Fiesta de Mariachi Set April 25 at A&M International

The tantalizing rhythms and pulse-quickening vocals of mariachi music will be celebrated in a first-ever mariachi music competition hosted by Texas A&M International University.

"Fiesta de Mariachi" is scheduled for Sunday, April 25 from 1- 6 p.m. at the University's Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Plaza. The event is scheduled to bring a dozen mariachi bands from throughout the region here for a one-day competition.

Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Stephen Brown said the event grew from a lifelong interest in mariachi music shared by Dr. Charles Jennett, A&M International president.

"Dr. Jennett has always been keenly interested in mariachi music and we've been working to develop this initiative for some time. We both wanted to design an event that would celebrate the artistry of mariachi music, reward its new generation of performers and provide the audience with an opportunity to see and hear the traditional music of the border," Dr. Brown said.

Brown said the University is looking forward to the event as part of its developing Fine and Performing Arts Center, a cornerstone of the its Phase III expansion.

"We're all excited by this initiative and are looking forward to providing a forum for the performance of this increasingly popular art form. As the University continues to develop its Fine Arts program, performances and competitions like the Fiesta de Mariachi will be commonplace at our new Fine and Performing Arts Center," Dr. Brown explained.

Fiesta de Mariachi Contestants will vie for first, second and third place awards as well as best section awards.

To date, 11 high school groups from throughout the region have registered for the competition, including Alexander High School, Cigarroa, United, United South, Cotulla, Winn, Martin, McAllen, Roma, Eagle Pass and Zapata. A special performance will be offered by the Trautmann Middle School Mariachi.

A committee comprised of local and area band educators has helped to plan and develop the event with the University and includes Dr. Brown, Elmo Lopez, Javier Vera, Carlos Luna, Jerry Quintero, Servando Serna, Joe Martinez, Francisco Sosa, Tomas Pena, Graciela Gonzalez, Betty Momayezi, Dave VerMilyea, Gabby Mendoza, Araceli Rangel, Maria Rosillo, Ronnie Gonzalez, Jay Zambrano and Carlos Gil.

For additional information on Fiesta de Mariachi, 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 pais@tamiu.edu