Over 2,500 fans of the stirring chords of mariachi music made their way to Texas A&M International University's Third Annual Fiesta de Mariachi last Saturday, March 3, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Fifteen middle and high school bands from throughout the region vied for top honors in the day-long competition that took place in the University's Kinesiology and Convocation Building.
Exhibition Performances were provided by the University's
award-winning A&M International Mariachi Internacional, the
Classical Spanish Ballet and the Ballet Folklorico.
A&M International president Dr. Charles Jennett said it is the University's privilege to showcase the artistic tradition of mariachi music.
"Fiesta de Mariachi 2001 offers us an opportunity to celebrate this magnificent musical art form. This event is destined to continue to grow as a showcase for this beloved tradition and the talented youngsters that will carry it forward," Dr. Jennett said.
Jennett said the University's intends to launch its Bachelor's degree in music this Fall and encourage those students competing to consider the University in their future plans. He noted that the University's $21 million Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, part of the University's Phase III expansion, will be a fitting home to the Fiesta De Mariachi and other artistic and cultural events.
Judges for the competition were Juan Ortiz and Rolando San Miguel of the Campanas de America and Rene Benavides of Mariachi Connections. Judging Coordinator was Carlos Luna of Nixon High School.
In comments to the audience, Ortiz indicated that the day's event was historic.
"This is an historic event and I have to tell you that I have never seen such an event done better. This is truly something special," he said.
Awards and their recipients were:
Best Middle School Mariachi - Roma Middle School.
Best Vocal Section - Roma High School.
Best Trumpet Section - Eagle Pass - C. C. Winn Campus
Best Flute Section - Alexander High School.
Best Strings Section - Roma High School.
Best Armonia Section - Roma High School.
Best Showmanship - Eagle Pass - C. C. Winn Campus
Most Valuable Player - Abiel Hinojosa - Harp Player, Roma High School.
Third Place Mariachi - San Antonio Southwest High School.
Second Place Mariachi - Eagle Pass - C. C. Winn Campus.
First Place Mariachi - Roma High School.
Fiesta de Mariachi 2001 Participants included: United Middle School Mariachi Galitas, Roma Middle School Mariachi Escandon, Trautmann Middle School Mariachi Internacional, Somerset ISD Mariachi Los Vaqueros de Somerset, Eagle Pass High School Aguilas Del Norte, United South High School Mariachi Perla Del Sur and Zapata High School Mariachi Halcon.
Also, Martin High School Los Tigres del Sur, Alexander High School Mariachi Galas De Oro, San Antonio Southwest High School Mariachi Melodias de Mexico, Cigarroa High School Mariachi Azteca, San Benito High School Mariachi Del Sol, Eagle Pass CC Winn Campus Mariachi Aguilas De Oro, McAllen ISD Orgullo De Mi Cuidad, United High School Mariachi Del Mar and the Roma High School Mariachi Nuevo Santander.
Exhibition Performances were provided by the University's award-winning A&M International Mariachi Internacional, the Classical Spanish Ballet and the Ballet Folklorico.
Event organizer Betty Momayezi, executive director of student life, said Fiesta-goers seemed to enjoy the competition.
"We were delighted to see entire families joining us for this event. Our students groups ran food concessions as fundraisers for their projects and worked hard to create a fun, family atmosphere," she explained.
Highlight of the Fiesta was the performance by all 15 competing mariachi bands of the mariachi standards, "Las Mananitas" and "La Negra." A special video of the event will soon be shown on Public Access TV.
For additional information, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org