“Forty-nine participating mariachi groups are listed on mariachimusic.com. Add Mariachi Vargas, and that gives us an even 50,” says Cynthia Muñoz, event producer. “It’s the most astounding gathering of mariachi music talent we’ll see in San Antonio during the year.” This is the largest number of groups to have ever participated in the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, and this can be attributed to several factors: (1) more visibility of mariachi artists in mass media; (2) growth of mariachi music programs in schools; and (3) more dollars invested in mariachi music programs. We don’t know the exact reason why, but the Extravaganza always brings together the best minds in mariachi to discuss how we can work together to continue developing, growing and nurturing student involvement in mariachi music programs.
Competing groups spend months preparing for this contest, so expect to see polished performances, impeccable trajes, perfectly groomed hair and lots of shiny boots! You’ll hear some excellent arrangements of some of your favorite songs, as well as some new ones. Each group only has a few minutes to show its very best, so it all happens fast. The contest starts with the middle school competition at 5 p.m., followed by the high school competition, which begins roughly at 6 p.m. The college/university level group competition starts around 9 p.m. Winners will be announced following the college/university competition.
Thursday’s Serenata en el Río concert is FREE! Wristbands for the mariachi group and vocal competitions can be purchased for $15 each at the entrance to the Lila Cockrell Theatre prior to those events on Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3. Winners of the competitions will showcase their award-winning performances at the opening of the Mariachi Vargas concert on Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m., at the Lila Cockrell Theatre. Tickets for this show are available through ticketmaster.com. Log on to mariachimusic.com for more information, or call 210-225-3353.
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