Annually, dozens of students from across the nation come to the Alamo City to study with master vocal instructors in a summer camp that runs June 18-22. Students will not only hone in on singing skills, but study the language, cultura mexicana and stage performance techniques prevalent in the mariachi genre. The camp concludes with a spectacular concert where students will showcase what they learned on stage.
Through colorful trajes de charro and emotional renditions of songs performed by choirs and soloists, vocalists will redefine and showcase the new generation of centuries-old música mexicana.
The camp is open to all students ages 9-21. Registration is open until June 11. Registration fee is $200 and can be done here. The camp runs from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
The camp is funded through proceeds from Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, student registration and ticket sales. Additional support is provided by Whataburger.
The concluding recital is a public event open for the community. Tickets are available at tobincenter.org for $20 pre-sale, or $25 at the door. VIP Tickets are $30. Theatre seating is limited, so in order to secure a ticket, early purchase is recommended.
This year’s instructors include Mariachi Summer Camp favorites Octavio Moreno and Vanessa Alonzo. Both are cast members of the Houston Grand Opera Company’s two Mariachi operas: Cruzar la Cara de Luna and El Pasado Nunca se Termina. San Antonio Spanish Teacher Melva Maske, will help students understand the lyrics of a song and will coach them on proper Spanish pronunciation.
Joining the youth will be 2018’s Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Grand Champion Vocalist Jizelle Rodríguez from Kyle, Texas and 2015’s former Grand Champion Kamryn Ramírez from McAllen, Texas.
Approximately 60 students from across more than 20 cities in California and Texas will immerse themselves in the rich mariachi culture.
The 7th Annual Mariachi Extravaganza Summer Vocal Camp is produced by MPR, which hosts one of the largest and most competitive mariachi festivals in the world, the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, in San Antonio. MPR is dedicated to showcasing the elegance and culture of mariachi music.
About the Instructors:
Mexican baritone Octavio Moreno is an alumnus of The Houston Grand Opera Studio and appeared there as Sourin in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Belcore in Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, a Noble in Wagner’s Lohengrin, Marullo in Verdi’s Rigoletto and in 2009 was a soloist in the chorus. Moreno studied voice with Jesus Li and Maybel Ferrales at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. He won third place in the 2008 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers and represented Mexico in the 2009 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and the 2010 Paris International competition, as well as third place in the Carlo Morelli Competition in Mexico City. He made his Bellas Artes debut in Mexico City in The Daughter of the Regiment and appeared as Laurentino in the world premiere of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna in Houston, a role he reprised in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet. He also was invited to join the cast of El Pasado Nunca se Termina (The Past Never Ends) along with Vanessa Cerda Alonso and Sebastien De La Cruz. Octavio started singing mariachi music when he was young and recently recorded a CD with several members of Mariachi Vargas titled Amar a esa mujer (Love that Woman).
Houston-born Vanessa Cerda Alonzo won the “Best Mariachi Vocalist in the U.S.” award in 1999 during the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. Since then, she has opened for Mariachi Vargas at concerts in San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Houston, and has performed on Estrella TV’s Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento. Vanessa later became a cast member with the Houston Grand Opera company for the mariachi opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna and performed in Chicago, San Diego, Tucson, Phoenix and Paris, France. Most recently, she was selected as a cast member for El Pasado Nunca se Termina (The Past Never Ends). This mariachi opera, a project of the Chicago Lyric Opera company’s Lyric Unlimited program, premiered in Chicago in March of 2015 and later in Houston in May of 2015. Vanessa continues reprising her roles in opera performances across the nation.
For more information, call Sandra at 210-225-3353.