TAMIU Celebrates Mariachi Music with Fourth 'Fiesta de Mariachi'

Students and the community will be treated to a day of traditional Mexican melodies and vivacity as Texas A&M International University presents its Fourth 'Fiesta de Mariachi 2002' March 2 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Kinesiology/Convocation Building (Gym).

Dr. Gilberto D. Soto, associate professor of music and chair of the Fine and Performing Arts department, said that the festival will feature high school bands from throughout the region in a one-day competition. The event is free and open to the public.

"We have received more than 20 entries for this competition and look forward to another successful event that showcases the beloved tradition of mariachi music," Dr. Soto said, "Our guest professional mariachi will be Los Arrieros from El Paso, Texas, who will be doing a special presentation to students as well as assisting on the clinics."

Fiesta de Mariachi 2002 participants will vie for first, second and third place awards, as well as sectional awards. A special program will also feature the A&M International Mariachi Internacional, under the direction of Dr. Rachel Cruz, and a combined performance by contestants.

"The event will provide a fun, family atmosphere and we hope everyone can join us in this celebration of talented youths," Soto said.

Coolers and alcoholic beverages will not be permitted during the event, Soto said.

A preliminary list of high schools and groups to perform include:

* J.B. Alexander H.S.- Mariachi Galas de Oro (Jerry Quintero-Director)

*Cigarroa H.S.- Mariachi Azteca (Joe Martínez-Director)

* Cigarroa H.S.- Mariachi Azteca II (John Spillane-Director)

* Zapata H.S.- Mariachi Halcon (Joe A. Solíz-Director)

* Zapata Jr. High- Mariachi Juvenil Halcon A (Joe Solíz, Juan Villarreal,

Norma Vela-Directors

* Zapata Jr. High- Mariachi Juvenil Halcon B (Joe Solíz, Juan Villarreal,

Domingo Castañeda, Norma Vela-Directors)

* Roma Middle School- Mariachi Escandón (Yamil R. Yúñez-Director)

* Roma H.S.- Mariachi Nuevo Santander (Yamil R. Yúñez-Director)

* Edinburg North H.S.- Mariachi Oro de Edinburg North (Manuel Sáenz,

Jr.-Director) Edinburg,TX

* Oliver Wendell Holmes (Community Group)- Mariachi Alma del Pueblo (Raúl

Garza, Jr.-Director) San Antonio,TX

* William B. Travis- Rebeldes Del Sur (H. Alvarado, Alex Ramírez, Lee

García-Directors) Austin,TX

* Presidio H.S.- Presidio High School Mariachi Band (José "Taro"

Gutiérrez-Director) Presidio,TX

For further information, please contact Dr. Soto at 326-2649 or e-mail gsoto@tamiu.edu. University office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu