Fred Fox School of Music, School of Theatre, Film & Television

Roxanna Denise Stevens Ibarra was born into a musical family and picked up the hobby quickly, but not quietly.

“My whole family loves karaoke, so I was born singing at the top of my lungs,” said Stevens Ibarra , a senior in the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music. “I didn’t know what singing well was; I just knew that louder was better.”

Roxanna Denise Stevens Ibarra
Roxanna Denise Stevens Ibarra
Photo: Carlos Moreno/Campus Brand Engagement

Initially, music was a hobby for Stevens Ibarra. Going to school in Tucson and spending summers with family in Mexico, she didn’t see a practical path to making a career out of the arts. One of three children raised by two parents who grew up in Mexico, Stevens Ibarra wanted a career that would allow her to help support her family.

“I feel like it’s a personal responsibility to make my culture accessible through the art that I create.”

“I grew up seeing my dad work really hard selling and delivering charcoal and coming back covered in dust,” Stevens Ibarra recalls. “My mom had to hose him down outside. It didn’t seem practical for me to go into music. I felt like it would be almost disrespectful, given the work my parents put in.”

Her outlook changed during her search for a college. Her auditions and applications to study music and film and television at the University of Arizona attracted scholarship offers that made a future in fine arts more viable.

Stevens Ibarra graduated with a bachelor’s degree in film and television from the School of Theatre, Flim & Television in the spring of 2020, and will complete her music education degree in December.

Originally published in UANow.
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