Thank you all for the most amazing year yet! The last 12 months were filled with complete awesomeness in so many ways. There were so many highlights, including our first-ever production with Steeven Sandoval as a solo artist, another youth-inspired, phenomenal Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Camp, a grand performance with the UTRGV team in Greeley and a completely mind-blowing Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza! It’s hard to imagine this all being any better, but with all the love and dedication, and the hard work and passion our mariachi community has for this music, culture and tradition, next year we’ll be in for an even greater surprise!
I want to take a moment to thank everyone who participated in the 23rd Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza three weeks ago. Every year, I feel as if it were the best year ever, but this year was different. This year the talent and the performances and level of musicianship were even more stunning than ever before. One of the Vargas members said, “In the past, we could easily pick out the top 3-4 groups/vocalists in the competitions, but now there are so many more really great groups and vocalists that it has become more difficult to judge the competitions than ever before.”
For me personally, I feel as if I had been frozen in a time capsule for five years, and that I woke up just in time for the Extravaganza, where I witnessed a major advancement in the performance level of the groups. In reality, it’s only been 12 months since the prior Extravaganza, yet I felt as though much more time had passed because of the tremendous musical growth that had occurred among the groups.
Here’s some of the feedback I’ve seen so far from this year’s Extravaganza:
“My husband and I have been attending this performance for a few years now. It’s our Christmas gift to one another. If you enjoy mariachi music, this is a must-see. The group [Mariachi Vargas] is spectacular, so very talented. Their music touches your heart. I am sad to see Arturo Vargas leave the group, an awesome performer with such a great voice. I see changes coming and I hope it’s good for everyone involved. The first time we attended their show I had tears running down my face, their music simply touched my heart and soul.”
Daisy27, posting on Ticketmaster.com
Mariachi Vargas Exceptional
“This was the fourth year attending the performance and once again the music was un-believable. The opening performances by the Jr. High and High School groups are always praiseworthy. This year’s performances by the dancers added to the evening.”
Munieca, posting on Ticketmaster.com
Fantastic! First-timer for Mariachi Vargas
“Been going to concerts but first time to see Mariachi Vargas. It won’t be my last! Fantastic/Memorable.”
johntcktmstr2011, posting on Ticketmaster.com
Mariachi Vargas rocks in San Antonio again
“The annual event in San Antonio, TX, celebrating the history and cultural impact of mariachi music did not disappoint. They continue to be El mejor mariachi del mundo! Mariachi Vargas continued celebrating the history and cultural impact of mariachi music to Latinos and the world!”
TrafficSafety, posting on Ticketmaster.com
Mariachi Vargas was awesome to listen to
“I will definitely want to come again to listen to this extraordinary music. Such talent. I fell in love with the singers and dancers.”
Camarona, Posting on Ticketmaster.com
“I knew it was going to be a really good show, but this exceeded our expectations!”
Al Aguilar, owner, Creative Civilization; San Antonio, TX
“This was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had performing. I had a great time and it was an amazing event.”
Gil Aguirre, Mariachi Vargas member; Mexico City, Mexico
“The energy during the high school finals was intense. It was the kind of event that made the hair on your arms perk up.”
Velia Torres; San Antonio, TX
“The emotion and pride that I felt as the students demonstrated their mariachi musical skills made me better understand how vital it is to support the fine arts in the schools.”
“I’m the trumpet coach for the UT Austin Mariachi Paredes de Tejastitlán. I had a wonderful time at the Director’s Workshop. I applaud you!
Alex Ramírez; Austin, TX
“I was stunned with the talents of Esteban Álvarez. What a treat that was to hear him play at JazzTX on Wednesday night.”
René Benavídez; San Antonio, TX
“It was an honor for Alexandra and I to have participated in the “Mariachi Dreams Panel” at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, which was facilitated by Dr. Belinda Arriaga from the Ayudando Latinos a Soñar (ALAS) foundation. Thanks so much, Cynthia Muñoz and Dr. Belinda Arriaga, for inviting us to share our stories.”
Verónica Palacios; Kyle, TX
“It was great to be part of an event that was so positive and uplifting.”
Lupe Gutiérrez; San Antonio, TX
“Hi ladies! Still on cloud nine from the Extravaganza. What an EXTRAORDINARY event. Cannot get over it!!! You all change so many lives of people from so many generations and is deeply moving to see and be part of. I feel like I won the lottery when y’all came into my life!!”
Christina Maxwell; New York, NY
The Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is truly the greatest mariachi event in the world. It was again this year, and has been for more than two decades. Everyone has their own story and their own personal experience about what happened this year, and I need you to help me put these stories in writing. Please take a moment to write your story down and share it by emailing it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send photos as well. If you’d like others to read it, we’ll review it. If selected, we’ll post it as a blog on mariachimusic.com. If it ends up being posted, we’ll send you a gift like a Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza sports bottle, T-shirt or CD.
In the next few weeks, you’ll see many of these stories posted. We hope you will enjoy these and share them with friends and family.
On behalf of the MPR team, we wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you again in 2018!