The Latin Music Studies department of Texas State University presents its 16th annual Feria del Mariachi in San Marcos, Texas, on Friday and Saturday, May 1-2. The two-day event includes workshops, competitions, a concert, and a tribute.
This year’s Feria del Mariachi workshops, which begin Friday evening, will focus on the Mexican son in its distinct regional variations, such as the son jalisciense, son abajeño, and son jarocho. Mariachi legend Sergio Caratachea will be the lead instructor. In addition to ensemble workshops, solo vocal instruction will be offered to a limited number of registrants.
Irving Academy’s Mariachi Juvenil — 2014 middle school champions
About 30 Texas mariachi groups are expected to compete in the midday Saturday competition. About one-third of these will participate in the middle school category, and about two-thirds at the high school level.
The Saturday night concert showcases Texas State University’s own Mariachi Nueva Generación. Last November, this outstanding ensemble took first-place honors in the college/university division at San Antonio’s Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza competition. The headline vocalist will be San Antonio’s pride, young Sebastien de la Cruz. Winners of that day’s group competition will also perform in this concert, in addition to an All-State Mariachi selected from the most accomplished student mariachi musicians in the state of Texas, and led by Sergio Caratachea.
An important feature that distinguishes Feria del Mariachi from other mariachi festivals is that it includes its own regional Mariachi Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees will be four female vocalists collectively known as Las Tesoros de San Antonio: Rita “La Calandria” Vidaurri, Beatriz “La Paloma del Norte” Llamas, Blanquita Rodríguez, and the late Perla Tapatía. All four grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and went on to be internationally renowned performers. During the Saturday night concert, this illustrious quartet of cultural ambassadors will be honored with the prestigious Voz de Oro award.
While Feria del Mariachi is by no means the biggest mariachi festival in Texas, nor the one with the largest competitions, many consider it one of the best. When asked what he thinks is outstanding about his school’s event, festival director John López replied: “We feel that our workshops are very good. That’s our emphasis. We spend a lot of time and effort on these, and directors always comment on how well our workshops are run and how educational they are for their students. Since we’re an educational institution, this should be our strength.” In addition to hosting a model mariachi program, Texas State University’s Latin Music Studies has a community outreach program that includes a youth mariachi.
For more information on the 16th annual Feria del Mariachi, go to the festival’s website at www.feriadelmariachi.com.
Join Feria del Mariachi director John López and MariachiMusic.com LIVE host Miguel Guevara for a live interview this Saturday, April 25, from 8-10 am CDT, on KEDA radio 1540 AM, 102.3 FM, or online at http://tunein.com/radio/KEDA-1540-s32426/.
Feria del Mariachi — Schedule of Events
All events take place on the University of Texas-San Marcos campus
Friday, May 1
6-10 pm: Mariachi Workshops (School of Music)
Saturday, May 2
11 am-1 pm: Mariachi Ensemble Competition (Evans Auditorium)
7:30-9:30 pm: Feria del Mariachi concert (Strahan Coliseum)