Texas State University student Celeste Curiel competed in the 15th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza with the song El Triste which sings goodbye to a loved one. “The song makes me think of my mother and the sadness she felt after loosing my father two years ago,” says Curiel. “My mother attended a rehearsal this summer when my professor Juanita Ulloa had me sing several songs I was considering for the competition. When I sang El Triste she started to cry. It was at this moment I knew I had the right song for the competition knowing how the song touched my mother,” says Curiel.
Celeste was selected by members of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan as the “Best Vocalist in the U.S.” Saturday night. She competed against 40 other finalists from throughout the U.S. and was unanimously selected as the overall best winner for her perfect performance.
Celeste was born and raised in San Antonio and graduated from Brackenridge High School in 1999. She recently earned a bachelor’s degree and is now working on a master’s degree in vocal performance from Texas State University. She plans to finish her degree and tour with an opera company while maintaining her love of mariachi music.
“One of my idols is Placido Domingo because he sings opera and mariachi,” says Curiel. I want to sing opera but my first love is definitely mariachi so I will always come back to mariachi music.”
Celeste Curiel’s spectacular performance during the 15th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza will air on Azteca America KVDF-TV Channel 31 December 19 at 11 a.m. as part of a 30-minute special on the event.