University Schedules Second 'Fiesta de Mariachi 2000' March 4

The foot-tapping rhythms and pulse-quickening vocals typical of mariachi music will be celebrated at Texas A&M International University's Fiesta de Mariachi 2000, Saturday March 4 from 10 a.m. -6 p.m.

The second annual outdoor festival will take place on the University's Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Plaza and features over a dozen 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 2000 offers us an opportunity to celebrate the unique art form we know and love as Mariachi Music. We started this event last year with the hope of showcasing the tradition as it is being carried forward by our youngsters. Over 1200 fans shared in last year's joyful presentation and we expect even more will join us March 4," Dr. Jennett said.

Jennett said University students had requested that Mariachi music be a part of A&M International and now the University has its own Mariachi band, the Mariachi Internacional.

"Our students had asked that we develop in this area and we've been happy to bring this about. Our Mariachi Internacional debuted at this year's Twilight Pops-WBCA Concert and proved quite popular. 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," he explained.

Fiesta de Mariachi 2000 participants will vie for first, second and third place awards, as well as sectional awards.

Event organizer Betty Momayezi, executive director of student life, encouraged Fiesta-goers to bring lawn chairs and 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.

Momayezi noted that as many as 22 bands may be involved in the competition.

"Among high school groups currently scheduled to participate in the event are:

Cigarroa High School, Eagle Pass High School, Eagle Pass-CC Winn Campus, Martin High School, McAllen Independent School District, Miller High School (Corpus Christi), Premont High School, Roman High School United High School and United South High School.

A committee comprised of local and area band educators has helped to plan and develop the event with the University and includes: Elmo Lopez Sr., Javier Vera, Carlos Luna, Joe Martinez, Frank Sosa, Graciela Gonzalez, John Malon, Tomas Pena and Jerry Quintero.

For additional information on "Fiesta de Mariachi 2000," contact the University's Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326.2180.

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