Jackleyn Barrera from Roma, Texas won first place in the 2013 Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Vocal Competition. She then went on to compete on Telemundo’s La Voz Kids, where she climbed the ranks on Roberto Tapia’s team and sang a variety of Latin music genres under his guidance.
Most of our tightly knit mariachi community is very much aware of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza and the exciting group and vocal competitions held during this seven-day event. But for those who are new to the application process or need a reminder, we are giving you some key dates and information so everyone will have an equal opportunity to submit an entry before the October 1 deadline.
Here’s how it works. Online registration for the group and vocal competitions starts September 1 on mariachimusic.com. Those entering the vocal competition will only have 30 days to complete the online application and submit an audition recording in order to meet the Oct. 1 deadline. Remember that the Extravaganza is held in November this year (group competition is November 21 and vocal competition November 22). Only complete entries with an attached MP3 or MP4 file, or a YouTube video link, will be considered. Applications that do not meet these criteria will be rejected, which might cause the applicant to miss the October 1 submission deadline.
While a professional audio or video recording is not required, we do expect contestants to submit a conscientiously made audition sample that adequately represents their talents. Please put forth your best effort! Use appropriate accompaniment (pista, guitar, trio, or full mariachi group), and dress appropriately, in the case of a video. Remember also that only complete songs will be accepted for the vocal competition. Popurrís or medleys are not permitted.
Incomplete individual registration forms are a frequent cause of delays. Please be sure that all sections of the form have been completed, and that you specify the name of the vocal contestant, the name of the school that contestant attends, and the name of the song on the attached MP3/MP4 file or YouTube video link.
If you are considering participating in the vocal competition, know that if you start now, you will have nearly two months to select your song, record it, and submit it by the October 1 deadline.
The Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Vocal Competition is open to elementary school, middle school, high school, and college/university students in good academic standing. Vocal contestants must register for the Extravaganza by completing the individual conference registration form online, even if they are also registering as part of a group. Vocal contestants who are not attending with a school group must submit registration payment by October 1.
A list of competition finalists will be posted on mariachimusic.com by 10 a.m. on October 22. This gives vocal finalists an opportunity to have a full month to prepare for the vocal competition on November 22.
For those students submitting an entry in the elementary or middle school category, it is strongly encouraged that students submit “age appropriate” songs. If you are unsure whether or not a song is age appropriate, please feel free to call me at 210-225-3353.
Plan, prepare, and practice! Keep in mind that this is the largest, longest running, and most competitive mariachi vocal competition in the world, and the only one judged by members of el mejor mariachi del mundo — Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.
For further information, please refer to the complete list of rules and regulations on mariachimusic.com. If you are traveling from out of town and will need a hotel, please make your reservations well in advance, as there are other major conferences taking place the same week as the Extravaganza, and downtown hotel rooms will be scarce.
I wish all the best to each and every one of you in planning and preparing for this year’s event. We look forward to seeing you all at the 20th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Vocal Competition on Saturday, November 22, at 9 a.m. at the Lila Cockrell Theatre.
¡Buena suerte! Cynthia