Sunday, November 15, 2015. The 21st Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza officially kicked off today with an inspirational Mariachi Mass at the historic San José Mission, and a Mariachi Showcase at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Mariachi Mass is always special to me, since it’s where I first started playing mariachi music when I was around 12 years old. This music fills my heart with so much joy! In fact, I couldn’t stand still today as the choir sang lively songs to the strumming of guitars and vihuelas. Even at the UTSA Mariachi Showcase, I felt a bit closer to heaven with so many children performing so angelically!
About 400 people attended the evening’s Mariachi Showcase held in the elegant UTSA recital hall. Host Michael Acevedo remarked that this event had the largest turnout in all the six years he’s been directing his university’s mariachi program.
2015 Mariachi Showcase at UTSA Recital Hall
Two different mariachi groups from the San Antonio Mariachi Academy performed magnificently under the direction of Cirilo and Angie Campos. It’s truly amazing what this couple has been able to produce in the three short months since they opened their school.
Multitalented William Carlton Gálvez’s newly formed group, Mariachi Los Jinetes, was an unexpected delight. I enjoyed every minute of their well-chosen set that impressively displayed their outstanding vocalists and solid ensemble rapport.
It was both exciting and nostalgic to see performances by two former “Best Mariachi Vocalists in the U.S.” winners: William Carlton and Virginia Stille. One of this year’s vocal finalists, Bobby de León, also performed along with UTSA’s very own Mariachi Los Paisanos, an outstanding group directed by Micheal Acevedo.
Cynthia Muñoz and Virginia Stille
This memorable Showcase concert ended with a standing ovation after Mariachi Los Jinetes and Mariachi Los Paisanos joined forces to close the show with an elegant trio rendition of “Bésame Mucho.”
The 2015 Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is truly off to a good start!
Join us Wednesday, November 18 at 7 p.m. for Noche de Cultura at the Instituto Cultural de México, 600 Hemisphere Plaza, for a very special tribute to don Rigoberto Mercado featuring Andrés González and Roy Quintero. Call 210-225-3353 for more information.