Gabe Tafoya


Tattler Staff

Orchestra teacher Gabe Tafoya, who joined the staff of SFHS in 2015, earned a degree in contemporary music with concentrations in violin performance and world music from Santa Fe University of Art & Design in 2014 and will earn his master’s degree in music education from the University of New Mexico in May of 2023.

“I chose to be a teacher because music education was the most important thing that happened in my life, and I wanted to contribute to the field,” he said. “I enjoy teaching students who are interested in learning. When students practice and learn new music on their own, it means the world to me.”

Originally from Santa Fe, Mr. Tafoya is a full-time member of Mariachi Azteca de Santa Fe as a violinist and lead vocalist. Mr. Tafoya serves as Orchestra Instructional Coach for Santa Fe Public Schools and as vice president of Orchestra for the North Central New Mexico Music Educator’s Association. He also continues to study violin privately with Dr. Nicholas Hatt of Oklahoma City University.

“I love music for too many reasons to name,” Mr. Tafoya explained. “Music is good for the mind, body, and soul. When you’re having a horrible day, music can change everything around. The ability to play a musical instrument is something to be proud of, and it adds a new dimension to who you are as a person. Music is truly a spiritual experience and it brings people together.”

When he’s not teaching or playing music, Mr. Tafoya enjoys playing video games, computer programming, and doing web design. (He has an associate’s degree in computer science.) His interests also include writing, foreign languages, cars, and animals — especially reptiles.

“I don’t have any kids, but I do have a Great Dane, a ball python, and two cats,” he said. “They’re all awesome pets that I treat like my children.”

He has a lot of traveling on his bucket list, but is especially interested in visiting Japan.