10 Things About Catherine Rells & The House of Music


“Doing good things with good people” Damian McKinney

Music programs in schools tend to be the first thing to go when districts and schools are trying to maximize their budgets. In 2019, Catherine Rells and Chris Springer had a vision to fill this gap by starting The House of Music to bring the joys of music into the lives of underserved youth while also mentoring and teaching skills these students can use and apply to their own lives. Catherine Rells is the CEO of The House of Music as well as the Co-Organizer of Festival del Caribe.


#1 I grew up in San Diego in the Paradise Hills neighborhood. I have the best of both worlds being a “MexiPino.” My dad is Mexican and my mom is Filipino.


#2 I danced hula competitively 25 years ago with Hula Halau Kaleo O’Kalani under the direction of Auntie Jerri Santos.


#3 My favorite travel destination is Cuba. I hope to some day visit Puerto Rico, and I would love to see and experience the Northern Lights from a cruise ship.


#4 Salsa and Cuban music have grown on me over the last 4 years with my favorite musician being John “Dandy” Rodriguez, legendary Bongosero, who played with Tito Puente since the age of 15 and in his own bands Tipica 73, Mambolegends, and The Dream Team.


#5 I highly recommend “The 5am Club” written by Robin Sharma.


#6 Cali is 2 ½ years old and is half Maltese and half Chihuahua.


#7 The House of Music teaches and mentors underprivileged youth throughout San Diego in an effort to build skills such as work ethic, discipline, teamwork, communication skills, self-esteem, confidence building, and other life skills while also learning and cultivating their love for music.


#8 I have had the great privilege of witnessing the kids that participate in The House of Music classes who go on to play at the annual fundraiser. Seeing the joy, confidence, and self-esteem these kids develop is a gift that we all receive and something I cannot express in words.


#9 The festival proceeds will allow The House of Music to purchase instruments for the students graduating from music programs onsite at East County Transitional Living Center and The Monarch School. Proceeds will also allow for expansion to Father Joe’s Villages and House of Puerto Rico.


#10 Despite the amount of work that goes into the festival as a co-organizer, the graduation is the ultimate reward to knowing these kids have gone above and beyond to learn to play an instrument and develop artistic and social skills that they did not have access to prior to The House of Music. The festival is also the primary source of funding for the instruments provided at graduation.


House of Music
Festival del Caribe Fundraiser
May 28, 2023
12 pm – 7 pm
NTC Park at Liberty Station


Additional video link

More information about the Festival HERE

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Esteban Villanueva