University Schedules Third 'Fiesta de Mariachi 2001' March 3

The cherished rhythms and stirring vocals of mariachi music will be celebrated at Texas A&M International University's Fiesta de Mariachi 2001, Saturday March 3 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The third annual outdoor festival will take place on the University's Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Plaza and will feature high school bands from throughout the region in a one-day competition. Admission is free.

A&M International president Dr. Charles Jennett said that the University is honored to showcase the artistic tradition of mariachi music.

"Fiesta de Mariachi 2001 offers us an opportunity to celebrate the unique art form we know and love as Mariachi Music. This event continues to grow as a showcase celebration for this beloved tradition and the talented youngsters that are carrying it forward. Over 1200 fans enjoyed last year's presentation and we encourage mariachi fans of all ages to join us for this year's celebration," Dr. Jennett said.

He noted that having the Fiesta de Mariachi is a natural extension of the University's academic programs in Mariachi music that have already yielded the University's award-winning Mariachi Internacional. He said the University's Phase III completion will signal continued artistic performance opportunities that the community will enjoy.

"Completion of Phase III construction will bring us a Fine and Performing Arts Center, from which we will aggressively expand our artistic and cultural offerings, like Fiesta de Mariachi," he explained.

Fiesta de Mariachi 2001 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.

Event organizer Betty Momayezi, executive director of student life, encouraged Fiesta-goers to enjoy the outdoor atmosphere.

"We'll have student groups running food concessions as fundraisers for their projects and we're aiming to create an overall fun, family atmosphere," she said.

Coolers and alcoholic beverages will not be permitted.

She noted that as many as 22 bands may be involved in the competition. Among school groups currently scheduled to participate in the event are: Premont High School, Cigarroa H.S., United H.S., San Benito H.S., Roma H.S., Roma Middle School, Brackenridge H.S., Southwest H.S., United South H.S., United Middle School, Alexander H.S. and Oliver Wendell Holmes H.S.

A committee comprised of local and area band educators has helped to plan and develop the event with the University .

For additional information on "Fiesta de Mariachi 2001," contact the University's Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326.2180.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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