Deadline for the 24th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Vocal Competition is less than three weeks away! The competition is open to students up to 27 years old and the last day to submit an entry is Monday, October 1. Any submissions after this date WILL NOT be accepted.
For individuals interested in competing, we’ve compiled a list full of pointers to guide you in the right direction and help bring your best into this competition!
1.) The first step to entering the 24th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Vocal Competition is completing the form listed under Individual/Vocal registration here. Even if registered with a full mariachi ensemble, this step is required. Full rules can be read here.
2.) In order to make the competition more affordable and accessible to all, ONLY video entries will be accepted. Videos can be shot on a cell phone and uploaded to YouTube. Add the Youtube link to the Individual/Vocal application when registering.
Remember, properly shot videos on a cell phone are filmed landscape, like in the photo below.
3.) Due to the overwhelming positive response and number of entries submitted, vocal entries submitted need to be four (4) minutes or less. Anything exceeding four minutes will lose points. NO potpourris are allowed.
4.) Record videos in a well focused, close-up shot where the voice can be heard clearly. Avoid background noises like conversations, crying children and barking dogs. Judges want to hear your great voice!
Below is an example of a video submission:
This video is acceptable. However, the camera is a tad bit too far away from Sandra, and the conversations happening in the background detract from her pretty voice, however clear and loud. Try to keep background noise to a minimum.
5.) The song chosen plays an integral role in judging. The hardest song doesn’t always win the competition! Pick something that meshes with singing style, helps showcase individuality, and really brings out that musicianship and emotion. Make sure the song is within vocal range! Age appropriate songs are highly recommended. For directors: speak to the vocalist and explain the meaning of the song, and ask yourself “does the student understand what this song is about?”
6.) Video entries can be recorded with a live full mariachi group accompaniment, a pista, sole acoustic guitar, or any combination of instruments used in a mariachi ensemble (guitarron, guitar, vihuela, trumpet, violin and harp).
7.) With the deadline less than three weeks away, remember the Three P’s: Prepare, Plan and Practice! Record submissions on a day when your voice is in prime shape. If you’re suffering from a cold or allergies, wait until you are feeling your best to record your final entry. This is the most competitive vocal competition in the nation, so be on your A-Game! Recordings are tough. Plan to record several takes and submit the best one.
8.) Preliminary judges are considering many factors when viewing entries including: vocal quality, timing, diction/pronunciation, clarity, intonation, phrasing and interpretation. Since this is video, projection is also important. You don’t have to be in full traje or performance attire, however, please do not submit a video in pajamas! Ask for advice from vocal instructors to ensure you are singing in the right key as this is the NUMBER 1 mistake people make with their preliminary submissions.
9) During the preliminary selection process, a common question asked is how much visuals are taken into consideration. Just remember; energy, expression and delivery can be easily captured in video! Show judges your emotion. To be fairly judged, record submissions without glasses. Keep the eyes open and look into the camera. Use hands to show expression, and help deliver the meaning of the song. Juan Gabriel uses his hands to really get his point across in this video below.
10.) From hundreds of vocal entries submitted, approximately 40 finalists will be selected to compete at the 24th Annual Mariachi Vargas National Vocal Competition at the Lila Cockrell Theatre on Friday, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. Finalists will have the choice to compete with a live mariachi group or a pista. The mariachi group should enhance the singers overall performance.
The most important thing is to have fun, believe in success, and visualize greatness! Once registered as a vocalist, you are able to attend all events associated with the 24th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza from Nov. 11 until Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. as indicated on the schedule of events. This excludes concert tickets to the grand finale concert on Nov. 18. Purchase tickets for this event here.
Wristbands to enter the National Mariachi Group and Vocal Competitions can be purchased at a special pre-admission price of $15 here. One wristband allows entry into all three competitions:
- FRIDAY, NOV. 16 National Mariachi Vocal Competitions 5:00 P.M.
- SATURDAY, NOV. 17 National Mariachi Group Competitions 3:30 P.M.
- SUNDAY, NOV. 18 National Mariachi High School Group Finals 1:00 P.M.
Finalists will be announced on October 15. Keep updated with us via mariachimusic.com and on our Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Facebook page. Also, be sure to register to receive the mariachimuisic.com email newsletter on the homepage of mariachimusic.com.
Can’t wait to see you at the 24th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. If you have any questions, feel free to call us anytime at 210-860-9633 (Cynthia’s cell) or 210-885-8364 (Debra’s cell).