I write about country music. Mostly.

Texas’ Young Mariachi Champs

Soon after the Edcouch Elsa Mariachi Juvenil Azteca started performing this afternoon at Tropic Winds in Harlingen, TX, the audience of mostly Winter Texans rewarded the young musicians with cheers, applause and raised cell phones to capture the moment.

And for good reason. Today’s performance by the state’s newly-named student Mariachi champs was an entertaining display of talent, energy, pageantry and excellent band direction.  Donning formal charro costumes, the concert featured about 50 of the most accomplished musicians in the program of 150 students. Three different level units performed today – Jr. High, JV and Varsity.

Mariachi music honors heritage in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, just a few miles from the Mexican border.  The genre dates back to the 18th century in western Mexico, and was popular at national events and on Mexican radio in the 1920s.

Lively horns, plus stringed instruments including violin, guitar, vihuela, guitarron and harp were featured, along with several talented vocalists for most songs.  Nearly all of the music was written by the band’s directors Marcos Garcia, Mario Ferrer, and Michael Sital.  The music blended touches of big band, opera, classical and polka, and they even performed a pop cover, Stand By Me. 

Garcia explained the district’s mariachi students bring raw talent, passion and dedication to master their instruments, and rise through the ranks of the band.  He applauded the parents and school representatives in the audience for helping to keep music education alive, and he congratulated the varsity students for wining the 2018 championship title in the Texas Association of Mariachi Educators competition.  Bravo! And what a show!

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Director Marcos Garcia (at microphone) emphasized the importance of music education and its positive impact on students. “It triggers something that makes the brain work in certain ways and helps them succeed in other areas of their lives,” he said.

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Jr. high members of the Edcouch Elsa Mariachi Juvenil Azteca relax after kicking off today’s performance.

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When the band played a polka number, violinist Emanuel Leos scanned the audience for a dance partner and I shot my hand up! After all, I spent formative years in Milwaukee. 

Thanks or reading my blog, done mostly for fun and entertainment. Learn more about how I started here. Please feel free to share this article or others. But please use photos with permission only – just email me with any requests. If you like this post, please consider following me here, liking my Facebook page Karen Loves Country or following me at Twitter @fanmama1. Thanks for reading! #mariachi #EdcouchElsaMariachiJuvenilAzteca #southtexas #riograndevalley #wintertexans

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