I had the pleasure of participating in the 6th Annual Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Camp that took place in San Antonio June 19-23. It was the first time I had ever attended the camp, because I was normally tied up taking summer college classes. I wasn’t sure if I was going to know anyone at the camp but I was happy to meet new people right away. Making new friends and having the opportunity to learn from master vocal instructors was not only a great experience for me but an incredible opportunity for anyone who is interested in developing their knowledge of universal vocal techniques.
There were students from Edcouch/Elsa, Roma, San Antonio, Laredo and even California. Some students were regular particpants of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza and others had never attended. I liked the mixture of people and the opportunity to meet all of the students who share my passion for singing. I made a lot of new friends that I’ve added to my Facebook page, and I especially enjoyed meeting younger girls in their tweens that were really kind and sweet. They made a positive impression on me as much as I made on them and I know that we’ll all stay connected in the mariachi community for a very long time.
What impressed me the most was the opportunity to work with Octavio Moreno, Vanessa Alonso and Christina Maxwell. Octavio Moreno taught me vocal techniques that helped me advance. There were vocal techniques I already knew but he showed me how to use them in different ways. He showed me how to use my diaphram by bending over. This makes it easier to feel how your breathing than it is while standing up or even laying on the floor. Octavio is an excellent communicator and if you don’t understand what he’s saying, he’ll try to find another way to explain it. He’s patient and he really wants you to learn. Vanessa helped me with phrasing and vocal warmups and Christina helped me with song interpretation. It was a honor to be with everyone for an entire week.
To top it all off, I was so surprised to receive this beautiful gift from Alli Hernandez who joined us from California. Alli said she saw me singing at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza and she was inspired to create a drawing in my likeness. She presented me with a copy of the character she drew and painted during the summer camp, and it’s something I’ll cherish forever.
Next year’s camp is already set for June 18-23, 2018 at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts – Carlos Alvarez Theater in San Antonio, Texas. Mark your calendars, and I look forward to seeing everyone during the 23rd Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza December 1-2. Also, be sure to check out the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Facebook page for more great photos from this year’s summer camp!!!