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Fine and Performing Arts

Fine and Performing Arts | 2025 E. Winsett, Tucson, AZ 85719 | (520) 225-4900 |

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46 TUSD Students Receive the Arizona Arts Seal in 2020

46 TUSD Graduating Seniors Receive The Arizona State Seal of Arts Proficiency in Spring 2020

In the inaugural year of Arizona State Seal of Arts Proficiency, 2019-2020, 46 TUSD scholars from eight district high schools created capstone projects in music, dance, visual art, theater, and media arts that were adjudicated to be worthy of recognition from the Arizona Department of Education.

Even though the final semester for the class of 2020 has been filled with many challenges, the committee charged with vetting the students' art did not want their hard work to be overlooked. The school closure prompted students to creatively design methods to present their work online and final interviews were conducted through Zoom.

TUSD Band Wins State Championship

Join us in congratulating the Sabino High School Marching Band for winning the 2021 Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association (ABODA) Division III State Championship.

The Sabino HS Sabercat Marching Band, under the direction of Saul Garland, was awarded 1st place at the ABODA State Marching Band Division III Championships on November 20 during the finals competition at Glendale Community College.

This is the first time that a Tucson Unified School District high school has won the State Marching Band Championship and the first time the championship has been awarded to a school in southern Arizona. The Band received 1st place in music performance, 1st place in percussion performance, and 1st place in auxiliary performance.  Their show entitled Under the Stars featured complex marching fundamentals, drill, and melodic material by the Band, colorful costumed choreography and equipment work by the Color Guard, and rhythmic precision by the Percussion Ensemble.  

This is very exciting for the staff and students and shows how their dedication and hard work paid off.  Several of the students said "We are a community that works together and supports each other. We achieved this together!"

Please help us in congratulating this exceptional group of musicians and performers.


View the Journey to State through a student's own eyes.


Tucson Unified School District, Fine and Performing Arts, OMA

The 2021 Opening Minds through the Arts / Fine Arts Department Virtual Showcase

A collection of 20 student works produced during distance learning.

Thank you to all our OMA and Fine Arts Teachers for their dedication during this challenging time!

TUSD Mariachi Director Receives Prestigious Award

John Contreras, Mariachi Director for Pueblo Magnet High School is the 2021 Recipient of the Governors Arts Award in Arts in Education.

Well known for his professional musicianship, John's resume also includes a private and public music education career spanning 30 years. Additionally, he has served on TUSD's Music Leadership Team developing curriculum, supporting remote instruction, and recording students' performances via sophisticated technology programs.  As director of the award-winning Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo Magnet High School for the last 18 years, his mission is to inspire young minds through music, building responsible individuals who realize that hard work and dedication are avenues to attaining any goal. "The reward of seeing my students grasp and perform concepts that I have taught them is immeasurable. Mariachi education bridges culture and entertainment personified through hours of dedicated rehearsal and high-quality performance. " His Mariachi programs motivate his students to do well, remain in school, and continue their education at the collegiate level. "I consider it a privilege and an honor to pass on the tradition of Mexico's folkloric music."


Michael Spier, Visual Arts Teacher

Last year, before the pandemic hit, two of my classes were working on a group mural project. The mural, which is complete minus installation, was done in ceramic relief and features 40+ animal species endemic to the Sonoran Desert. When we return to in-person learning, I plan to have it permanently installed in the science wing of Sabino.  This mural will be the first of what I hope will be a series of large art projects promoting different academic subject areas.....Michael Spier, Sabino Visual Arts Teacher

Michael Spier created a digital version of the mural as a web-based interactive project. The tiles were photographed individually, then digitally assembled as a single piece, allowing the individual parts to be clicked on and enlarged. The student’s name and a link is provided for more information about the animal depicted in each tile.  

Visit the Digital Mural Now

Watch our Fine Arts Students in Action

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ESSA Conference Selection

TUSD Fine Arts/OMA schools and their students will be featured at the statewide 2021 Virtual ESSA Conference on February 23 and 24. Selected from numerous applications, Arizona Department of Education describes these virtual presentations/performances as embodying the state's theme of adapt, innovate, and respond while demonstrating engagement and the highest quality of arts education during unprecedented and challenging times. Congratulations to these schools, students, teachers, and administrators!

  • RUHS Dance Students choreography and virtual performance entitled In a Society, Beth Braun, teacher
  • RUHS Dance Students choreography and virtual performance entitled Forever, Beth Braun, teacher
  • Doolen MS Orchestral Students entitled Strings Performance, Paul Ensey, teacher
  • TUSD students from HS Choirs, Pueblo HS Mariachi, Doolen MS Band and Orchestra, Fruchthendler OMA students, Warren OMA Visual Arts students entitled On-Line Creativity, Joan Ashcraft and Thom Lewis, coordinators

Arizona Department of Education Arts

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1010 E. Tenth St., Tucson, AZ 85719 | 520-225-600