The deadline to submit audition videos for the 25th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Vocal Competition is less than three weeks away. That’s right! To be considered for this year’s MVE, students have until Tuesday, October 1st to get their audition videos in. Submissions sent after October 1, 2019 will NOT be accepted!
Important MVE National Vocal Competition rules and regulations:
- Participants must be REGISTERED for the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza.
- Competition is open to students from elementary school to college, up to 27 years old.
- Song selection must be under four (4:00) minutes in length.
- Popurrís or medleys are not permitted.
- Only video entries are accepted.
- All entries must be uploaded to YouTube by October 1, 2019.
Be sure to read the full list of MVE National Vocal Competition rules and regulations by clicking HERE.
Here are some helpful tips to consider while preparing your MVE audition video:
1. Auditions will ONLY be accepted via video submissions uploaded to YouTube. Videos should be shot in a horizontal format, andcan be recorded with cell phones and uploaded to YouTube. The YouTube link can be added to your individual registration form, but be sure to also email your YouTubevideo link to email@example.com by Oct. 1.
2. Before recording your video entry, remember the following:
Prepare, Practice and Plan.
- Prepare: Be sure to find a song that is well-suited to your voice and your capabilities as a performer. Remember, the hardest song does not always win the competition! Also, it is highly recommended that you fully understand the song and that it is appropriate to your age.
- Practice: Take the time to really practice every aspect of your chosen audition piece. Make sure that you are hitting the right notes, singing musically in time, pronouncing the words correctly and projecting the appropriateemotion for the song.
- Plan: Vocal health and hygiene play an important role when preparing to record your submission. The voice is a delicate instrument and should be well taken care of. Be sure to be well rested, hydrated and warmed up in order to achieve the best possible results when recording. Also, plan on recording several takes of your song in order to pick the best submission option.
Remember, the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is the most competitive national mariachi vocal competition in the United States. Make sure you are feeling your 100% best and are on your A-game when making your final submission.
3. Video submissions may be recorded with live mariachi group accompaniment, a pista (pre-recorded accompaniment), solo acoustic guitar or any combination of instruments used in a mariachi group (guitar, vihuela, guitarron, harp, trumpet and violin).
4. Record a well-focused, closeup shot where your voice can be clearly heard. Record in an area that is quiet and free of noise. Avoid background noise, barking dogs, crying children, etc.
5. Preliminary judging will be based on the same criteria used for the MVE National Vocal Competition. This judging criteria includes:
- Pronunciation/Diction: The way the contestant pronounces the Spanish words. Make sure to practice in front of a mirror and observe how you form each word with your mouth.
- Pitch/Intonation: How well in-tune you sing.
- Interpretation/Style: How the performer feels and projects the song. If you are not a native Spanish speaker, besure and ask someone to help you translate and interpret the story being told by your chosen song.
- Clarity/Precision: Not to be confused with pronunciation/diction, clarity/precision refers to the fluidity of the phrasing while interpreting the song, and to making sure that phrases are not muffled.
- Stage Presence: How the artist commands the attention of audience members while performing. Even when submitting a video audition, the singer must be sure to always exude confidence and stay in character throughout the recording. If there is a musical interlude in the middle of your song, be sure to fill it with a smile, grito or any other gesture that will enhance your overall video performance.
- Dynamics: How well you control the loudness and softness of your vocal performance, and how you implement musical dynamics and dynamic effects such as crescendos and decrescendos.
- Appropriate key: Oftentimes entries are received where students are singing in a key that is not appropriate for their vocal range. Be sure to ask for advice from several vocal instructors to ensure that you are singing in your best key!!!!
6. Many ask to what extent visuals will be taken into consideration during the preliminary selection process. Energy, expression and delivery are easily captured in videos. In order to be judged fairly, be sure to record the video without eyeglasses. Keep your eyes open and look into the camera. Do not record a video while you are reading the lyrics, as this gives judges the impression that you’re not prepared! Use hand gestures and body language to enhance expression and help deliver the meaning of your song.
Approximately 40 finalists will be selected to compete at the Lila Cockrell Theatre on Saturday, December 7, starting at 9 a.m. Finalists have the option of competing with a live mariachi group or a pre-recorded musical accompaniment (pista). Although a live mariachi is encouraged, judges will select winners based on their vocal performance, not on that of the musical accompaniment. Your accompaniment should enhance your overall performance. Above all, have fun, believe in yourself and visualize success!
Remember that once you are registered as a vocalist, you will be eligible to attend, at no additional cost, all events associated with the 25th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza from December 1 through December 7.
National Group & Vocal Competition Wristbands can be purchased online in advance until November 30 for the pre-sale price of $16. Competition wristbands will also be available for day of event purchase for the price of $20.
One wristband allows for entry into the following three events:
- National Mariachi Group Competition on Fri., Dec. 6
- National Mariachi Vocal Competition on Sat., Dec. 7
- National Mariachi Group High School Finals on Sat., Dec. 7
Tickets for the grand finale concert on Saturday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m. may be purchased through Ticketmaster.com.
Attending the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza from out of town and looking for a place to stay in downtown San Antonio? Check out the MVE conference rate with our host hotel, Grand Hyatt San Antonio, conveniently located right next to the Lila Cockrell Theatre, where all MVE events take place.
Finally, please join us for a Facebook Live conversation about the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Mariachi Group and Vocal Competitions on Tuesday, September 17, at 5:00 p.m. on the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Facebook page.
See you there! Good luck!