On behalf of MPR and the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, thank you all for another exciting year! Our 21st season was extraordinary — filled with unique events that embraced our cultural traditions and showcased some of the most incredible mariachi talent out there.
Reflecting on this year’s special moments, I think back on the performances by Mariachi Vargas, Sebastien de la Cruz, Vanessa Cerda Alonzo and Mariachi Aztlán in the new mariachi opera El Pasado Nunca se Termina, in San Diego, Chicago and Houston. Angélica Vargas, Jackie Barrera, Vanessa Cerda Alonso, Mariachi Aztlán and Mariachi Azteca de América presented an unforgettable show during the Serenata para las Madres concert last May. Vanessa’s ability to entertain and make people laugh during unexpected situations always creates moments to cherish. In June, Octavio Moreno, Christina Maxwell, Samantha Arizpe and Vanessa Cerda Alonzo led the Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Vocal Camp at the brand-new Tobin Center. These amazing instructors helped make it possible for the talent of young artists to blossom right before our eyes. And for me, personally, being honored by University of Texas-Río Grande Valley during their FESTIBA festival and receiving the San Antonio Business Journal’s “Woman of the Year” award were definitely memorable moments! It all wrapped up in November with another spectacular Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, which attracted many new fans who became new friends. My deepest gratitude goes out to Mariachi Vargas, Azucena, Mariachi Los Caporales, Rigoberto Mercado and the many others who helped make this year’s event extraordinary.
I’d also like to applaud all of our mariachi students for your many hours of practice, hard work, commitment and dedication to performing at a level that exceeds all expectations. Your efforts inspire others, change lives, generate pride and uplift our community in more ways than you can imagine. Thank you for your continued support and involvement, and for your inordinate enthusiasm for our music, culture and traditions. Everywhere I go, people comment on how overwhelmed they are by the talent of so many incredible student groups and vocalists. This makes me swell with pride for our entire mariachi community! All of the great things we have done and continue to do together inspire me to work harder than ever to seek out more opportunities for our youth to showcase their talent.
Life happens fast, and we’ll certainly miss those we lost this year, including Betty Lawrence, Marcelino Ortega and Julio Riojas. Their passing reminds us to enjoy each moment here on this planet and live life to its fullest every second of every day.
Much is happening in the mariachi world as we enter 2016, including a concert with Vikki Carr and Mariachi Aztlán on February 20 at the Tobin Center in San Antonio, the FESTIBA festival March 4-5 at UT-RGV’s brand new Performing Arts Complex in Edinburg, Texas, and Mariachi Vargas’ show at the Hill Auditorium on April 1 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, featuring the charming and talented Christina Maxwell, along with winners from the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza.
These are just a few of the things that promise to make 2016 another amazing year! For more news, events and articles, stay connected with us through our blogs on mariachimusic.com, the MariachiMusic.com LIVE program on KEDA radio, the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza’s Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram (@mariachi).
Merry Christmas to all, and many good wishes for the New Year!