The Mariachi Department at LVA has accomplished many things ranging from receiving a grant that would go towards new instruments, being a part of an attempt of breaking a Guinness World Record, performing for a well-known Latino show, and traveling to a nationwide mariachi competition in San Antonio, Texas.
Hours and hours of practice have opened up a great amount of opportunities for Mariachi Internacional that also benefit the rest of the department. One of those opportunities was to be able to record for a well-known Latino show and be involved with events regarding the Latin Grammys that took place on November 17th.
Members of Mariachi Internacional as well as students from the Liberal Arts program had the opportunity to attend the pre-filming of the infamous Spanish morning show, Despierta America. “It was amazing being able to witness the show from behind the scenes and to meet the entire crew, everyone was so kind,” said Spanish major, Destiny Ahrens, 12. At the filming of the show, students were able to participate in a variety of activities such as performing, being a part of an interactive audience and even had the chance to participate in a small gift-wrapping contest.
Despierta America is a Spanish morning show that delivers content varying from news, celebrity gossip, occasional fashion advice, and most importantly they keep a very joyous and joking tone throughout their show which makes it enjoyable to watch. “My family here and even some of my family from Mexico watches this show, so it was really exciting to have them see me on TV alongside Gente De Zona,” says Mariachi major, Hector Flores, 10.
Mariachi Internacional had the opportunity to perform a couple of songs on the show and also performed an arrangement of one of Gente De Zona’s hits known as “La Gozadera,” in which a couple seconds into the song, the two man band joined in to sing with them. “We got to be on TV and experience what it’s like to be on set and also got to record with Gente De Zona, it was all an amazing experience,” says Mariachi major Roxanna Chavez, 9.
Guinness World Record Broken
Adding on to their achievements, Mariachi Internacional was part of breaking a Guinness World Record of most mariachis performing in which 900 CCSD students, grades 6-12, from 15 different schools also participated with an array of instruments and uniforms. This event took place on October 22nd before the kick off of a UNLV football game at Sam Boyd Stadium. The world record for the largest gathering of mariachis was last set in 2013 with 700 mariachis in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico in which there is no shortage of mariachis. “I was able to attend the Latin Grammy’s and the filming of the show because I took part in the breaking of the record,” says Hector, “it was so cool to be a part of breaking a record!”
Mariachi travels to Texas
Last but not least, Mariachi Internacional recently traveled to San Antonio, Texas to take part in the annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza competition hosted by the world-recognized Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. Members had the opportunity to take workshops by these clinicians, compete for a title, and attend the competition’s closing concert opened by the winning groups on the last night.
Every year the talent of the hundreds of students that participate in this competition grows and this year the group competition at this extravaganza was very rough and Internacional wasn’t able to claim the title after not returning to the competition since their last win in 2012. “The competition overall was such a cool experience. Seeing so many other high school mariachi groups from other places perform was so interesting, I loved it!,” added Roxanna, who traveled with Internacional in December.
“LVA offers amazing opportunities that most high schools don’t offer, they allow their students to really get involved with their majors and engage with new people,” says Destiny. Mariachi Internacional is a prime example of such opportunities; the amount of talent gathered within one group demonstrates their dedication to Mariachi music and the hours they spend on practicing their instruments is proven by the quality of music they perform.