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School of Music, Theatre
and Dance

Varner Hall, Room 207
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
Academic Office: (248) 370-2030
Box Office: (248) 370-3013
Fax: (248) 370-2041
smtd@oakland.edu

Enrique Rios-Ellis, M.M., D.M.A.

Enrique Rios-Ellis standing at a table with many colorful Latin American musical instruments.
Visiting Professor of Music

Contact: eriosellis@oakland.edu

Dr. Enrique Rios-Ellis began at Oakland University in 2021 as a visiting assistant professor where he is teaching courses on Latin American music, woodwind techniques and Latin jazz combos. From 2014-2020 he served as a visiting professor and full-time lecturer at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB). While in Monterey, he founded and directed Sharp Nine, CSUMB’s Latin band and also directed the CSUMB Jazz Band. He taught courses in Latin American music, music theory, performance and arranging, and has performed and composed music for award-winning short films and documentaries. He also led the service learning courses at CSUMB and engaged schools and community-based organizations in music education for the underserved. In 2019 he served as Artist in Residence for the Digital Media Foundation of Monterey County. Enrique gives cultural and educational workshops on Latin American and Pre-Cortesian music.

Enrique’s musical journal and immigration to the United States has led him to discover the depths and integration of indigenous and Latin American music and its ability to transcend borders. His educational workshops on Latino indigenous and contemporary music serve to increase understanding of the musical, cultural and historical wealth and resonance of the Americas.

Dr. Enrique Rios-Ellis studied music at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música and at the Universidad Autónoma de México in Mexico City. He completed his bachelor’s and master’s in Music with Honors in Woodwind Performance at the University of Oregon, while playing oboe with the University of Oregon Symphony Orchestra and serving as a saxophonist for the Eugene Symphony Orchestra. While completing his doctorate at USC, he also played with the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra.

Enrique is a two-time grant recipient from the National Endowment for the Arts in studio orchestra composition and studied film music with Grammy Award winner Vince Mendoza and renowned composer Dr. Fred Sturm.

Enrique has taught music at the University of Oregon, University of Southern California, University of California at Irvine, and at CSU Long Beach, CSU Fullerton, and CSU Monterey Bay. He seeks to provide his students with a culturally resonant understanding of how they can blend their resilience and historic capital with a musical education and skills set that will help them succeed both academically and as professional musicians.