Thank you to all who submitted a video entry for the 23rd Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza!
This year was an exceptionally tough one. With the highest number of auditions ever received in the history of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, the judges had their work cut out for them. The sheer number of students auditioning for a spot in the National Vocal Competition demonstrates the incredible amount of talent that’s out there in our mariachi community. Due to time constraints, not every student who auditioned will be able to perform at the competition, but the 44 talented finalists who have been selected are sure to amaze everyone! These individuals truly represent the best that the Extravaganza and the young mariachi community have to offer. This year’s competition is looking to be the toughest it has ever been!
The staff at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza would like to thank all of the students for their initiative and motivation in submitting audition videos for the vocal competition. It’s not always easy to put one’s self out there for others to judge, and each and every one of you are incredibly courageous for doing so. Another group of people to be thanked are the mariachi directors, vocal coaches, parents and family members who do not always receive recognition for their part in these students’ musical careers. We thank them for encouraging each of these extremely talented students to showcase their gifts and share them with the world. Without the support system they provide, these students would not be where they are today.
With everything still fresh on our minds from the preliminary judging, here are a few tips that can help all future students looking to audition:
Every student must submit the complete performance of their audition song. A few entries were received with only partial songs. When this happens, judges are not able to fully see the student’s potential, or whether or not they have the vocal stamina to make it through a complete song.
Try and limit all musical introductions to 15-20 seconds. Intros that are more than 30 seconds long just lead to awkwardness on camera, and are very time-consuming for the audition process and in the live performance.
With the visual ability to see the contestants perform their songs, judges are better able to rate just how well-prepared each individual is. It’s distracting to see students reading their lyrics on screen while recording their audition video. Please note that with this being the first year that video recordings are utilized, no points were were deducted for the reading of lyrics. However, it is something that will be written into the rules for 2018. The judges mentioned that this makes them wonder how well-rehearsed some contestants are with their songs, and if they would know their pieces by heart by the time the competition came around. All vocal auditions should be filmed as if you were already standing in front of Mariachi Vargas, vying for that Grand Champion Vocalist spot!
Another thing that has not been enforced in the past, but will be next year, is the age-appropriateness of song selections. Please pay attention to the lyrics you are singing. If you do not fully understand Spanish, then ask someone to help you translate the words. It does not make a positive impression, for example, when a 15-year-old sings about drinking to forget his or her woes when that student isn’t even of legal drinking age!
Remember, your biggest competition is always yourself. Students who have been around the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza for longer than one year should know that the judges are looking to see how you improve from one year to the next. Continue to move towards greatness and strive to be a better vocalist than you were the year before!
22nd Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Grand Champion Vocalist Kassandra Juárez sings “Procuro Olvidarte.” Out of 40 competitors from across the United States, Kassandra was selected as top vocalist by a jury comprised of members of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.
Here are the top seven most submitted songs for the 2017 Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Vocal Competition:
Aires del Mayab
A Mi Manera
Te Quise Olvidar
Nearly thirty entries were submitted with these songs alone! It’s interesting to observe the perennial popularity of certain compositions.
As a reminder, all students who submitted entries are already fully registered for the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza and are able to attend the workshops, group competitions and vocal competitions. Students who did not make the finalist list are encouraged to attend and observe the vocal competition. Just watching this event will help you learn how to prepare for next year’s vocal auditions.
DATES FOR THIS YEAR’S WORKSHOPS AND COMPETITIONS
Dec. 1 Mariachi Workshops 8:00 AM
Dec. 1 National Mariachi Group Competitions 4:30 PM
Dec. 2 National Mariachi Vocal Competitions 9:00 AM
Dec. 2 National High School Group Finals 2:00 PM
(All above events take place in the Lila Cockrell Theatre)
Wristbands to attend the National Group and National Vocal competitions may be purchased pre-sale for $15 through Sandra via e-mail by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 210-414-8409. Wristbands may also be purchased at the door on the day of competition for the price of $20. Please note that the wristband allows you entry into three competitions: National Group Competition, National Vocal Competition and National High School Group Finals.
Thanks again to all who submitted their audition videos! This event is truly one of the highlights of the entire Extravaganza, and we look forward to having a spectacular show this year. Please click here to view the list of finalists for the 23rd Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Vocal Competition.
First-, Second- and Third-Place winners will be selected in the categories of Elementary, Middle School, High School and College/University, with one student being selected as the overall Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Grand Champion Vocalist.
A Facebook Live drawing will be held on Monday, November 13, 2017 at 6:30 PM to determine the order of competition in each category.
We look forward to seeing everyone very soon! Also, just a reminder, the deadline to register for workshops is Wednesday, November 8!!!!! Register your group, or register as an invidual, at mariachimusic.com or call 210-225-3353 for information. ¡Gracias!