Sonja D. Branch leads the MusicaNova percussion section. She also plays guitarron with Mariachi Corazón de Phoenix and various West African drums with Phoenix-based groups Kawambe Omowale African Drum and Dance Theater, and AZ Drum and Dance. She regularly works with Mariachi de Tempe at Tempe High School.
She earned her master’s and a doctorate in musical arts at Arizona State University. Her interests extend beyond music. Believing that versatility is the key to success, she has apprenticed as a machinist in order to better design, build, modify and repair the tools of her musical trade. She experiments with woodworking, welding, blacksmithing, glass-cutting, print-making, computer-automated design, and any other skill that strikes her as useful or interesting.