has been described as playing “...above and beyond the mastery of [her] instrument...“ and has astonished audiences with her performances, with reviewers noting “...the colours of the upper registers of her instrument—at initial hearing it was hard to believe it was a bass clarinet!“ Her compositions have been described as “quite playful, full of humor and whimsy, almost filling the air with laughter” and that her music “stands outside all easy stylistic pigeon-holing and packs an emotional wallop all its own!”
Cruz joined the faculty at the University of Texas Arlington in 2016, teaching applied clarinet lessons, clarinet studio class, chamber groups, music appreciation, and aural skills classes. Cruz has represented the Buffet clarinet brand as a Performing Artist since 2017, and in 2020 she joined D’Addario Woodwinds as an Artist Endorsee. Cruz holds positions as the second clarinetist in the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, bass clarinetist in the Longview Symphony Orchestra, and bass clarinetist in the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Previously, she was the Adjunct Clarinet Instructor at Stephen F. Austin State University, and was the Teaching Fellow in chamber music for the University of North Texas. Cruz completed her DMA in clarinet performance with a related field in music education at the University of North Texas in 2015. She also holds a Master's degree in clarinet performance from the Florida State University and a Bachelor's degree in music education from McMurry University.
As a soloist, Cruz recently performed Scott McAllister's Black Dog concerto with the UTA Wind Ensemble at the Texas Music Educators Association convention (TMEA) in 2017. In more intimate soloistic ventures, Cruz frequently performs for the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest conferences (with an upcoming premier of a work she composed for solo clarinet and live electronics at ClarinetFest 2021). Within the context of a larger ensemble, she has appeared with the Dallas Winds, the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, the San Angelo Symphony, and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. An active chamber musician, Cruz has competed in both the Plowman and Fischoff chamber music competitions. Currently, she is a member of the Madera Wind Quintet where she performs alongside her husband, bassoonist Jorge Cruz. In addition to those traditional ensembles, Cruz broke artistic ground in her role playing and composing for amplified bass clarinet and flute in WoodWired, an electroacoustic duo. described as “fabulous,” “ adventurous,” and “spellbinding,” WoodWired used looping software and other live electronics to perform original music. WoodWired’s album "In The Loop" was released in 2018 under the University of Texas Arlington Record label.
In addition to her performing career, Cruz has been working diligently to organize academic events that bring the clarinet community together. She served on the planning committee for ClarinetFest 2021 hosted in Fort Worth, TX. Additionally, she organizes the annual UTA Clarinet Day, an event that features local artists, music businesses, and academics to provide learning and networking opportunities for high school and college age students in DFW. Cruz has been published in The Clarinet Magazine, the monthly journal issued by the International Clarinet Association, with an article entitled "A Pedagogical Guide to Playing Bass Clarinet in a Wind Ensemble." Prior to that, she completed an undergraduate thesis entitled "Mickey Mousing Squared: Postmodernism in Cartoon Music" for which she graduated with special honors in Music History. Her major clarinet teachers include Dr. Kimberly Cole Luevano and Dr. Frank Kowalsky