The 5th Annual Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Camp takes place June 20-24 at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts’ Carlos Álvarez Theater, where dozens of students, ages 10-24, will gather to hone their skills in mariachi music performance. Grammy award winner Vikki Carr, Mexican-born baritone Octavio Moreno and Houston native Vanessa Cerda Alonzo are among the accomplished singers who will teach students during the camp.
The Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Camp is an extension of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza music festival held annually in San Antonio. The festival hosts the largest and longest-running mariachi vocal competitions in the nation, and is one of the most renowned festivals of its kind worldwide. The Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Camp helps prepare students interested in competing in the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Vocal Competition, as well as introducing new students to this exciting musical genre. Students participating in the camp will have the opportunity to develop their skills in stage presence, projection, diction, public speaking and overall performance. The camp is open to mariachi musicians and vocalists of all levels.
Students from McAllen, Río Grande City, Roma, Houston and San Antonio, Texas; El Granada, California; Little Rock, Arkansas and other cities throughout the U.S. are scheduled to participate in the camp that runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The students will perform in a public showcase on Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m. at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts’ Carlos Álvarez Theater. The recital will include artistic performances featuring students singing both in individual and group settings. Tickets can be purchased at the tobincenter.org.
The Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Camp brings together some of the world’s most accomplished vocalists and language instructors, including those mentioned below:
El Paso-born Vikki Carr is one of the most loved and most accomplished entertainers in the world. A singer known for a variety of musical genres that includes jazz, pop, country and mariachi, she has enjoyed an enormously successful career, winning and being nominated for numerous Grammy awards and releasing over 60 best-selling recordings. Vikki has sold-out countless shows in the United States, Mexico and South America. She has performed for the Queen of England, as well as five U.S Presidents, and has worked extensively in radio, television, film and theater. Her many achievements include the Latino Legends Hall of Fame in 2000, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and the Medallion of Excellence from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in 2011. Most recently, Vikki performed at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts with the award-winning Mariachi Aztlán from the University of Texas-Río Grande Valley. She has also established the Vikki Carr Scholarship Foundation that provides scholarships to Hispanic students in Texas and California.
VANESSA CERDA ALONZO
Houston-born Vanessa Cerda Alonzo won the “Best Mariachi Vocalist in the U.S.” award in 1999 during the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. Since then, she has opened for Mariachi Vargas at concerts in San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Houston, and has performed on Estrella TV’s Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento. Vanessa later became a cast member with the Houston Grand Opera company for the mariachi operas Cruzar la Cara de la Luna and El Pasado Nunca se Termina performing in Chicago, San Diego, Tucson, Phoenix and Paris, France. Vanessa recently performed in San Antonio’s Charline McCombs Empire Theater as part of MPR’s production of Serenata para las Madres, where she received enthusiastic applause, a standing ovation and an encore. Vanessa will be representing the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in Greely, Colorado July 23rd as part of the University of Northern Colorado’s Presenting Arts Program.
Mexican baritone Octavio Moreno is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, where he appeared as Sourin in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Belcore in Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, a noble in Wagner’s Lohengrin, Marullo in Verdi’s Rigoletto, as well as being a featured soloist with the chorus. Moreno studied voice with Jesus Li and Maybel Ferrales at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. He won third place in the 2008 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers and represented Mexico in the 2009 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition and the 2010 Paris international competition, as well as third place in the Carlo Morelli competition in Mexico City. He made his Mexico City Palacio de Bellas Artes debut in Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment and appeared as Laurentino in the world premiere of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna in Houston, a role he reprised in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet. He has also performed throughout the U.S. as a cast member of El Pasado Nunca se Termina. Octavio began singing mariachi music at an early age, and his recent CD Amar a Esa Mujer features members of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.
Melva Manzke is a native of San Antonio whose first language is Spanish. At age seven, she began to learn and understand the power of being bilingual, which later motivated her to pursue advanced studies in Spanish as an academic subject. Melva holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, where she earned a triple major in Spanish, French and English; as well as a Master of Arts degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio in Bilingual/Bicultural Studies, and a second masters’ degree from Trinity University in Educational Leadership. She has a passion for education and has devoted 31 years to teaching Spanish, and English as a Second Language. For the past three years, Melva has volunteered as a coach for the Mariachi Extravaganza Vocal Camp, where she is excellent at helping students understand the lyrics to a song and perfecting their Spanish language skills.
“Nothing touches the soul and mind like good music and good lyrics. Both inspire and communicate important feelings and events and help lift the human spirit.” —Melva Manzke
The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts’ Carlos Álvarez Theater is located at 115 Auditorium Circle, in the heart of downtown San Antonio. The theater is walking distance from the famous Riverwalk, several downtown hotels and the Rivercenter Mall.
The Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Camp is produced by MPR, producers of the 22nd Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, to be held November 27-December 3, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. Special thanks to Whataburger, Valero and the many volunteers who contribute their time towards making this camp possible!
Visit mariachimusic.com for more information or call 210-225-3353.
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