By this time, most of you are back to school and getting settled into a routine that is hopefully informative and productive. Do what you can to make it the best experience for yourself and those around you. As we continue through these challenging times, we know that everyone has needed to make adjustments and implement new creative online teaching methods. We, too, have had to make adjustments on our end here at the MPR/Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza camp.
Since March, we stepped up our online initiatives. We began distributing the mariachimusic.com newsletter more frequently and added some unique content. And we created a mariachimusic.com podcast as an additional element to our informative blogs. These have also been shared on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms. If you missed it, go to the mariachimusic.com website and sign up for the newsletter today!
It’s important for us to stay connected with one another and continue sharing helpful information than it is at this time. The mariachimusic.com newsletter is for everyone, especially mariachi directors, students, friends, family, artists, sponsors and supporters of mariachi music. So, sign up here and share the mariachimusic.com online newsletter with other mariachi aficionados.
Thanks to all of you who have called, emailed or messaged us inquiring about plans for this year’s Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. It’s always good to hear from everyone. We have all been waiting patiently for COVID-19 to wane, but unfortunately it’s continued to spread in our communities. Some of you have had COVID-19 or know someone who has had it. Several of you have had loved ones who have suffered dearly from the pandemic. The virus has unfortunately impacted our Hispanic community in disproportionate numbers, so it’s important that we continue implementing safety practices as we roll out plans for the 26th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza.
The Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza has traditionally consisted of a mariachi Mass, community presentations and performances, the Serenata en el Río, master classes, workshops, national group and vocal competitions and the grand finale concert – all of which takes place over the course of a seven-day period. It’s hard to replace the thrill and enthusiasm that comes from participating in all of the events – especially the workshops, competitions and live concert experience. Nevertheless, we’re happy to announce that the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza will continue this year with some of the events taking place online and possibly some small events in person.
The 26th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza will officially kickoff September 1st with online registration for the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Vocal Competition. This is really exciting, as it allows more students from throughout the U.S. to participate in the preliminaries. The finals will also be held online and will not require anyone to travel. We expect the online version of the finals will likely broaden the viewership and audience across the globe.
Registration starts September 1. The deadline to submit an entry is October 1. Deadlines, rules and regulations are similar to those of previous years and are available at mariachimusic.com. Finalists will be posted on mariachimusic.com on Friday, October 30. Those selected will be required to resubmit a video in full performance attire in place of performing live in San Antonio. Mariachi Vargas members will judge the finals that will air online the week of December 1. More details are forthcoming.
All finalists will receive certificates of participation. In addition, first-, second- and third-place winners will be selected in each of four categories: Elementary School, Middle School, High School and College/University. And finally, as in years past, one student will be selected as the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Vocal Competition Grand Champion winner and will represent the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in 2021.
Adjustments have also been made for this year’s Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Group Competitions. The group competitions will not be held in their traditional form, although an online showcase is being considered at this time. Updates will be announced via the mariachimusic.com online newsletter.
Online workshops, tutorials and discussions are currently being explored for this year’s Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. We want to hear from you on how we can help create the resources you need to continue developing mariachi music programs in your schools and helping students develop their art form. Please feel free to comment on this blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With restrictions still in place for large gatherings, it is unlikely that a live concert with Mariachi Vargas will be held this year. The Lila Cockrell Theatre continues to be closed and, sadly, most of the people there whom we have worked with for many years have had their jobs furloughed due to COVID-19.
The good news is that Mariachi Vargas continues to record shows from Mexico. You can catch them on Tuesday, September 15 for a performance with José Alfredo Jiménez, Jr. in a spectacular show that pays tribute to the late José Alfredo Jiménez. Tickets for this online concert can be purchased here. Updates on more shows are forthcoming.
There may be small, live, drive-by community performances taking place this fall as part of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. For now, your safety is our number one priority as we continue rolling out plans. Updates, news and information will be distributed via the mariachimusic.com online newsletter, so sign up at mariachimusic.com.
Good luck this semester and stay tuned for more!
Please continue to practice social distancing and follow the rules and regulations outlined by your state, city and schools. Stay safe and do your part in helping to keep the number of coronavirus cases down so that we can get through this pandemic safely. And, most importantly, as you all know, we have an important election soon approaching. For those of you 18 and older, please make sure you are registered to vote!!!! This next election will be one of the most important elections in our lifetime and it’s important that we use our power to vote and let our voices be heard!!!!
We at MPR would like to wish everyone the best but most of all we wish everyone good health and safety during todays current world climate. Please continue to stay safe by exercising the necessary COVID-19 precautions and helping to better the situation. We continue to hope for speedy recoveries and send well wishes to all of those who have been affected by the virus. Everyone is in our thoughts and we can’t wait until the day when we can all gather again to enjoy the beautiful mariachi music that helps us stay connected to each other.