly, really just to appreciate the talent that we have on our staff.”
Beebe shared that this meeting had the second largest attendance since the music department began the “In the Studio” series, and that she looks forward to hosting more of these events.