Blog author: Dr. Dahlia Guerra
Greetings, mariachi friends!
We hope that you all are healthy and safe, and we hope your year is off to a great start!!
These continue to be unusual times, to say the least, and we are told that the Spring of 2021 continues in like fashion. But FESTIBA 2021 must go on, so let’s plan for a virtual festival!
The literary and performing arts have seen the world through many times of crisis. As we adjust to new realities during the ongoing pandemic, FESTIBA 2021, in general, will focus on Building Resilience Through Arts and Literacy. With the transformative power of the arts and their ability to foster resilience, FESTIBA 2021 will examine and highlight the use of the creative process to find comfort during times of struggle and promote a sense of emotional and psychological well-being. Many of the events and presentations during the week will explore creative opportunities for the students in our community to cope with the recent educational and emotional challenges of the pandemic
Our FESTIBA 2021 Mariachi Festival will be unique this year and we are striving to make it memorable and impactful for both directors and students. For this reason, we are bringing you the leaders who guide and inspire the very best mariachi ensembles that exist in the world!
Our virtual guests and clinicians of the FESTIBA 2021 Mariachi Festival include the internationally renowned Maestro José Hernández, considered the mariachi leader in the United States and innovative force behind mariachi music and mariachi education, as the founder/director of the Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández.
Also on our fabulous lineup of mariachi educators is Jesús “Chuy” Guzmán. He leads Mariachi Los Camperos, continuing Nati Cano’s legacy and tradition of excellence and providing the leadership and vision for Grammy award winning performances in high-profile venues.
World class singer and trumpet player Esteban “Steve” Carrillo will represent Mariachi Cobre. The group is one of the best known mariachi bands in the United States that has performed for millions of visitors at Epcot Center, Disney World in Orlando, Florida since 1982.
We are excited to welcome members of the acclaimed and world-renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, including Carlos Martínez, musical director, vocalist/violinist, Gilberto Aguirre, vihuela, Augustín Sandoval, trumpet, and Jonathan Palomar, guitar/voice. These great musicians will be presenting talks and tutorials for directors and students in their respective fields.
We are also honored to welcome back Jonathan Clark, foremost mariachi historian, Maestro Jorge Iván Velasco, world renowned folk harpist, Josué (Eddy) López, mariachi musician and arranger, Mónica Fogelquist, mariachi musician and director of the UT Mariachi program, Adolfo Estrada, mariachi musician and PhD candidate at Texas Tech University, and UTRGV Aztlán alumni Fernando Mendoza on violin, Nathan Garcia on guitarrón, and Orlando de León on violin. We are assisted by members of the UTRGV Mariachi Aztlán.
We have decided to have an additional theme for the festival, and we will focus this year on the son. This topic provides lots of possibilities for research and ideas/techniques of performance practices! We are delighted to have these special friends and mariachi masters joining us! The FESTIBA 2021 Mariachi Festival Workshops will include seven unique presentations for directors, and a variety of student tutorials on selected music. The clinicians will be available by Zoom during their presentations for discussion and Q & As. The Mariachi Festival also includes six new musical arrangements, a virtual Vocal Competition, a Showcase of Mariachi Ensembles (Middle School, High School and University), and a beautiful virtual concert production by the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, filmed in Tequila, Jalisco and available only to workshop attendees.
FESTIBA 2021 Workshop Fee is $25.00, and includes all workshop presentations, the Vocal Competition Concert, Mariachi Showcase Concert and Mariachi Vargas Concert. (More info and details to come on competition rules, logistics and links.)
Entry Fee for competing in the Vocal Competition is an additional $20. To submit registration forms, connect to ePAY and view the schedule, visit the School of Music website at: https://www.utrgv.edu/music/community-outreach/festivals/mariachi-festival/index.htm
Online vocal competition submissions are due February 20th. Submit one song, not to exceed 3 to 4 minutes. Singers should introduce themselves with their name, school, and song title. These same video submissions will be used for the finals. Audition videos should be uploaded to YouTube and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions call Francisco Loera at 956-533-7483. The videos will be reviewed by a panel of distinguished mariachi musicians. Finalists will be announced February 24th, and 10 to 15 finalists will be selected from the levels combined, depending on the entries. The videos of the finalists will be presented in the Vocal Competition Finals Concert.
You are invited to participate in the Middle- and High School Mariachi Virtual Showcase. Videos, not to exceed 5 minutes, should be uploaded to YouTube and sent to email@example.com by February 20th.
All workshop participants will receive a link to the fabulous concert and virtual production by the Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, filmed in Tequila, Jalisco.
We know you will enjoy the FESTIBA 2021 Mariachi Festival! Although this is an usual year for us, and our events must be held virtually for your safety and the safety of our students, we thank you for joining us for this unique cultural opportunity for South Texas!
Let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to your participation!!! Please contact us for more information!
Francisco Loera – Director, UTRGV Mariachi Program
Phone: (956) 533-7483
Dr. Dahlia Guerra – Assistant Vice-President of Public Art, UTRGV
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Phone: (956) 655-2811