If one thing is certain today it is that 2020 has been a year of much uncertainty that has managed to constantly throw everyone a curveball. However, one thing remains certain and that is that we want to strive to find some type of normalcy in the activities of our everyday life. MPR and the 26th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza want to help everyone find that normalcy so continue on to find out just how we plan to make that happen.
As Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Producer Cynthia Muñoz wrote in her blog “Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Officially Kicks-off with Natl. Vocal Competition Registration Sept. 1“, this year’s Extravaganza will see some modifications and all aspects of the conference are currently being reviewed. Each of you have seen in the news how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced multitudes of concerts and large gatherings to be cancelled and during any given year we would all come together early on a Saturday morning at the Lila Cockrell Theatre and enjoy the beautiful performances from all of the talented vocal finalists. With that being said this year’s vocal competition will continue and be remodeled to accommodate COVID-19 precautions by transforming into an online competition that will take place during the week of December 1st. As they say in showbusiness, “the show must go on.”
What does an online vocal competition mean?
On Tuesday, September 1st the online registration will begin for the vocal competition on Mariachimusic.com. All students looking to audition will have until 11:59 PM CST on Thursday, October 1 to submit their registration form with their upload YouTube audition video.
Requirements to participate include:
- Participants must REGISTER for the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Vocal Competition.
- Students must be in good academic standing and be 27 years old or younger.
- Audition songs must be under four (4:00) minutes in length.
- Popurrís or medleys are not permited.
- Submissions must be recorded using a live or pre-recorded guitar or mariachi group accompaniment. Entries submitted with keyboards, synthesized instruments, computer generated music or other non-traditional mariachi accompaniment will be disqualified.
- Visit mariachimusic.com for a full overview of the vocal competition rules and regulations.
Each student registrant will be required to pay a $25 fee to audition. The proceeds generated from the vocal competition registrations will go towards grants that will be awarded to the Grand Champion and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners of the Elementary, Middle School, High School and College/University categories.
The vocal finalists will be posted to Mariachimusic.com at 10:00 AM on Friday, October 30. All finalist will be required to re-record a video performance of their competition song and turn in the file via GoogleDrive to email@example.com by November 16th. Competitors must also provide a headshot of themselves by November 6th. This final video recording will replace the live performance that would have normally taken place at the Lila Cockrell Theatre. Finalists will be required to dress in your mariachi/performance attire as if you were going to be on stage in front of a live audience. This footage will go on to be streamed as the MVE National Vocal Competition online (exact streaming website will be released at a later date).
Members of “el mejor mariachi del mundo”, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, will go on to critique and judge all of the vocal finalists performances during the live stream and announce all the winners of the 26th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Vocal Competition.
Who can participate?
Singers from the Elementary level all the way to College/University (up to 27 years of age) are encouraged to participate. This year’s format will give competitors who have previously not been able to travel to San Antonio to attend the Extravaganza the opportunity to participate. Students from across the United States are encouraged to register and submit their vocal competition auditions for a chance to compete for the world-renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.
With the very reasonable registration fee and no associated travel costs, we can’t wait to see all of the talented students who will submit their audition tapes.
The 3 P’s and other Helpful Video Audition Tips
Prepare, Practice and Plan
PREPARE: Take time to find a song that you connect with and think will be well suited for your voice and performance style. Make sure that you fully understand the meaning of your song selection and that it is appropriate for you. Remember, the hardest song does not always win the competition. While many competitors like to push themselves, always be sure to play around with your songs key signature in order to find a vocal range that is suitable for your voice and is neither too low or too high for you.
PRACTICE: The Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is commonly known as the toughest and most competitive mariachi vocal competition out there. It is important that all competitors take the time to work on their intonation, musical timing, word pronunciation and interpretation. Be sure to memorize the lyrics to your song prior to recording. The preliminary round judges are always able to tell when contestants are reading words off of music stands or cell phones and often take this as a sign of unpreparedness.
PLAN: The voice is a delicate instrument and requires that we take care of it. On the day that you plan to record your submission, make sure that you are in the best vocal health possible by planning on getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated. Take time to do vocal warmups and try to record several takes of your song in order to select the best submission option possible.
Video Recording Tips
1. Record your video in an isolated place where there are not any background noises such as barking dogs, a loud television or any other distracting noises. Contestants should be clearly audible.
2. Videos should be shot in a horizontal landscape style in a well-lit area so that contestants obtain a well-focused closeup shot of themselves.
3. Do a trial video with your musical accompaniment and look for the perfect balance between your music and voice so that your voice isn’t overpowered and drowned out by the music. Preliminary judges want to be able to clearly hear you throughout your recording.
4. The camera is your audience. Perform and express yourself while interpreting your selection so that the judges feel your emotions.
5. Above all have fun while recording!! Mariachi music is one of the most beautiful musical styles and such a joy to perform. Enjoy yourself and know that you are going to do the best job possible.
Click HERE to register and submit your audition video for the 26th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza National Vocal Competition.
Important Dates and Deadlines
September 1 – Vocal Registration Opens
October 1 – Vocal Registration Deadline
October 16 – Vocal Finalists posted on mariachimusic.com
November 6 – Deadline to submit Vocal Finalists Videos & Headshots
Week of Dec. 1 – MVE26 National Vocal Competition
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.