Mariachi Mariposas of McAllen, Texas prevailed over four other semi-finalists to win the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo mariachi competition on March 16, 2014. The all-female group, founded in 2012, competed in three separate rounds before being chosen as the first place winners. In their first and second rounds, the group presented Popurrí de Toros (sones), Popurrí José Alfredo Jiménez, Para Toda la Vida (bolero), Popurrí de Huapangos, La Charreada, and a lighthearted Popurrí de Selena. Their final round included two crowd favorites, Hermoso Cariño and De Qué Manera te Olvido.
Due to the limited time allowed during the competition, Mariachi Mariposas selected a wide variety material to highlight the talents of their best musicians and vocalists, two of whom – Ángela Salas and Larissa García – were the first and second place winners of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Vocal Competition, College and University Category, in 2013.
Overwhelming feelings of appreciation, happiness, and relief came over the group members when they were announced as finalists after the second round. This was a remarkable and unforgettable experience for all of the women, because it helped them to see the results of all of the time and care they have invested in developing their group sound and individual musical skills. It wasn’t until they received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Arena Theatre on Saturday night that they realized just how much the audience enjoyed their performance.
Mariachi Mariposas is a relatively new group whose mission is to empower the female, especially in a male dominated genre such as the mariachi. According to their director, Mayra García, the opportunity to express themselves to 75,000 people meant the world to them. It was never about the prize money — their goal was to expose the public to the sounds of mariachi from a female perspective. “We felt very honored when we were selected as the winners, because all of the groups were absolutely exceptional and this competition must have been a tough one for the judges. Above all, we feel very blessed.”
As competition winners, Mariachi Mariposa received a beautiful first place trophy and a cash prize of $7500, which they plan to use to finish recording and mastering their new CD, and to purchase books and supplies for their summer program that helps students who are interested in learning more about mariachi or developing their skills and techniques in this genre.
Mariachi Mariposas members
Rebeca Cano (violin/vocals)
Ashley Escamilla (trumpet)
Larissa García (violin/vocals)
Mayra García (violin/vocals/leader)
Blanca Gonzales (guitar/vocals)
Beatriz Guevara (guitar/vocals)
Nicole Guzmán (violin/vocals)
Norma Hernández (guitarrón)
Karina López (violin/vocals)
Karla Pérez (vihuela)
Ángela Salas (guitar/vocals)
Elizabeth Salinas (violin)
Andrea Torres (violin/vocals)