Jessica Febe González, a senior pursuing an early childhood education degree at Texas A&M International University, has played music on her violin for the past 13 years.
But on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 22-23, González and the rest of the 16 members of the University's Mariachi Internacional will have a special musical task to perform as they travel to San Antonio to defend their group's first place title at the Ford Lincoln Mercury's 8th Mariachi Extravaganza.
The Mariachi Extravaganza is a well-established mariachi competition drawing university mariachi groups from throughout Texas. Last year, TAMIU's Mariachi Internacional won first place in the University Category of the competition. The group competition will be held Friday, from 5-10 p.m. in the Municipal Auditorium, located on 100 Auditorium Circle in San Antonio. The mariachi vocal competition will be held Saturday, from 8 a.m. - noon at the same location.
"I feel very confident that we will win again this year," González said, "This is my first year in the group but from what our group members have been saying, I have a good feeling we will win."
Dr. Rachel Y. Cruz, assistant professor of music and Mariachi Internacional director, said emphatically that her students will win the competition.
"If they lose, that's because the judges are having a bad day," Cruz joked, "Our mariachi is truly a university level mariachi."
While in San Antonio, students will also participate in a mariachi music clinic being held by the famous Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.
González said she is elated to meet the legendary Mariachi Vargas.
"I'm excited because this is the first year that I'm going to experience this," she said.
For more information about the Mariachi Internacional, please contact Dr. Cruz at 326-2640, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit offices located in Pellegrino Hall 216D. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.